The Five Most Important Attributes of an IVR System
September 16, 2010
By Juliana Kenny, TMCnet Managing Editor
IVR systems have developed over the last several years to combine telephony and computer technologies for improved functionality. In the most basic sense, IVR systems automate telephone calls simplifying the call process for businesses. Through enterprise data integration, IVR systems allow caller information to be stored, processed, and analyzed accurately in real-time. In a cost-effective, time-efficient way, IVR improves customer relationship management by enabling the call center agent to gain access to the customer's history with the company.
Certain factors should be considered when properly choosing an IVR system for your company. The top five are:
Flexibility -- IVR systems integrate with everything from backend databases to PBX (News - Alert) systems. The right IVR system can provide benefits such as extensive integration capability, standard application development and maintenance, real-time application modification, and unparalleled portability. Plum Voice solutions are able to integrate with nearly any database. Plum's IVR features are designed to support any backend requirements. Telephony applications are easily modified through IVR systems, and they allow for plenty of creativity and deployment.
Reliability – IVR systems are not always built to process calls perfectly every time, but Plum's enterprise class systems have a zero call failure rate. Your IVR system should use hardware and software components that have the capacity to handle billions of calls.
Ease of Administration – Many IVR systems require intensive management including adding capacity and applications while reviewing logs and reports. Ideally, these processes remain simple, easy to use, and not time consuming so call center agents and supervisors can remain efficient. Browser-based control interfaces from Plum Voice make managing your IVR system convenient and straightforward.
Cost of Ownership and Maintenance Costs -- It's always a good idea to keep in mind the external and internal costs when choosing an IVR system. Reasonable pricing combined with superior performance leaves you and your business rest assured that the IVR system will perform reliably and not pinch your pocket. If an IVR system is built with top notch commodity hardware, the cost is lower, and the performance is better.
Services and Support -- Having a 24/7 support staff monitoring your IVR system with real-time available backup support is vital for any enterprise solution. Telecom outages result in huge losses of time and money, so the system support must be ready at all times. Luckily, Plum's team provides application assistance, 24/7 monitoring, and software upgrades so your business can maintain optimal productivity.
Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.
Edited by Juliana Kenny