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Most Relevant Checklist for IVR System

If your business is searching for an IVR System, then we’re here to give you a helpful tool & real examples of how to best use it!
Olivia Maier

Olivia Maier

10 min read

What we have for you today:

We want to make sure that, no matter where you are in the IVR process, you are able to get something out of this post. If you have never heard about IVR Systems before today, we’ve got you covered, as we start with a simple explanation about what an IVR system is.

For those of you who may be further along in the process, then make sure that you stick around for our easy-to-follow checklist. This checklist will help you when you want to compare different providers. We will even put the checklist into action as we compare a few of the top IVR system providers:

  • Yodel.io
  • Aircall
  • CallHippo

We want to make sure that you leave this article equipped with a practical tool to help you along with your IVR search. We will be including all of the most relevant considerations and features that your IVR system MUST have in order to be effective in 2022.

If that sounds good to you, then let’s get started with IVR 101!

IVR 101

What is an IVR system?

IVR systems may be a foreign concept to you at this point, but don’t worry, even if you have never heard of them, you’ve definitely encountered these systems in the past. IVR systems can be broken down into easy-to-understand components, and, no matter how technologically savvy your team is, you can certainly take advantage of an IVR system!

IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response systems, and they are an automated phone technology. An IVR system will allow your incoming callers to access information, as well as respond with their own information, in order to enable effective call routing. IVR systems allow your business to increase the accuracy of your call handling without adding a new team member to route calls.

You have probably experienced an IVR system from the caller’s perspective before. Think back to when you’ve called a business, and before you even reached a live agent you were presented with menu options such as “press 1 for sales, press 2 for billing”. That is an IVR menu, and, by selecting the appropriate option, you were routed based on IVR technology.

We’ll be talking about the different types of IVR systems a little bit later as we look at important features, but in 2022 we highly recommend a voice-based IVR system. These systems can leave the menu options in the past as they route callers based on what they are saying in real-time. This technology is often referred to as Voice-based IVR, or Intelligent IVR. By utilizing AI-based technology, you can offer a more conversational experience for your incoming calls.

Who should be using an IVR System?

IVR systems are great for businesses of all sizes and styles. Whether you are a large enterprise that wants to make sure your calls are going to the right department, or a smaller team who wants to avoid unnecessary distractions, there are countless ways that an IVR system can help benefit your business.

We wanted to compile just a few of our favorite use cases for IVR systems, and how your team could benefit from them:

  1. Determining caller intent

    The right IVR system should come with a way to alert your team to your caller’s intent. Whether this means routing to the right group, or something more specific, you should always know why your callers are contacting you. This can lead to faster resolutions, more personalized service, and more effective communication.

  2. Effectively routing calls

    The core principle behind an IVR system is to send callers to different team members, but you want to make sure that your IVR system is doing this as effectively as possible. This means having a combination of options, such as designating an entire team to handle certain incoming calls, sending calls directly to a specific individual, and more. This can help your team save time, and create a more effective workflow.

  3. Eliminating distractions

    IVR systems are also a great way to reduce unnecessary phone-based distractions. This can include spam calls, misdialed calls, and more. You and your team should be able to rest easy, knowing that when an incoming call rings that it won’t be an unnecessary distraction.

  4. Improving caller experience

    Your callers should be able to see benefits from an IVR system too! Whether this means that their calls are going to the right person, right from the start, or that they feel as though your team is especially well prepared for their call, make sure your IVR system is enabling an improved caller experience.

In the end, we believe that EVERY team should be using an IVR system. With that in mind, we’re ready to give you the ultimate checklist that you need to search for the best IVR system for your team.

The ULTIMATE IVR checklist for every team

We want to make sure that you are equipped with the most robust IVR serviceout there, which is why you need to ensure that your IVR system contains the following features and functionalities:

