IVR technology and the virtual call center
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Tech Article - IVR systems interactive voice response

IVR Technology

This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR Development and custom IVR software and products. Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country. The PACER and Wizard IVR systems add another dimension to our call center phone systems and solutions.

What Is IVR?. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either inhouse service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.

The following is an article relating to the IVR market including tips and best practices as well as product and answering service information.

Call Centers Replacing Humans With Robotic Voices

by Jo Best
Are jobs under threat?

People are becoming less and less of a feature of call centres - despite the fact more and more people are using them.

According to Dimension Data's Merchants Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, call centres are increasingly turning to automated means to answer customer queries as technology gets better and better at recognising just what customers are talking about.

The report found that contact centres' biggest cost remains staffing and also revealed that the cost of contact per channel means that self-service interactive voice response (IVR) is five times as cost-effective as having the same customer query routed through an agent.

The average cost of a query with an agent is $10.72, while an IVR system only costs around $2.10.

The static nature of call centre budgets, coupled with the relative inexpensiveness of IVR, means contact centres are increasingly losing the human touch in favour of 'press one for...' type solutions for the more basic of customer queries.

Currently, 20 per cent of queries that are received are dealt with via IVR and an equal number of callers opt for IVR rather than speaking to a call centre worker.

Cara Diemont, Dimension Data's marketing director of customer interactive solutions, said: "Companies are now realising it's a good way to deal with some of the more mundane and simple queries." Seventeen per cent of contact centres are now planning to install the equipment within the next 12 months, according to Diemont.

Paul Scott, director of business development for customer interactive solutions at Dimension Data, added: "From a commercial point of view, speech recognition makes sense... It also means [call centres] can divert agents' attention into queries that require a bit more intelligence."

With news that machines are taking over from humans in answering customers' questions, call centre agents might be feeling a little superfluous.

No need to worry about job security just yet, according to Diemont, thanks to more people than ever before calling contact centres. Call volumes are up 20 per cent, according to the report.

And, the report found, call centre agents will see the scope of their job expanding and simple queries being left to automatons.

Diemont said: "We are seeing call volumes grow at such a rate... we're expecting to see call centres dealing with more and more complex things that used to be done by the back office."

Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.