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Picking the Best IVR System for Your Business

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In business, a company’s telephone system has the power to greatly aid its operations due to automation; this is made possible through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

If you’re just getting started in business or intending to start one, we’re sure you’re looking for the tools and technology you’ll need to get the job done right. It could be anything from project management tools to payroll management services to asset management systems or even IVR systems.

Each of these technologies is unique and often comes with a set of features and capabilities that set it apart from its peers. In this blog, we will look at the 10 factors to consider in order to choose the best IVR system. We will investigate its technical aspects as well as its other capabilities.

Here is a snap look at the 10 factors to consider when choosing an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

1) Number of Regions or Branches Your Business Has
Before you can get started with choosing an IVR system, you first need to determine how many regions or branches your business needs support for. For this reason, if your business has numerous regional offices, service centers or even a large number of branch outlets, then it is best to choose an IVR system that supports multiple regions. This way, you can also take advantage of the multi-site features to different branches and thus have the IVR system manage the call queues accordingly. This will ensure a seamless flow of customer requests on every division or branch of your business.

2) Prioritized Call Centers
If your business has several call centers, then you need an interactive voice response (IVR) system that is capable of prioritizing calls to various centers. A call queue management system is therefore essential for your multi-site operations. This will allow you to maintain a balance between your main and branch offices or divisions with regard to call queues where you can fairly handle customer inquiries across all the branches in a centralized manner.

3) Complexity of Call Queues
There are several types of call queues, which you can choose from depending on your business requirements. For instance, if your business prefers the “first-in-first-served” approach, then it is best to choose a basic call queue system that doesn’t have multiple levels of hierarchy; this way you don’t need to deal with the complexities of assigning particular call queues to certain branches.

4) Business Type and Industry Sector
The types of business you are involved in will also largely determine the type of IVR system you will need to suit your needs. Consequently, if you have a banking business with several departments or divisions, then you should choose an IVR system that has separate queues for each division. This ensures efficient management of calls to these different departments and thus provides your customers with speedy resolutions to their inquiries.

5) Service-Level Agreements (SLA)
Before choosing an IVR system that will meet all of your business requirements, it’s also a good idea to get in touch with your telecommunications provider. They will be able to tell you which type of call center system is available and can provide a service-level agreement (SLA) for your business requirements. If you have any doubts, it’s best to consult with an IT expert in determining the best IVR system for your business.

6) Number of Lines and Calls Queued
Your business may have a set number of incoming phone lines, which means you will need an IVR system that can handle the number of calls expected. It’s also best to choose an interactive voice response (IVR) system that comes with the capacity to hold more than one call at a time in order to avoid any service disruptions.

7) IVR Media Server Capacity
Another important feature to consider is the number of media servers your business needs when choosing an interactive voice response (IVR) system. The more media servers your business requires, then the greater the performance and efficiency you can expect from it. If your business will be handling large amounts of call traffic, then it is best to choose an IVR system that comes with a high-capacity media server.

8) High Availability and Scalability
In order to ensure that your business will never be affected by any service issues when choosing an interactive voice response (IVR) system, it’s important to choose one that offers a high availability of 99.999%. This kind of system has the ability to handle any disaster or emergency and is highly scalable; this means that it can accommodate changes in your business needs when they arise.

9) Active Directory Support for Access Control
Do you already have a directory service set up within your business? If so, then you should choose an interactive voice response (IVR) system that supports this already in place access control. This will help you gain greater control over your business through its unified directory services.

10) Multimedia Capabilities
Does your business need the ability to store and playback sound files? Then it’s important to invest in an interactive voice response (IVR) system that can accommodate this. Multimedia capabilities are very important if your business relies on e-learning or lead generation through voice prompts and multimedia files.

These interactive voice response (IVR) systems will help you meet all of the important requirements needed for a scalable, cost-effective customer service center. Therefore, it’s a good idea to choose one that can help you monitor the activity of your business and streamline the workflow between agents, supervisors and managers for improved performance.

While this is not an exhaustive list of considerations when choosing an IVR system for your business, it will provide you with a good place to start in order to get the best interactive voice response (IVR) system for your business.

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