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evaluating ivr for usefulness

Let’s Evaluate the Usefulness of IVR Applications

IVR technology is really helpful, especially in call centres. In this blog, we’ll talk about why it’s so good and useful. Here, we are going to consider both its advantages and disadvantages so as to come to the right conclusion about its usefulness. Let’s begin!

IVR Solutions & Applicability

Before considering the advantages of IVR applications, it is important that we consider almost all the practical situations where IVR finds its applicability. This will help us better evaluate its importance. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are designed to perform various tasks and functions through automated phone interactions. Here are some common things that IVR can do:

Call Routing: IVR can route callers to the appropriate department or agent based on their selection or input. 

Information Retrieval: IVR systems can provide callers with information such as account balances, transaction history, product details, or FAQs. 

Transaction Processing: IVR allows users to perform transactions like bill payments, fund transfers, etc. 

Authentication and Verification: IVR systems can verify users’ identities through PINs, passwords, or voice recognition.

Appointment Scheduling: In healthcare and other industries, IVR can schedule appointments, confirm bookings, and send reminders.

Outbound Notifications: IVR can be used to make automated outbound calls for appointment reminders, delivery notifications, or payment reminders.

Survey and Feedback Collection: IVR can conduct automated surveys and gather feedback from callers.

Order Status and Tracking: Customers can use IVR to check the status of their orders, deliveries, or reservations. 

These are just a few examples of the tasks and functions that IVR systems can perform. IVR technology is versatile and can be customised to meet the specific needs of businesses and organisations in various industries.

Now, perform a simple analysis. All the practical uses above enumerated reveal the importance of an IVR application. It shows that IVR eliminates the need for live agents and automates the concerned activities. 

When this happens, the business using IVR can reduce human resources in the workforce. The reduction doesn’t affect the output thereby increasing productivity or efficiency. 

The Biggest Advantage

The above analysis brings out the biggest advantage of using IVR technology. This is the reduction in the number of agents you need to attend to people on the other side of the line. It means a reduced requirement for human resources in an organisation. This condition ultimately leads to an increase in the overall productivity. The reason behind this is the fact that the organisation is now able to do the same amount of work with fewer agents. Hence, operational costs go down while the level of productivity remains the same or increases!  

Other Benefits

Improved Customer Service: IVR applications are always active. It doesn’t matter when a caller calls. Thus, with an IVR in place, 24/7 customer support becomes cost-effective and feasible. 

Cost Savings: Suppose you want your business to entertain calls from customers 24/7 with respect to information retrieval. In that case, if you don’t use IVR, it is going to be super expensive with all the human resources you need. Thus, IVR applications make things easy and cost-effective.  

Scalability: Expanding the capacity of a business to handle more calls than usual (especially, in peak seasons) is made easy with IVR technology. A quick discussion with the service provider is sufficient in that regard. The service provider will instantly configure settings from his end to level his services up to your requirements. In contrast, without IVR, meeting high demand entails hiring more agents, leading to increased operational costs. IVR, therefore, offers the advantage of effortless scalability.  

Reduced Human Errors: Humans are often prone to making errors. But, when it comes to computing, the probability of such errors gets reduced. Thus, the deployment of IVR applications makes things error-free.  

Fast Resolution: IVR doesn’t just automate processes (i.e., call routing, information retrieval) and eliminates the need for human agents. It makes things faster as well. The fact is that computers work faster than human beings. 

These are additional benefits associated with implementing an IVR solution. However, the most significant one, as mentioned earlier, is its ability to automate routine phone tasks. This not only cuts operational costs but also boosts profits.

Drawbacks and Their Real Consequences

So far, we have analysed the positive aspects of IVR. The technology may seem to be beneficial entirely but it has certain downsides as well. Many people associate the following shortcomings with IVR technology. Let’s consider them.  

Lack of Human Interaction: Well, an IVR is a computer and thus it may not have a human touch. But, it is nothing before its benefits. 

User Frustration: User frustration isn’t primarily caused by an IVR application. Instead, it is the effect of a poorly designed call flow. Thus, it can be immediately fixed by deploying a well-designed IVR facility in place. 

Voice Recognition Challenges: Yes, it could be a real issue. However, it has a solution. You can use the IVR that interacts with a caller based on keypad-generated inputs. Thus, there would be no issues arising out of voice recognition technology.  

Complex Setup and Configuration: This complication can be eradicated immediately by reaching out to a professional service provider. 

Maintenance and Updates: the costs associated with the maintenance and updates of an IVR application are always more affordable than otherwise. You can only count this as a shortcoming if you haven’t analysed the benefits of IVR properly, or your business doesn’t need IVR applications in actuality.  

Integration Challenges: Well, of course, integration challenges may come but that is no excuse for not using IVR for automation. 

Among others, these disadvantages are frequently discussed in the context of IVR. We have also seen that these disadvantages are just peripheral and not of any crucial importance. The italicised text above explores the true nature of the disadvantages.  

Key Takeaways

At this point, it is crucial to consider that even though IVR has certain drawbacks, this should not overshadow the significant benefits it offers. In fact, the advantages of IVR technology far outweigh its shortcomings, making it an invaluable tool for automating voice interactions effectively.

For reliable IVR solutions, contact Next2Call—a trustworthy service provider.