How to Choose the Best IVR Service Provider – The Complete Guide

The interactive Voice Response System (IVR) has become an important tool for many businesses. If you look back a decade from now, IVR Systems were not that popular. However, with businesses adopting the digital platform, the adaptability of IVR Systems has increased.

Companies flash their business phone numbers on websites, emailers, social media profiles, and ads to expect a call back from potential customers. Here IVR plays an important role in routing the call to the right department or person.

Renowned companies are now prioritizing a customer-centric approach that considers IVR as a crucial part of their overall customer-care offering—and they have a strong financial return to do so. For example, at one North American financial institution, every year more than ten million customer requests are completed by IVR. This comprises 50 percent of the total call volume the company receives.

According to a recent study, an IVR can cost less than $1 per contact when compared to live chat at $5 per contact, or telephone-based customer service which ranges from $6 to over $12 per contact. Additionally, it makes customers happier.  This is the real business benefit.

In this blog, you will know what factors you should consider while choosing an IVR Service provider.

Does Your Company Need an IVR?

Before choosing an IVR Service provider, you have to analyze if you really need the system. Your business or organization will need an IVR System if it falls under any of the following criteria:

  • Companies with multiple branch offices
  • Companies having clients at several locations
  • Businesses with an online presence such as websites, social media pages, and online listings
  • Organizations with multiple departments such as sales, support, marketing
  • E-commerce companies
  • Service providers offering multiple services
  • Hospitals and government departments

This is just a basic list, which will give you an idea if your business needs an IVR. The ultimate decision will depend on your business requirements and analysis.

Choosing Your IVR Service Provider

Now that you have decided to go for an IVR System, you need to search for some of the best IVR providers. There are two types of IVR systems that will influence your decision to select an IVR service provider:

  1. On-Premise IVR
  2. Cloud-Based IVR

In the case of an On-Premise IVR, the setup is done in your office physically. This involves a lot of hardware and a complex wiring system. Whereas in the case of a Cloud-based IVR, the entire setup is on the cloud, which does not need any kind of wiring. You just need to configure the IVR from the dashboard provided by your service provider.

If you prefer an on-premise IVR then you may choose local IVR providers. For example, a Google search with keywords IVR providers in India, IVR providers in Africa, IVR companies in Bangladesh, etc. can give you the complete list of service providers.

On the other hand, if you prefer a Cloud-based IVR, you can avail of solutions from any company globally. You do not need to go for a local IVR provider.

Factors to Consider While Choosing an IVR Service Provider

Some of the factors, which you should keep in mind while choosing an IVR Solution provider are mentioned below:

1- Multi-level System

A multi-level IVR should be your first consideration while opting for an IVR solution. By multi-level, it means there should be a hierarchy in the system. An automated receptionist that permits you to add IVR at different levels.

For example, press 1 for sales, Press 2 for support. When the caller press 1; the call will get routed to the second level IVR or sales or support IVR.

 2- Cloud Solution

Compared to an on-premise solution, a cloud-based IVR solution offers numerous benefits. Most important is the freedom from complex installation and high cost. Check with your solution provider, if he or she offers a cloud service.

Even if you do not have anyone in your region offering a cloud-based solution, you always have the chance to select IVR providers from other countries.

 3- Easy Configuration

If you select a cloud IVR provider, there is a high chance that you will be asked to do the configuration yourself. Most cloud-based IVR models can be configured without any external help. Your cloud IVR solution provider may offer you some tutorials referring to which you can do the configuration.

However, you should keep in mind not to go for complex systems. If you find the setup quite confusing better check with other IVR solution providers.

 4- Text-to-speech Conversion

Do you know IVR recording can cost you a lot of money? Go for a solution that comes with a text-to-speech conversion feature. This will be a great help for you as your IVR menu is subject to changes based on your business decisions.

Every time, you make changes in your IVR process, you cannot afford to get recordings done for your IVR. With a smart text-to-speech conversion feature, you can make changes to your IVR system anytime.

 5- Intelligent Call Routing

Call routing is the main element of an IVR System or cloud PBX system. Talk to your IVR service provider and understand the process. An automatic call routing process connects the customer to the right agent. This helps in minimizing delays in customer problem resolution on call.

With an intelligent call routing system, the call waiting time is also reduced to a great extent, which encourages customers to rate your business high. Call dropping issues are also minimized with this feature.

 6- Automatic Call Recording

Evaluating your inbound calls from time to time is an effective way to make your customer service better. You can achieve this goal with the automatic call recording feature of your IVR system. These recordings can be utilized during the training session of your call center agents.

Business call recordings also prove useful in case of customer disputes. You can present these recordings to legal authorities if such a situation arises in the future.

7- Click to Call Buttons

A very important feature, Click-to-call is very useful for businesses. It helps website owners increase their conversion from the website. By adding a clicking-to-call button on your website, you can allow your website visitors to call you with a single click. As there is no cost involved in making the calls, potential customers do not hesitate to place a call.

Click-to-call is a very premium feature, all IVR providers may not offer it. You need to check with the solution provider if you are getting this feature in your package.

 8- Detailed Reporting

The reporting system is a must feature for every business communication tool. The same applies to your IVR System. You need to have your call analytics ready before you decide the future course of action. With an efficient call reporting system, you can check your call center agent’s productivity. You can also check the destinations from where you are getting maximum inbound calls and decide accordingly.

9- Try Before Buy?

Every software should be purchased after a proper trial to prevent any wrong decisions. If you opt for a cloud-based IVR system, you have the chance to try it before purchasing. The same will not be possible for an on-premise IVR, which has a long installation process.

Cloud IVR Providers offers a trial of products starting from 7-14 days. During this period you can test all features and purchase the software if you are satisfied with the performance.

10- Dedicated Support

When you buy software, you expect dedicated support in case of any glitch. Go for a solution provider, which offers multi-platform support such as assistance on call, chat, email, etc. As your IVR system will handle hundreds of calls per day, you should enjoy a very efficient and prompt support system to prevent any kind of downtime.

An IVR system is the main channel of business communication, so you should choose your IVR service provider very carefully analyzing all factors.

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