Ask the Experts: How Has IVR Advanced Beyond Auto-Attendant?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ Cloud Evangelist Brandon Knight discusses how to effectively utilize advanced IVR features to streamline calls for both agents and customers with Evolve IP’s Rich Fox. Learn more about contact center solutions from the Evolve IP team here:

Brandon: Welcome back, guys. It’s time for another Ask the Experts session, and this time we’re going to be talking about advanced features of IVR. I want you to help me welcome to the studio Rich Fox, the VP of Contact Center Solutions at Evolve IP. Rich, how’s it going, buddy?
Rich: Very good. How are you doing today?
Brandon: Doing great, man. Thanks for taking the time out. And I want to dive right in. When I talk to people about IVRs, they typically say, “Oh yeah, that’s the automated attendant, right? It’s just a different name for it.” Or they say, “That’s the thing where you push 1 for sales and 2 for support.” But we’re seeing IVRs used a lot more effectively, and there’s some advanced features and functionalities that they have. Why don’t you tell us about that a little bit?
Rich: Sure. You’re absolutely right. IVR is a loaded term to a lot of people–a little bit of old school jargon–but it means a lot of different things. In today’s terminology, what I see it represent is some of the more advanced capabilities like you described.
It’s integrating with the business applications of each organization. It’s offering self-service capabilities to not only offload calls from the contact center, but be able to offer similar services you can do over a website during non-hours for things like transaction status, make a payment, things along those lines. It’s screen pop. It’s data driven routing to route callers based upon how important they are to an organization or what platinum customer they are. Things along those lines.
Brandon: Yeah. I agree. And I think we’re seeing it … Even though a lot of people don’t talk about it, when you can effectively utilize an IVR for call avoidance, you’re actually saving the company money, right? Because we know the most expensive resource is the actual person. People don’t really say that upfront a lot of times, but sometimes, a good IVR is just to ensure that a customer doesn’t get to a live agent unless they really have an issue that requires a live agent, right?
Rich: Correct. You’re looking at call avoidance in some instances, which people like; but in many cases, it may just mean less questions or more focused questions that get to the agent. They got status, for instance, of their transaction, but now they have a very pointed question about why things are delayed or what the next step is. It cuts a lot of time out of the call for the agent because they’ve received the information directly through the IVR.
Brandon: I agree. And I think one of the good things that we’re also seeing is now we’re seeing good analytics. We’re seeing good data come out of IVR usage. Now agents are armed with a little bit more information once that call comes through. They know what prompts you chose. They know what you were trying to do. And I think that’s really helping us be able to deliver a better level of customer service, as well.
Rich: Yeah, absolutely. Knowing the caller’s experience, knowing the information that already occurred in the IVR, knowing you’ve that already authenticated them–can all lead to a more streamlined call where the agent can deliver great service and deliver higher customer satisfaction.
Brandon: Well, there you go, guys. IVRs are now way more advanced beyond a simple stage 2 auto attendant. Rich, thank you for your time, man.
Rich: Thank you very much.
Brandon: For those of you who want to find out more about Evolve IP, please check them out at iCSU.