Smart IVR Introduction - What Is It and Why You Should Use It

IVR stands for interactive voice response.

Companies use IVR systems for many reasons, and there are different types of IVR systems you can choose from for your business. One type of IVR system you can use is Smart IVR.

The type of IVR system you choose solely depends on what you need. For instance, let’s assume that you want to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) into your daily operations. If that is the case, then Smart IVR is the ideal choice for you.

Artificial Intelligence has been leading the technology sector for many years now. It enables computers and machines to perceive their environment, deal with problems, and achieve specific goals.

Furthermore, AI can display human-like capabilities and skills. Thus, many companies use AI and try to incorporate it in every part of their business.

Use of AI in Smart IVR systems

So, if you want to follow the trend and use Artificial Intelligence in your business, then this article is for you.

The article will introduce you to a great way to use Artificial Intelligence - Smart IVR. Also, you will find out what you can use it for and which benefits it offers.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

What Is a Smart IVR?

A Smart IVR is an enhanced Interactive Voice Response system. It allows companies to streamline their communication by intelligently routing and managing inbound calls.

Also, it helps companies reduce unnecessary steps that paid employees usually handle. But more on that later.

The system uses Artificial Intelligence to optimize a company’s customer engagement process. Furthermore, because the system uses Artificial Intelligence in its software, it adds a human touch to each interaction. So, when a customer calls, they will not feel like they are talking to a robot. They will feel comfortable, as though they are talking to a live agent.

In addition, a Smart IVR can gather and analyze data. Thus, when the same customer calls again, they will be greeted by a more personalized menu. And, with each call, the customer’s menu will be progressively more personalized and tailored based on their past needs.

What Is a Smart IVR?

Once you build your Smart IVR system, you can deploy it anywhere you want. Thus, no matter how many locations you have, you can deploy your IVR system in all of them.

With this system, you can rest assured that your customers will receive a fast and personalized experience. Also, your agents will no longer have to do everyday and repetitive tasks. Therefore, they can focus on other, more critical tasks.

A Smart IVR system has numerous menu options integrated into its software. The menu options allow customers to do simple tasks like pay bills and check their account balances.

What’s best, they can do those tasks without the need to speak to an employee. Also, it can route your customers to the appropriate department or agent they need, and the agents will handle whatever issues the customers have. And again, the system does all of that without the need for human assistance.

Voice Recognition, NLP & AI

Voice recognition is one of the key elements of a Smart IVR system. It allows machines and computers to receive and understand dictation. Also, it allows them to carry out spoken commands.

Thus, your customers will be able to interact with your IVR system by speaking to it. Thanks to voice recognition, customers can use Smart IVR systems hands-free, meaning that they will not have to type any words or press any buttons.

Voice recognition can also decrease the time customers take to find the answers they are looking for, and they can get what they need faster. That is because voice recognition can capture speech faster than people can type. So, not only will it be more convenient for your customers, but it will also save them time.

Voice Recognition

NLP stands for Natural Language Processing. It is concerned with how computers process and analyze natural language data. More specifically, NLP focuses on how to program computers to understand the human language.

The technology behind NLP has been around for years, and many people use it daily. But let’s see some examples of NLP so that you can understand what it is better.

Some examples of NLP that people use every day include autocomplete, spell check, spam filters, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and voice text messaging.

NLP is also able to process vast amounts of data. Also, it can identify the appropriate phrase, word, or response by using context clues.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is the intelligence that machines demonstrate. It enables computers and other devices to perform tasks that usually require human intelligence. Those tasks include speech recognition, decision-making, translation, and more.

There are four types of Artificial Intelligence, including:

  • Reactive machines
  • Limited memory
  • Theory of mind and
  • Self-awareness.

Benefits of Smart IVR

Now that we have covered what Smart IVR is and some of its elements, let’s move on. Let’s see which advantages you can gain with having a Smart IVR system.

Smart Call Routing

IVR systems can transfer calls based on your caller’s phone number. All you need to do is link your IVR system to your CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

That means that your IVR system can transfer a call directly to the last agent the caller talked to, so the agent will be more familiar with the caller and their issues. Also, the system can move VIP customers to the front of the waiting line or transfer calls to an agent that speaks a specific language.

Intelligent call routing can lower abandonment rates, reduce waiting times and provide tailored IVR call-back options.

Benefits of Smart IVR

Support for busy times

Smart IVR systems allow your customers to self-serve and leave messages. Also, during the times when you have high call traffic, the system can take a significant load off your agents’ backs.

By automating simple tasks with IVR, like providing account information, order status, or payment due dates, your agents will be free to handle more complex problems.

Also, an IVR system can ensure that you are always available even when you have a large volume of calls. Your customers will always be able to access the system and try to solve their problems with its help.

Better Customer Experience

More often than not, people do not like inbound and outbound IVR systems. They usually get frustrated when they use those IVR systems because of their complex designs.

However, Smart IVR systems are a different story. Programming your smart IVR system to allow customers to directly talk to live agents can do wonders for your customers’ experience.

Use Cases of Smart IVR

If you want to implement a Smart IVR system into your daily operations but don’t know what you can use it for, this section might help you. You can use Smart IVR for many things, so let’s see what some of them are.

Automate Repetitive Tasks with Smart IVR

For example, you can use your Smart IVR to automate repetitive tasks. So, the system can do tasks like handling canceled orders, processing refunds, and scheduling meetings.

Also, the system can handle customers’ information changes, blocking credit cards and resetting PINs. Thus, you can automate all your repetitive and everyday tasks and free up a large portion of your and your employees’ time.

Conduct Phone Surveys

You can also use your Smart IVR to conduct phone surveys. Phone surveys are an excellent tool for measuring customer service quality. You can set up two types of phone surveys with your IVR.

The first one you can make is an inbound IVR where you call to take surveys from your customers.

The other one you can make is an outbound IVR where your customers call you when they are free to take a survey.

Smart IVR Use Cases

For example, an inbound IVR survey will happen right after your customer is done speaking to an agent. That type of survey can help you gather relevant and timely feedback.

On the other hand, an outbound IVR survey will happen at a time you schedule with your customer. So, you won’t be bothering them to take your survey, and they will appreciate that greatly.

Generating leads

Another excellent use case of Smart IVR systems is generating leads for marketing campaigns.

For instance, you can ask customers to call a specific number to interact with your IVR and offer some reward if they do so. Thus, they will be interested in your offer and answer your marketing questions along the way.

Final Remarks

Smart IVR is great for a lot of things. It can help your company a lot and give your agents more time to do different things. With its help, you can increase the quality of your customer support and their experience.

Even though your customers will not be talking to humans, AI and NLP will add the needed human touch to your IVR system.

If you design your IVR system right, you will be astounded at how much it will help you.

What’s more, many different companies can implement IVR in their business. From banks, travel agencies, retail stores, and mobile carriers, IVR can be helpful to anyone that needs it!

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Written by
Bruno Mircevski

Bruno is an Entrepreneur and Marketing Enthusiast. He has extensive experience with SEO, loves how Google works and the potential it has to offer.

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