  1. Voice-based IVR: With voice-based IVR, you can route your callers effectively, without subjecting them to a potentially inconvenient menu list. Your callers may not be able to focus on a long list of menu options, and may simply hang up the phone if they hear one. That is why you should take advantage of the modern IVR system, and route callers based on what they are saying in real-time.
  2. Traditional IVR menus: While we are a huge fan of voice-based IVR, the best phone systems will give you the option to choose between styles of IVR. That way, if voice based IVR isn’t for you, you can simply use a traditional system without having to switch providers entirely.
  3. Incorporated into your business phone: Speaking of providers, your IVR provider should be the same as your business phone provider! While there are some IVR add-ons that can exist with your existing phone, they aren’t as effective as an IVR system within a robust phone system. You won’t have to worry about the two products synching, and instead can focus on effective communication.
  4. Keep your business phone number: When switching between phone providers to access an IVR system, make sure that you won’t lose the phone number your customers already know. This is an unnecessary, and potentially expensive, inconvenience.
  5. Increased flexibility: Make sure that your IVR system is accessible across device types, such as mobile phones, desktops, laptops, and tablets. That way you can have convenient and flexible phone capabilities.
  6. Canned responses: With canned responses, you are able to respond to the identified caller intent before even answering the phone. Canned responses work to communicate via pre-prepared customizable responses that can be easily selected from at the moment.
  7. Ring groups: You want to make sure that your IVR system can route according to a variety of rules, including Ring Groups! Ring Groups allow you to group together relevant team members, who will all be notified of an incoming call. That way if there is a billing question, your entire relevant group can be notified without distracting the rest of your team. It also allows any member from that relevant group to answer and handle the call, helping to avoid overwhelming one or two team members.
  8. Smart integrations: If your IVR system can integrate into your other business tools, then you will have access to increased customer information and allows you to collect valuable customer data. This is especially true for business tools such as a communication platform, for example Slack, or for CRM tools such as Hubspot or Salesforce.

You’ll want to make sure that each of these things can be checked off before committing to a business phone system with IVR capabilities. To show you the list in action, we wanted to share our analysis of some of the top business IVR system providers.

The checklist in action:

Yodel.io

  • Voice-based?

    Yodel’s voice-based 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.

  • Traditional IVR menus?

    Yodel is able to provide traditional IVR menus as well. This way you can determine the best style of IVR menu for your specific needs.

  • Incorporates 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.

  • Can you keep your business phone number?

    Yodel allows you to port your existing business phone number into their system, as well as choose from a wide range of business phone numbers. If you are just starting up your business phone communication, or wanting to change things up, you can choose from local, international, and toll-free numbers.

  • 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. That is because Yodel is a cloud-based, internet phone solution. Access calls routed through your IVR system from your mobile devices, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

  • Canned Responses?

    Whether you are looking for a customized greeting, canned responses, or the ability to text your callers, Yodel has a wide variety of ways to connect with incoming callers before you even begin your phone communication.

  • Smart integrations?

    Yodel can easily connect to your favorite CRM tools, such as HubSpot and Salesforce. You can also integrate Yodel into hundreds of other business applications, including Slack!

Aircall

  • Voice-based?

    Somewhat…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.

  • Traditional IVR menus?

    Yes, Aircall also allows you to select from traditional or voice-based IVR options.

  • Incorporates into your phone system?

    Yes, Aircall is a cloud-based business phone system that comes with IVR options for your team. As we said before, this can help you avoid unnecessary complications trying to connect two different business phone tools.

  • Can you keep your business phone number?

    Aircall does allow for number porting, that allows you to keep your existing business phone number.

  • Allows for flexibility?

    Aircall is a cloud-based solution that allows you to access it from a wide variety of devices, including tablets, mobile phones, computers, and laptops.

  • Canned Responses?

    Aircall does not list canned responses as their features, but it may be possible to achieve similar results through other methods.

  • Smart integrations?

    Aircall is able to integrate into a variety of CRM software such as HubSpot, Monday.com, and Salesforce. This is a great way to increase your caller data and information.

CallHippo

  • Voice-based?

    CallHIppo does not mention if they have a voice-based IVR functionality, but it may be worth reaching out to their team to inquire about this.

  • Traditional IVR menus?

    Yes, the only IVR option mentioned by CallHippo is a standard menu based system.

  • Incorporates 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.

  • Can you keep your business phone number?

    CallHippo does allow you to port your existing phone number, helping to keep this consistent regardless of if you make a switch in providers.

  • 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.

  • Canned Responses?

    CallHippo does not appear to provide canned responses, but it may be worth reaching out to their team to inquire about this.

  • Smart integrations?

    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.

In the end:

We hope that both the checklist, as well as our examples using it, have helped to provide you with the tools you need to effectively search for a business IVR system. You can now compare top providers, which will help you find the perfect solution for your team.

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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