What is IVR and its benefits in call center

What is IVR and its benefits in a call center 

A call center receives thousands of inbound calls every day. For efficient service delivery and smooth operations, these calls must be landed to the skilled agent as per the customer query.


Manually this sounds to be impossible but today the technology has been so advanced that thousands of numbers can be segregated as per their query to the right agent skill set.

Let's understand What is IVR and its benefits in a call center.

What is IVR in the call center?

But before diving deep into the subject let's understand What is IVR and how does it function? Further, we will also understand the advantages and disadvantages of IVR in the call center 

What is IVR?

IVR stands for Interactive Voice response. It's a device that calls centers to use to respond to customers and collect some necessary information from them, post which it routes the call to the right agent as per the customer's complaint topic.

This information may be related to the customer's language, query, booking numbers, any specific identification number, and other details as per the business requirement.IVR also helps when all agents are engaged in another call and the business is not operational.

How does IVR function?

Let's understand the operation of IVR with some diagrams and steps:

Step 1:Customer calls the call center and call responded by IVR. IVR welcomes the customer and asks to choose the language in which he/she is convenient. The customer chooses the language.

Language Selection

Step 2: Post selection of language IVR asks the customer to choose a specific reason or type for calling. In the below diagram you can see we have 4 queues (reasons) wherein after the customer's confirmation IVR routes the call  to a skilled candidate who is trained to resolve such kind of queries

IVR function

Step3:Or If a customer is asking to route his call to a particular department i.e sales, inbound, support, or service IVR does that.

Benefits of IVR in the Call Center

3 Main benefits of IVR are mentioned below :

1. Reduce Time and Cost: The main benefit of using IVR is it saves time and cost. Without IVR a manual agent will have to do its jobs which is very tedious also as per the call volume and shift a call center has to assign the agents for this task to call routing which will increase the cost of the call center and planning team.

Moreover, nowadays machine depends on artificial intelligence which has reduced human effort by big time

2. Improve service: As mentioned above the major role of an IVR in a call center is to transfer a specific query call to a skilled agent which result improves the customer experience and satisfaction 

3. Assist in nonoperational hours: IVR also functions when a call center receives a high call volume and all agents are engaged in assisting other customers or if for a particular day or in case of the gazetted holiday the call center is not operational.

You can just turn on the IVR to auto-respond customers with some canned responses.

Drawbacks of IVR in the Call center 

3 Main demerits of IVR are mentioned below:

Too many selections: When a customer calls in the call center IVR receives the call and asks the customer to first select the language, then to query type, then the subtype. These many selection attempts can easily irritate the customer which in turn can lead to bad consumer experience.

Repetition of case history: When the call gets transferred from IVR to an agent a customer has to again explain his case to the manual agent which can turn into anger. Though the IVR tries to resolve the problem with a detailed explanation and resolution customers have to speak to a manual agent

Information is Concise: As  IVR is only a machine and works on the canned responses hence a detailed resolution and information can not be expected from the IVR. This is one of the major drawbacks of IVR in the call center 

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So friend this is the information about IVR its benefits and disadvantages in the call center

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