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Best IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Systems 2022

Learn all about how an IVR system can reshape your business phone experience, and the top providers for 2022.
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

11 min read

What we have for you today:

We are here to dive into all things IVR. That means giving you all the information you need to know about what an IVR system is, and the different options available. From there, we will help you determine which IVR system could be best for you, with a quick and easy checklist of considerations. Then, we will give you a comparison on some of the top business phone IVR options, including:

  • Yodel.io
  • Aircall
  • RingCentral
  • CallHippo

Finally we will be sharing one of our favorite use cases for IVR phone systems when we discuss IVR as a small business savior. If that sounds good to you, then we are excited for you to read and become an expert on IVR in just a matter of minutes.

What is an IVR system?

Like always, we’re here to break down IVR into easy to understand components, instead of leaving you with more questions than you had before. That’s because you shouldn’t have to be a technology expert to take advantage of important business phone system tools.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are an easy and affordable way to change the way you are currently managing your incoming calls. An IVR system is an automated phone system with call routing capabilities. You’ve probably experienced an IVR system from a caller’s perspective before. If you’ve ever heard an automated message prompting you to select where you want to be routed based on menu numbers, or department names, that’s IVR.

IVR systems are able to be customized by using pre-recorded welcome messages and prompts, making them adaptable to your specific needs.

In 2022, you should be looking for a VOICE or INTELLIGENT IVR system. These are systems that leave the basic, and oftentimes irritating, message of “press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing” in the past. Instead, a voice based or intelligent IVR system will listen to your callers in real time in order to understand why they are calling. Then your IVR system will automatically route callers.

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Wait… So Should I be using Voice IVR?

That’s right. Even if you already have an IVR system, it just might be time to upgrade to a voice based solution. This simple change can make your business instantly more accessible to your customers and clients.

Just think of all the situations that could have led your callers to hanging up before they even reach your team, simply because you are using an outdated IVR system.

  • Have you ever been preoccupied with another task while on the phone, when you miss the menu option that is applicable to what you need? How likely are you to enter a potentially endless loop of menu options, or simply hang up and call another business?
  • Have you ever listened VERRYYY carefully to menu options, just to have none of them be applicable to your reason for calling? What do you do then, when the phone system won’t connect you to any team but you have an important reason for calling?
  • Have you ever selected a menu option, just to find out that you are talking to the wrong team? Let me guess, you were then bounced around with call transfers until you FINALLY got to speak to the right person for your problem.

You’ve definitely felt these frustrations as a consumer, so why would you pass those along to your customers and clients? There’s no reason to stick with an outdated IVR system in 2022, and it could be costing your business in a BIG way as the number of people who aren’t willing to sit through a phone menu increases.

Okay okay, so you’ve sold me on voice IVR… What else should I be looking for?

We are so glad that you are asking that! We wanted to give you some of the top things that you should be considering as you now search for a VOICE or INTELLIGENT IVR system.

  • Does your voice IVR system integrate seamlessly with your phone system? Ideally, your intelligent IVR system will be a component of your business phone system.
  • Does your voice IVR system allow for flexibility? This can include being able to handle calls from a number of devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and computers.
  • Does your voice IVR connect with your CRM tools? Don’t miss out on being about to collect valuable customer data through helpful integrations.
  • Does your voice IVR allow you to communicate with callers before you even answer the phone? If you have features available such as canned responses you may be able to send caller customizable pre-prepared responses to communicate before a call begins.

If you can answer yes to these questions, you have probably found the perfect tool for your team. We will be using this checklist as an easy way to frame our conversation about different IVR options for your team. That way you can keep track of where the top IVR systems rank for your specific team.

Keep in mind that these are just a good place to start. Your team will have individual needs depending on your specific use case. If you are unsure what your business needs, it may be useful to schedule a demo call with the IVR system you are considering adopting. If you are looking at Yodel.io, you can get started with a FREE demo call that can help you address any questions and learn more about how you could be using voice IVR.

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The Best IVR Systems of 2022

We picked some of the top IVR systems that your team could be taking advantage of in 2022. As we said, we will be framing our analysis of these providers with the checklist we presented. That way you can easily follow along, and compare for yourself where these providers should fall in your rankings.

Yodel.io

  • Voice based?

    Yes!! Yodel’s IVR system is able to route callers based on what they say in REAL time. You can also monitor the incoming call with a live transcription, so if there is a unique request you can manually route the call to the right place.

  • Integrates into your phone system?

    Yup! Yodel is an intelligent business phone system that comes complete with intelligent voice IVR capabilities. That means that you don’t have to worry about connecting outside features with a phone system, and instead access a complete solution.

  • Allows for flexibility?

    No matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection or cellular data, you can take your business phone system on the go with you. Access calls routed through your IVR system from your mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

  • Connects to your CRM?

    Not only can Yodel connect to your favorite CRM tools, such as HubSpot and Salesforce, you can also integrate Yodel into hundreds of other business applications. Check out Yodel integrations to see how you can connect to the tools you know and love.

