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Article : Use Smart IVR to Improve Your Agents’ Efficiency

#contactcenterworld, @CallStudio

Author: Chidiogo Emmanuel, Digital Communications, Call Center Studio

A Smart IVR goes beyond "Press 1, 2 or 3…" options and delivers solutions that help your call center improve metrics such as Average Handling Time (AHT) and First Call Resolution (FCR).

Auto routing of Inbound calls to the right agent(s), facilitating payment, voice interaction, and customer recognition by name are just a few of the many features a Smart IVR delivers to your contact center.

A well-planned IVR reflects your customer’s needs with menu options that prioritize previously documented customer journeys.

Your agents need not attend to everyday customer tasks such as checking their account balance or paying bills. Smart IVRs save customers time with self-service, ensuring a better customer service level for your contact center.

However, you must understand that while availability, speed of complaint resolution, and convenience are paramount to customers, nothing beats personalized experiences that deliver a you-only customer feeling.

How can Smart IVR enhance your call center customer experience?

Contrary to thoughts that IVRs try to prevent agents from dealing with too many customers, it ensures customers have a smooth and relevant path to resolving their queries by the best-fit agent or department.

Customers quickly draw the above conclusions following the roadblocks posed by poorly designed IVRs with too many menu options, lacking the ability to track the customer journey.

According to American Express, 67 percent of customers hang up the phone in frustration when they can’t reach a customer service representative. Sixty-eight percent attribute positive CX to dealing with the same agent, while 62 percent specify the agent’s knowledge and resourcefulness as a determinant factor of a good CX.

Turn your agents into consultants.

With Smart IVR, your agents wouldn’t need to handle tasks that make your call center operations less efficient – such as redirecting/forwarding calls to the correct department or having to ask questions with "obvious" answers.

Often, customers get to answer the same questions every time they reach a call center agent, despite having called a couple of times in the past. It is one reason why IVRs have increasingly become the not-so-favorite touchpoint for customers.

An IVR should automatically recognize a caller’s phone number based on historical interaction data with your business without delaying forward to the most appropriate agent.

Your IVR should make your agents more reliant on their knowledge and skills, eliminate all boring routines while building a better contact center-customer relationship.

What makes a Smart IVR?

Scalable infrastructure

For large companies, the quick & easy scalability feature of a Smart IVR makes it a walk-in-the-park to build and deploy in multiple regions and languages.

After setting up your IVR, you don’t need to worry about building new flows when deploying in other business locations.

A Smart IVR can be set up and deployed in under 15 mins. The AI-functionality can read from a defined database of information and deliver excellent customer experiences in your defined languages.

Speech recognition

Gone are the days when a customer had to press certain buttons to access services on your IVR system, Smart IVRs make interaction with your business more human-like and a friend who remembers.

It eliminates the need to navigate complex and often frustrating menus leading to callers exiting without having solutions to their queries.

With Smart IVRs, you can handle Identification and verification processes.

Customers can provide details such as account number, date of birth, and address using speech, minimizing call length and operational cost for your business.

By 2024, the speech recognition industry will be worth over four billion US dollars. Equipping your contact center for the future puts you ahead of the growing demand for top-notch service from customers.

Natural Language Understanding

Callers don’t need to speak in a particular way to be understood by your IVR. With Google Dialogflow as the NLP, your IVR system can recognize caller intents without them having to use pre-defined queries.

For example, the intent of a user could be to determine the working hours of a business. This can be in different expressions;

"What time do you open"?

"What time does your store open"?

"Are you open on the weekends"?

"Can I come around on Saturday"?

Dialogflow processes these queries, groups them into similar intent to provide the best-fit response through your IVR system.

NLP helps the effective use of self-service as customers can solve some issues without requiring a live agent.


You can integrate your IVR system to payment gateways and CRM for a multi-channel customer experience.

IVR payment gives customers a feeling of security and convenience while reducing interaction with agents.

You can set up payment methods for services or products and customer servicing of bills.

Unlike the conventional IVR systems, which offer voice prompts that route callers to live customer service agents, it replaces needless human interaction and improves self-service.

Customers feel more secure, as they don’t have to disclose their payment details to agents.

CRM integration helps your agents keep track of customer journeys with your business across different channels. Smart IVRs can pull in the history of Calls, Social media, or website, chatbot interaction to a dashboard, thereby aiding easy addressing of customer needs.

Seamless integration with your existing tools enables the Smart IVR to get the correct information at the right time, giving your customer an easy-to-navigate journey. It also allows the customer to be forwarded to a live agent without frustration if they request so.

Predictive call handling

Because Smart IVRs keep records of a customer’s interaction with your call center, it quickly identifies a caller’s intent, delivering personalized menus, or routes a caller to the correct destination or agent faster.


An excellent IVR accelerates the swift identification of issues and quick fixes before your call center performance goes downhill.

Linking up your IVR to Google data studio provides you with real-time analytics and performance reports that help with actionable insights to optimize your agents’ performances and IVR system.

You can get real-time information on the number of people attempting a payment, the number completing payment, and those who couldn’t go due to bottlenecks.

Analytics on Smart IVRs also gives deep insight into day-to-day performance and helps identify potential issues before impacting customer experiences.

What’s next?

Your IVR is most often the first contact of your customers with your business. Therefore, it is vital to make it a worthwhile and memorable experience for callers.

Do you have questions about setting up a Smart IVR for your contact center operations? We’ve got you. Speak to an expert.

#contactcenterworld, @CallStudio

About Call Center Studio:
Company LogoCall Center Studio is a Google-powered contact center software that delivers the best experiences for your business, customers, and agents.
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2022 Buyers Guide Visual Communications

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Co-Browsing Integration
Co-Browsing is the practice of web-browsing where two or more people are navigating through a website on the internet. Software designed to allow Co-Browsing focuses on providing a smooth experience as two or more users use their devices to browse your website. In other words, your customer can permit the agent to have partial access to his/ her screen in real-time.

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