IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. It is an intelligent technology which allows users to communicate with system/machine that is pre-coded with the set of instructions as played out by IVR. The primary reason for having an IVR system in place is to reduce manual labor for assisting the users over the phone call. For instance, a mobile operator has too many services packaged for customers the details of which can be played out on the IVR as requested by customers. So, customers can choose – top up plans, VAS, rate-cutter plans, data plans, etc., just by following the instructions played out by the IVR.
Not just for playing out the information for customers, IVR is also used for authentication purposes. Did you ever make a call to bank customer care when your credit/debit card is lost or stolen? I guess so. The moment you explain about your credit/debit card loss, the customer care executive asks you to validate your credentials on the IVR which automatically feeds your response and authorization is done. After which the customer care executive proceeds with the next step. Thus, IVR performs multiple roles in better serving the customers. Almost all big establishments and hotels have IVR system in place as part of their front end communication system.
IVR System in Calling Cards Solution
VoIP based calling card solution is no exception. IVR in calling card solution is incorporated to offer endearing calling experience to users. IVR plays a very important role in the calling card solution as it the first thing a customer has to interact with in order to make a call. The moment a user dials in the Access Number or DID number from his phone, he is greeted by the IVR which prompts him to enter the PIN code (PIN based cards) for authentication. Upon successful authentication, IVR reads out the balance minutes and prompts the user to enter the destination number. In the case of PIN less cards, authentication is done via ANI but still IVR comes into picture.
Usually, IVR system recognizes the DTMF tones inputted by the user from his phone for establishing the communication with it. Based on the options selected, the IVR system responds back to the user. Thus, IVR is the most important feature in a calling card softswitch.
IVR System in Business Phone Systems
IVR system plays a big role in business phone systems. Right from calling a front-end office to possibly end up with the right contact, IVR guides the caller. The input for transferring a call or playing a MoH (music on hold) is received in the form of DTMF tones when the caller selects an option by pressing the digits on the keypad of his phone. Not just callers, even in-house staff can make use of IVR option to make use of the business phone features by the mere press of the digits on their phones.
Thus IVR continues to gain prominence in VoIP business as it eliminates the need of costly human agents while handling large volumes of calls.