Interactive voice response (IVR)

Definition

Working via telephone keypad inputs or a customer’s vocal commands, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a technology used in contact centers for understanding why a customer is calling and in some situations for helping them to solve their own problem rather than wait on hold. For example, when phoning the customer will hear a recorded message giving a list of options and a corresponding number. By selecting a number on the telephone keypad, the customer will be routed to the right department or the right agent. IVR systems can also ask customers questions that help authenticate and pre-qualify the caller for security reasons, or can provide answers to simple questions, for example, in telephone banking an IVR could give a customer the balance of their account.