IVR (Interactive Voice Response) System is solution that perform specific tasks related to presenting, sharing gathering information of a company with its customers or any one over phone. With fast development of internet, IVR systems too have moved from on-premise system to hosted service.
How it evolved
Like any other computer software, IVR has evolved from standalone application to highly networked application with many intelligence as per industry where it is being used. For example, a typical voice portal application fetches data from many different servers located at various geographical locations. The main CTI server is normally located at telecom service provider while all contents, MIS etc are contactly updated, monitored from office of the voice portal operators, all using internet as backbone.
Similarly, other IVR applications like complaint management, company information, IVR survey, hotel information etc. could be hosted at remote sites and its activities, reports could be viewed, analyzed live using internet connection or on website. So, IVR as a hosted service has evolved and is growing.
How it works
Hosted IVR service providers offers the following services to its customer:-
1. Dedicated Telephone number which will receive calls from/make calls to its customers.
2. DIY ( Do it yourself) visual tools for designing their IVR call flow
3. Third party database integration or integration with existing CRM ( Customer Resource Management) software.
4. Any customised call flow implementation
5. Maintenance, upgrade of the IVR system.
A hosted IVR service provider has infrastructure which is already connected to telecom operators for managing telephone call related activities as well as integration of CTI boards with telephone switch, call routing. It also has CDR MIS available online for any customers for their allotted telephone numbers or channel(s). It can allocate more channels to handle more calls simultaneously.
A hosted IVR customer only need to worry about their application part, their call flow, IVR prompts, script etc.
- People who are not convinced about success of IVR implementation or its usefulness for his business process, using hosted IVR service is the best option. As hosted IVR service offers him quickest time for go live with an IVR system.
- Initial cost of CTI board, time spent on integration with telephone switch etc. are avoided while using a hosted IVR service.
There are many tools which can be used for hosted IVR services. Invox, Apexvoice, Pronexus VBVoice, CT ADE etc. are few tools which are widely used for hosted IVR service.
Hosted IVR has started in India in the form of Bulk outbound voice messages recently which is being increasingly used for political campaign, awareness campaign, e-governance as well as voice advertising. “Click to Call” is another hosted IVR service which is growing in India recently.