What is IVR Outsourcing ?
A company may outsource IVR operation to IVR supplier or Hosted IVR Service providers. IVR Outsourcing means rent a IVR number where a company’s customer or caller may call and obtain company’s information, resources, avail service, complaints etc. The outsourcing company does not need to invest anything on IVR infrastructure like powerful servers, power backup, CTI boards, IVR software, record voice prompts, Web Server etc. In short, A company may avail everything that an IVR offers him without having to invest initial hardware, software, costly and time consuming development cost of IVR system. Outsourcing company can can view any information, data generated by IVR system real time and get even get alerts for any emergency or urgent requests.
Why outsource IVR operation to IVR Supplier?
According to my opinion, smaller companies which do not have very large number of clients which need IVR support should opt for IVR outsourcing. Here are few advantages of IVR outsourcing:-
1. Fast implementation
One may set up the IVR system quickly as IVR Hosting provider has all the required IVR hardware, Software, voice prompts, skilled and trained IVR professionals are available for quick implementation and customization.
2. Low initial investment and fixed recurring expenses
Large initial required for self hosted IVR can be avoided with IVR outsourcing. Every system that runs 24 hours a day, 365 a day needs few minimum infrastructure, human resource which may not be a viable option. Even after the initial investment, there are recurring expenses like call charges, human resource, power etc.
3. Easy Support
Since, it is outsourced, you may expect less downtime for the IVR system. Some changes in IVR call flow or some instant and urgent high volume of calls for few days could be easily arranged wiht IVR outsourcing company. If there is urgent need for capacity increase in self hosted IVR for few days, it would have been a night mare.
How to choose a IVR outsourcing company or IVR Supplier ?
One may be confused how to choose an IVR outsourcing company as there are now many companies who provide hosted IVR services. Here are few points one may consider while deciding on a IVR outsourcing company :-
How large is the IVR outsourcing company in terms of telephone lines, power back up, skilled manpoer to attend any future IVR up-gradation.
2. Quality of MIS report
MIS report of IVR system is very important for a company. One may actually improve upon its product quality as well as service quality if one is able to analyze IVR call patterns with given MIS report. So I recommend to check MIS report provided but IVR outsourcing company, how well they organise their MIS report, online and offline, alert system
3. Features and Cost
I think cost is also a very important factor. But one may have to pay more for better and more features. A well thought out trade-off is recommended. But one should not compromise essential features. Essential features may be different for different kind of organisation, IVR requirement. Also one should not look over cost of any future upgradation as well as change in IVR call flow.
4. Confidentiality of Information
Some organisation may like to keep their client information confidential. This aspect should also be discussed with IVR outsourcing company.
5. Integration with Existing Software of the Company
This may be real issue while deciding IVR hosting company. Most of the companies use IVR as a force multiplier and they already have large customized software their customer support or any other resources site. Now making them available to IVR system at the IVR outsourcing company may be costly and time consuming affair!
Disadvantages of IVR outsourcing
1. Crucial customer information
2. Problem in integration of existing software of the company.
3. Online monitoring of customer calls.
Finally, I think, IVR outsourcing will grow more and more. IVR is already thought and provided as a service. So it is logical that there will be more IVR hosting provider and even IVR development companies would graduate to become IVR Hosting service provider.