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What is an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR)?

Published in IVR (Interactive voice response)

An IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response system and is the intelligent brain within any telephony platform.

"Press 1 for sales, press 2 for technical support, press 3...". This is just one of the many things an IVR is responsible for.
All calls to Belfabriek's customer phone numbers are also handled by our in-house developed IVR.

In this article you will learn how IVR increases caller and employee satisfaction and how this 'super-smart phone system in the cloud' saves time and money.

What can an IVR do?

An IVR greets callers and helps them speak to the right person or get help as quickly as possible.
To do this, the IVR can use data from the phone call, such as the calling or called number, the day and time of the call, or the keys on the phone to make choices.
In addition, an IVR may have data such as your company's opening hours or know which employees are available or unavailable.
An IVR also acts as a telephone switchboard: devices can register on this platform and become reachable.
For every incoming call, the IVR thinks first: can I transfer, can I transfer, to whom should I transfer, or should I play an announcement or ask something first.
The more advanced IVR systems can also use speech recognition, allowing you to give voice commands to the system. Our IVR is linked to the Google Dialogflow voicebot, which allows you to programme intelligent voice bots to automatically handle a call. The Google Dialogflow voicebot can understand products and commands at multiple levels to help customers. Google Dialogflow can also transfer calls.

You will often find an IVR system in financial institutions that receive a lot of voice calls. By quickly transferring or automatically handling an incoming call to the right department, money is saved and a high level of customer satisfaction is achieved. An IVR reduces the frustration customers feel when they call this financial institution.

Telecom operators and carriers use an IVR for missed call notification. If a call is not answered, the user receives a missed call alert text message with the time of the call.
Many web shops and e-commerce companies also want to set up their own IVR to get automatic routing of incoming calls and no longer depend on SaaS solutions that may or may not do what is expected.

Belfabriek offers an Interactive Voice Response system as its own platform. You can host this IVR in your own data centre on your own servers or opt for a fully managed IVR in our data centre. We provide inbound and outbound telephony via a SIP trunk.

We give you access to the source code and you can program it yourself or we can program an API for you so that you can talk to that API yourself from your software: the choice is yours. We program an IVR exactly the way you want it.

If you have a lot of people in the office, an IVR is an attractive solution. All calls stay local and are handled on your own network, and you have full control. So you get exactly what you want, and you don't have software that does more. Your IVR remains stable and meets your exact requirements. This also allows call centres to program a completely separate IVR platform for multi-level customer support (multi-level IVR).

This may all sound a bit technical and overwhelming, but the examples below show how this works in practice and how companies and organisations from small to large are using these capabilities.

  • Greeting the caller
    An IVR can greet your callers with a friendly, pre-recorded message. With a welcome text, the IVR immediately puts the caller at ease. Conversely, an IVR can play a message telling the caller when you will be available or how to contact you in an emergency, for example, outside of business hours when no one is available.

  • Transfer the caller to the right agent
    Callers can be automatically transferred to the right agent. For example, an IVR can automatically transfer your callers to the nearest branch based on the caller's area code or by asking them to enter the digits of their postcode. You can also use an IVR to transfer callers to different departments. Here the caller is presented with a list of options from which they can choose using the keys on the phone; the familiar "press 1 for...".

    Are all callers answered by a group of colleagues and do you want to distribute the work evenly among the available staff? An IVR can do this automatically. Incoming calls are automatically routed to the employee who has not received a call for the longest time.

  • Automate telephone customer service
    If you often have to answer the same questions with the same answer, the IVR offers a solution. Record answers to common questions as recorded messages and offer them via the IVR. After the recorded answer is played, you can still give the caller the option to be transferred to an agent via the IVR for further questions.

  • Handling high call volumes¬†
    An IVR can handle an unlimited number of calls at the same time and put callers on hold if necessary. If the queue is too long, you can offer callers the option to leave a voicemail message.

The benefits of an IVR

An IVR offers many more possibilities than a regular PBX. Whether you use a national or local number, when you have your phone number connected through Belfabriek, you have access to all these IVR features and much more!

More advantages of an IVR? Why should every business use it?

  • Increase customer satisfaction.
    Because you start the call on the IVR with a friendly welcome message and callers are not transferred more often than necessary, they come to your agent with a much more positive attitude. When an effective IVR ensures that callers are put straight through to the right person, callers also get their questions answered more quickly and problems can be resolved immediately. That makes for happy customers and happy agents!

  • Works more efficiently¬†
    If callers are more likely to be put straight through to the right person, it also means that colleagues are less likely to get questions they don't know the answer to or have to transfer the caller to someone else. This means that everyone can focus on their own area of expertise and develop more in-depth knowledge.

  • Saves costs and is profitable¬†
    A well-designed IVR system makes everyone's job easier. And because you can answer questions and solve problems more quickly, your agents have more time to do other, more important things.

  • Strengthen your image¬†
    Fast inbound customer support via IVR shows that your company is a professional organisation. It builds trust with your callers.

Record your phone number now!

Take advantage of your visit to our website to register your own IVR-enabled phone number now. Choose online from a large number of available (inter)national numbers!

Frequently asked questions:

Our IVR is exactly what you want: single or multi-level IVR.

We supply to financial institutions and are familiar with all the requirements.

We also supply to telecom operators and carriers and are familiar with all the applicable requirements.

This depends on the number of telephone channels available.

With our IVR you can program and configure everything yourself (C##) or we can program an API for you.

Our IVR system is linked to the Google Dialogflow voicebot, so you can start setting up rules and behaviours straight away.

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