When to Consider Deploying IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Technology?

IVR technology is best used to complete tasks that are repetitious and handled by one or more individuals.   The most common deployment of IVR technology is Touch Tone Banking.  The use of web based applications to collect data has far surpassed IVR deployments, but because of the universal use of telephones and the fact that phone coverage is much better than internet coverage, IVR is an important tool to consider.  Areas where an IVR might be considered useful are routing calls to a destination by zip code, area code, office code prefix,  filling out survey’s, or notifying large groups of people of an event (Phone Tree).

The best uses of this technology are typically not invented by those of us in the telephony marketplace, but by managers working to cut costs by making their workforce more efficient.  An IVR can eliminate repetitious tasks, making more time for your employees to handle other tasks.   The best way for a manager to consider if this technology is going to be helpful is to think of an IVR as a telephony interface to your data, similar to deploying a Web interface to your data (Web Site).  Next, look around your business and watch what your employees are doing over and over again on the telephone.  What data are they collecting from your customers?  Is that data being looked up frequently?   How much time is it taking your staff?  Could your staff be doing something more productive with that time?  If the answers are yes, then consider deploying IVR technology.

Craig Hodges




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