IVR Short for Interactive Voice Response is a telephony system that is automated and interacts with callers via incoming calls to the call centres. The main purpose is to gather information and route the calls to the appropriate helpdesk agents that have the necessary skillsets to assist the user in their issues that are related to the company’s product or service.
This means that the call centre will need to install the IVR software that integrated with their system to include the features of voice telephone input and the selection of touch-tone keypad that provides the responses in the form of automated voice reply for the callback, email, and other contact methods.
IVR software applications in the system are consists of the telephony equipment as the point of contact between the helpdesk agents and the callers, a database of the callers and the supporting infrastructure to run the call centre operations. Companies that use the IVR as the in-house software will either need to purchase the software and even hardware if required or they can choose the option to use the IVR hosting service which the service provider will charges the company either a monthly or yearly fee depends on the contractual agreement.
To elaborate further for your understanding, IVR application usually provides the pre-recorded voice responses the moment the caller call the hotline which provides the necessary instruction to guide the callers to select the most relevant options using the keypad in their phone. This, in turn, triggers a response which the keypad will send the signal to the call centre server and either route the call to the appropriate agents or responses with the voice information. Since the IVR systems use the computer telephony integration (CTI), the software can relay the call to a human being aka the call agent who can view data related to the caller on the display of their computer screen One thing to note that the IVR software in the system use the dual-tone-multi-frequency (DTMF) signals as the main line of communication between the phone and a computer which the computer will use the telephony board or card to read and understand DTMF signals to allow the helpdesk agents to communicate efficiently with the caller.
In summary, getting a IVR software for the call centre is to purchase the software and install it to their call centre telephone system whereas getting the IVR service is to use the IVR service which is provided and managed by the third-party service provider which the call centre can use the IVR functions for the call centres hotline service.