An interactive voice response system, henceforth referred to as an IVR system, is a custom made automated voice dialing, receiving, recording and rerouting system. It is interactive in the sense that it automatically answers voice calls and plays back to the caller a predefined set of options the caller can choose from by dialing the given key combination while the call is still in session. The message options played back to the caller are the services or help information that the service provider has to offer to the client calling. By choosing any options, the caller can obtain information such as:
· Requirements for becoming a customer
· New services, offers and promotions
· Automatically connect caller to internal extensions such as sales, customer care,technical help etc
· Playback of offers,promotions and adverts when the call is on hold
· Receiving of complaints, comments or extraordinary requests as a voice mail to be acted upon by staff
· Request for general client information
This information is defined by the service provider and can be added, deleted or changed at the touch of a button.The information played back is collected from the public relations officers or staff in charge of the relevant product or service to ensure accuracy and relevancy. The information is professionally recorded in a sound studio for clarity when playing back to the caller. The sound files are then installed in the IVR system and mapped to the various options.
The advantages of using this platform are numerous:
1. The system automates the handling of mundane requests such as frequently asked questions to ease the load on the customer care staff who will only handle extraordinarily requests
2. The system also works round the clock to ensure callers from any time zone are serviced regardless of time of call. Hence no calls are lost due to staff being too busy, offline or non working hours
3. A similar IVR system we developed for the Office of the President simultaneously handles over 1000 calls. This is equal to having 1000 live customer care agents to answer the calls and give the same information that the system can play back. Hence callers will never be kept on hold which is expensive and inconvenient.
4. Extraordinary requests such as change of password can be received 24 hours a day as a voice mail containing the customer’s account number and other verification details and the system will notify the relevant staff in charge to effect.
5. It can automate the connecting of callers to an extension to ease the burden on front office staff
6. It is customized to the banks requirements hence can be updated or modified when need arises to increase efficiency and productivity.
this tree shows a sample tree of the options that can be programmed into the IVR systems.