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Smart Call Center IVR: Refining a Long-Standing Problem

When it was developed, call center IVR (interactive voice response) changed the way call centers operated forever. Today, many call centers use some form of IVR. Since much of customer service takes place over phone calls, it only makes sense to automate those processes. But, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. This technology has been developing since it was created and many versions are available. Some are better than others, and a good understanding of IVR is necessary if you want to maximize the potential of this call center technology. 

What is IVR in a Call Center?

At the most basic level, an IVR is an answering machine that receives every customer request. Then, using the keypad or keyword instructions, IVR redirects calls to agents. 

Unfortunately, IVR represents frustrating customer service for many consumers because it uses route trees and keyword matching to understand customer requests. When they get on the line, customers are forced to listen to several options before pressing or saying a number.

Additionally, call center IVR often fails to resolve customer requests. It can’t automatically resolve them and it often doesn’t understand when to transfer them to an agent. This wastes time and leads to high caller abandonment rates.  But artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning have dramatically changed and improved traditional IVR systems. 

What is Smart IVR?

Smart IVRs use modern technology like conversational AI and natural language processing to determine customer intent, understand complex questions, and eliminate the need for clunky keyword communication. As a result, customers speak normally in a conversation with AI.

For example, Replicant’s Thinking Machine is built to handle a wide range of customer requests independently of an agent. It sets out to change customers’ negative perceptions of IVR contact centers while making stellar call centers affordable and dependable. Once you integrate Replicant’s advanced call center technologies, you’ll see customer satisfaction and cost savings spike. 

How Does Today’s Smart IVR Differ From Previous Versions of IVR?

Forrester considers whether IVRs are a necessary evil, old technology on its way out, or a strategic component of self-service. While customer feedback makes it easy to condemn IVRs of any type, it would be a mistake to reject IVR technology based on the versions first developed. 

Companies that put resources into call center IVR have realized that answering customer requests with automation doesn’t have to be bad. Customers interacting with smart IVRs are often surprised that they can ask any question without hopelessly confusing the machine. Heavy accents, unique dialects, and speech disabilities don’t affect its ability to understand. Businesswire predicts that speech-enabled IVR will become the preferred user interface in the coming years. 

What are Some Best Practices For IVR in Modern Call Centers?

If you decide to implement a call center IVR solution, you should use it to its fullest potential. Too often, when a new technology solution is introduced, teams are reluctant to put time into learning how to use it, and thus they never benefit from it. Replicant makes transitions easy, as it integrates into the processes you’re already using. 

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your IVR solution:

  • Get your agents on board with updating your call center. 
  • Implement a smart IVR solution for the best customer experience. 
  • Understand how it works and how each of its elements could benefit your business.

Try Replicant’s Solution

Our solutions use the latest in call center technology and offer an unmatched ROI. If you want to learn more about our technology and the difference it could make for your business, set up a  conversational AI demo and see for yourself.

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