  • Pre-call communication?

    Whether you are looking for a customized greeting, canned responses, or the ability to text your callers, Yodel has you covered.

Aircall

  • Voice based?

    In part, Aircall allows you to set up interactive voice response flows. This means that inbound callers will self-guide themselves through a series of messages and options responding to their voice.

  • Integrates into your phone system?

    Yes! Aircall is a business phone system that is also a complete phone solution. This allows for heightened convenience in accessing and taking advantage of your IVR solution.

  • Allows for flexibility?

    Aircall is also an internet based solution, allowing you to access it from anywhere you have a connection. This can include tablets, mobile phones, computers, and laptops.

  • Connects to your CRM?

    Aircall can integrate into a variety of CRM softwares such as HubSpot, Monday.com, and Salesforce. As we’ve said, combining your CRM and IVR can lead to increased amounts of caller data.

  • Pre-call communication?

    In part, it looks like Aircall allows for SMS messaging, which can be used for pre-call communication. While we don’t see canned responses as one of their features, it may be possible to achieve similar results through other methods.

RingCentral

  • Voice based?

    Unknown, RingCentral does not mention any voice based keywords when describing their IVR capabilities. This typically indicates that they only provide traditional phone menu options.

  • Integrates into your phone system?

    Yes! RingCentral is a full UCC platform, meaning you have access to phone, video, fax, and more. If you are looking to upgrade your entire communication suite, it may be worth looking into RingCentral.

  • Allows for flexibility?

    RingCentral allows you to access their platform from their app available for mobile and tablet devices, as well as hardware SIP phones. This means you can experience flexibility with your IVR system.

  • Connects to your CRM?

    RingCentral can integrate with different business tools, and mentions specifically Salesforce as a CRM integration. It isn’t super clear if RingCentral is compatible with HubSpot, so if that is your CRM of choice it is worth doing a little extra digging to find out.

  • Pre-call communication?

    Similar to Aircall there is no specific mention of canned responses, but RingCentral does allow for business SMS text messaging.

CallHippo

  • Voice based?

    It is unclear if CallHippo offers a voice based IVR system, but you can get your phone system equipped with a standard IVR menu. For multi-level IVR options, you’ll need to take advantage of their Platinum pricing plan.

  • Integrates into your phone system?

    CallHippo is an internet based phone system that can come with IVR capabilities. That means that just like other solutions we have mentioned, you can count on everything being in the same place.

  • Allows for flexibility?

    CallHippo can be accessed using apps for mobile devices, as well as computers. This allows you to take your phone system on the go. CallHippo is also an internet based phone system, so you will simply need a reliable connection to access CallHippo.

  • Connects to your CRM?

    Yes! CallHippo is able to connect to popular CRM platforms such as HubSpot. There is no mention of Salesforce, so if Salesforce is your CRM of choice it is worth investigating if CallHippo will be compatible with it.

  • Pre-call communication?

    It is unclear if there is a way to access pre-call communication with CallHippo outside of SMS messaging. However, this may be all your team needs in order to connect with incoming callers, depending on your business needs.

IVR as a Small Business Savior

With the right IVR system in place, your SMB can take advantage of smart integrations, an updated phone system, and customize your system to transform into your very own personal assistant. Most SMBs don’t have the need or ability to take on a full time receptionist as an additional employee.

We wanted to highlight the specific ways in which an intelligent IVR system can help SMBs. While any size or style of business can benefit, we hope this specific use case can help you see IVR in action.

Start your calls the right way:

With an intelligent IVR system, you can start your calls off the right way with a personalized greeting message. This can help compensate for not having a live team member on duty to greet incoming callers. Your personalized message can also include other important details such as your business hours, your team’s availability, and important updates for your customers.

Save your team and your callers some time:

Instantly same your team time by reducing the amount of unnecessary distractions and having to address irrelevant calls. By routing calls where they are meant to go, your team can know that when their specific phone rings, its relevant to their work.

Your callers can also benefit by going directly where they need to in order to have their call successfully resolved. By allowing them to do this, they can spend less time on the phone and reach quicker resolutions.

For a small business, it is important to maximize everyone’s time effectively. An IVR system helps do that, allowing you to connect with more callers in a given day.

Increase your Availability:

Whether you are trying to accommodate a smaller team size, or keep your phone lines open day and night, IVR can help you. The intent of your callers can be discovered right at the start of their call, which makes sure that their call is handled promptly during your team’s working hours, allowing you to increase the number of callers you address in a given day. Outside of those hours, your callers can still receive a custom welcome message (which can even include your hours of availability) before being routed to your voicemail.

In the End…

An IVR system isn’t just a perfect fit for a small business, but for teams of all sizes and styles. When you take advantage of a IVR system in 2022, you should be able to rely on an intelligent system that WON’T leave your callers stuck with an irritating menu list.

If you want to take advantage of Yodel’s intelligent IVR system, get started today with a 14 day free trial. You can test out our voice IVR system, as well as our suite of other intelligent business phone features.

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