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ivr technical terms

Technical Language You Need to Know Before Considering IVR Solutions

Are you thinking about adding IVR systems to your workplace? If so, this move can boost your business’s productivity. IVR solutions are like automated assistants for handling phone calls. They can direct calls, perform tasks, and answer questions without needing real people to do it. Have you ever called a helpline and heard a computer talking to you? That is an IVR system in action.

This blog is for people who are new to IVR and thus, want to understand the technical jargon. If you’re considering getting an IVR system from a service provider, it’s a good idea to read through these concepts first. It will help you act smarter. This is because if you wish to communicate your requirements effectively you must know the language. 

Let’s explore the most important technical terms in detail.     

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) 

The automated phone system (Hardware + Software) that interacts with callers through voice prompts and DTMF or voice recognition is IVR. In the simplest language, IVR is a tool that talks to callers and understands what the purpose of calling is before routing the call to the right person or department. Sometimes, the purpose of a caller is just to retrieve a piece of information. In that case, IVR helps callers do so without the need for real human beings as agents on the other end of the line. Overall, IVR is for the automation of call handling and its distribution, among other things.   

IVR Application 

It is the software or script that defines the call flow, logic, and behaviour of the IVR system.   

Call Flow 

The sequence of steps and interactions that guide a caller through an IVR system is call flow. The concept of call flow is very simple. It is the entire map that will guide a caller regarding how to do what they have called for in the first place. Suppose you call a helpline number. You are answered by a computer. The computer voice gives you greetings and proceeds further. It tells you to press various numbers for various purposes. So, you press the number appropriate for you. This way, you interact with the computer and satisfy the purpose of your calling. Here, while interacting with the computer, you are presented with various options. If you choose any option by pressing a key on your keypad, the computer responds in a specific way and either provides you with another series of options or connects you with a live agent on the other side. This entire programming of the computer is collectively referred to as call flow.

The call flow is determined as per the requirements of a client. The client discusses their requirements with the IVR service provider and then the latter builds an IVR application suitable for the client. Thus, in short, call flow means a sequence that an IVR follows. And, it could typically be in the following format.

  1. Initial Greeting
  2. Menu Options
  3. Caller Input
  4. Conditioned Logic
  5. Information Delivery
  6. Error Handling
  7. Transfer and Escalation
  8. Conclusion or Callback Options
  9. Logging and Reporting 
  10. Feedback and Surveys 

Menu Options 

These are the choices presented to callers during the interaction with an IVR software, e.g., “Press 1 for Hindi, Press 2 for English”.  

Voice Prompts 

Recorded or generated audio messages that provide instructions, options, and information to callers are voice prompts. They allow callers to interact with automated systems. As soon as a caller calls, pre-recorded options (prompt) are played and the caller is asked to choose any one option. The caller makes his choices using the keypad of his smartphone. However, the use of a keypad is not compulsory. In the cases of voice-recognition-enabled IVRs, callers can directly interact with the computer with the help of speech. Voice prompts make it easy for callers to navigate and use IVR systems efficiently.

Call Routing 

The process of directing calls to the appropriate destination based on caller input or rules is called call routing. If the caller wants to talk to a live agent and thus press the designated key, the caller will be immediately routed to a live agent. This feature is known as call routing. This is an integral part of an IVR solution.   

Database Integration 

Sometimes, callers just need to get some information related to their transactions, orders, etc. In that case, it is important that the IVR application in place also has access to such data. It is done through database integration. Thus, connecting the IVR system to databases or external systems for information retrieval and data updates is known as Database Integration.

Voice Recognition 

This technical term refers to technology that allows an IVR system to understand and process spoken words or phrases from callers. In that case, the computer or IVR system interacts with the caller through speech and not with the help of keypad button pressing. However, this way of IVR interaction is not that popular as it introduces certain challenges that are easily manageable with the help of the keypad-based model of interactions.   

These are some of the most basic concepts used in the context of IVR technology. Prior knowledge of these terms helps one to effectively communicate their needs with the service provider thereby ensuring that the most suitable IVR application is designed. For workable solutions, connect with us. Next2Call provides a wide range of dependable and affordable IVR services.