Why Does Merchant Hunter Work?
We connect trusted sellers and buyers. Do not spend time looking for the best deal online on interactive voice response – we will find it for you. Fill out the quick form above to get competitive price quotes from local dealers who will compete for your business.
Buying Guide for Interactive Voice Response
Any business today can benefit from use of a quality interactive voice response (IVR) system, which automatically supplies callers seeking general information with recorded details and explanations.
These systems provide potential customers and new clients with updated product and service offerings of the company, streamlining customer service operations while leaving trained employees free to handle the immediate and important questions and issues of loyal client bases, business associates and affiliate companies.
Well-designed IVR systems are cost-efficient and easily installed. Although the majority of business owners and operators today are quite familiar with use of IVR installations to solve heavy inbound customer calls and consumer inquiries, this modern technology is also helpful for processing customer phone orders. Without the need of additional sales order employees, companies can benefit from a professional IVR setup that accepts orders 24/7/365.
The most effective interactive voice response systems provide callers with all the important basic information about the products and services of a business, directing callers to other internal phone extensions for additional data and explanations. These top quality IVR designs include a tree, or branching menu structure with sub-menus, prompts and recorded or staff-provided answers and resolutions.
Customers are able to locate the items or information that they are seeking quickly and efficiently, as any well experienced IVR system seller will explain. Effective IVR systems are also of great assistance in supplying information to mobile staff members.
These employees can call the system at any hour to access news concerning immediate assignments and important auto-updates concerning assignment status, important company employee bulletins and other work-related data. These systems are especially beneficial for outbound customer support follow-up calls and surveys.
Simply by pressing numbers on the keypads of their telephones, employees can receive any automated messages their supervisors and company executives issue for their information. Also, with a quality, full-service IVR system, callers can utilize the speech recognition feature to make menu selections verbally. In addition, they can use text-to-speech functions that read material from a database, minus any pre-recording. A comprehensive and well-prepared IVR Buyer's Guide will assist business owners in making an informed purchase decision for new automated interactive voice response systems by providing them with such valuable information as the following:
- Ways to accurately compare different IVR systems;
- What primary features to focus on for new IVR installation;
- What qualities to look for when choosing an IVR dealer;
- Fair pricing for advanced, full-feature IVR technology today.
In addition to the major features of immediate information access without the need for employee assistance, there are several key aspects of a highly effective IVR system that buyers should evaluate before selecting an interactive voice response installation for their offices:
Speech Recognition.One of the outstanding advantages of modern IVR technology is the feature of caller voice translation. The system's computerized technology can operate quickly and accurately based on its translation of customers' verbal requests and responses.
Text-to-Speech.A primary advantage of current IVR technology is the capacity to extract information from a database and present it to callers in the form of a spoken response. With use of this function, customers can obtain their account status, product shipping data and answers to other inquiries automatically, from the IVR system's back-end data banks. Quality IVR systems can ensure smooth, constant connections between databases and IVR output to callers. They also provide good auditory quality without the annoyance of robotic sounding responses.
Standards Support.Early IVR technology incorporated varied proprietary programming language types. Today, most IVR designers are using such industry standards as VoiceXML, SIP, CCXML or MRCP. These protocols that are now industry standards can help cut system operational and maintenance costs substantially.
Top rated IVR systems can act on a single word, a syllable or even vowel content of verbal communications, and this technology can be adjusted to recognize a wide variety of voices, grammar and accents as well as operating smoothly despite interrupted or premature responses to prompts by callers.
First of all, any system maintenance service with technicians who are familiar with these industry standard protocols can offer good maintenance or updating services for IVR technology.
Also, these industry standards can enable company owners to transition to a new telecommunications application or platform, moving the programming and business logic technology of their current IVR systems into place within this new telecom platform. In addition, industry standard protocols can often be employed in many different areas of a company's telephonic system.
Choosing an IVR System Seller
Because the main features and functions of most IVR technology systems are quite similar, business owners shopping for new interactive voice response setups for their offices should search for sellers who have both expert technical knowledge and excellent business reputations.
Sellers with long and impressive records of business success are the ones to choose for installing and servicing any company's IVR technology, especially those who work regularly with companies of similar size and type in the current system buyer's industry. Particularly when dealing with IVR system resellers, it is best to research the business background and status of the reseller and system publisher in terms of industry longevity and standing.
Quality sellers can offer IVR systems with uptimes above 99.9% with exceptional support teams providing round-the-clock availability. Also essential to business success today is working with an IVR system seller who provides a quality service level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing specific service response and fulfillment times.
Business owners buying a modern IVR system must distinguish between low-end (or low level service) sellers and well qualified sales operations. It often pays to choose sellers offering trial software and/or free trial accounts that allow full use of IVR systems and features before buying. Contacting current customers of a sales company can also be helpful in determining the quality and reliability of the seller in advance of purchasing IVR technology.
Most small to mid-sized companies purchase on-site IVR systems that usually cost approximately $1,500 to $2,500 per port, or per each connection running simultaneously with others operating in the system. In general, a medium-sized business will require 10 to 20 separate ports. Mid-to-large companies may need IVR technology priced in tens of thousands of dollars, and corporate entities may require systems costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Choosing a hosted IVR system can save companies significant costs since no hardware purchases and software licensing are necessary, and monthly operating costs will be charged as specified by the hosting company. All IVR buyers should be sure to obtain a full listing of costs, maintenance charges and optional service fees from the vendor or hosting company before purchasing a system or signing a customer contract. When purchasing an IVR, buyers should be sure to obtain at least a one-year warranty on hardware and services.
Valuable purchasing tips that may be helpful in guiding company owners who are shopping for new IVR systems include the following:
Look for Hidden Costs.Business owners should be careful to assess total IVR system purchasing and operational costs before choosing a system seller or hosting company. In some instances, sellers may attempt to hide or underplay some service fees in order to achieve high sales numbers or an impressive list of new customers for the IVR vendor or host they represent.
Replace an Existing IVR Economically.When replacing their existing IVR systems, companies should choose vendors who will offer updated or enhanced replacement systems or redesigns of their current systems.
Assess Vendor Knowledge and Skill.Company executives or owners should obtain information revealing how much other customers have saved when working with IVR vendors and the levels of customer satisfaction resulting before choosing a vendor.
By knowing their specific business needs, examining what different contemporary IVR systems have to offer customers and working with sellers or hosts possessing product, service and pricing expertise, company owners can make informed purchasing or service contracting decisions, choosing the ideal IVR systems and plans for their specific business needs.