Interactive voice response (IVR) Definition

What is Interactive Voice Response, or IVR?

This is an automated feature. A customer calls into your brand, and they can access the information they need via a voice response system or prerecorded messages. They don’t need to speak to an agent, although they can if they want, usually by pressing the zero button on their phone. Interactive voice response commonly also refers to touch-tone / button-press options for a customer, where pressing 1, 2, 3, etc. can send them to different departments or functions, and speaking the same commands can do that as well. In essence, it’s a form of automation whereby customers can get to their desired needs the fastest.

Most customers, in most surveys, ultimately want to speak to a human being – this is the primary criticism of outsourcing models, by far. Interactive Voice Response allows this process to happen more efficiently.