Blog/Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System: How it Works & Best Providers

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System: How it Works & Best Providers

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System: How it Works & Best Providers

Are you looking to switch from your current provider to a more reliable and affordable interactive voice response (IVR) system? Well, you have come to the right place! This article will explain what an IVR system is, how it works, and provide you with a list of top providers!

What is an IVR System?

An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System is a technology that collects information, identifies a caller, and performs tasks without a human representative. If you have ever had to "push or say one for account data," you are undoubtedly already familiar with it.

Interactive Voice Response is the first point of contact for most call centers. An automated system aims to manage the call volume employee agents receive effectively. With the help of IVR, companies can better route incoming calls to the appropriate departments, leading to higher efficiency in their call centers.

How Does An IVR System Work?

IVR, or interactive voice response, is a feature of automated commercial phone systems that engages callers and collects data by offering them options from a menu. It may direct you to hit a different number in the submenu to clarify the nature of your call or provide the details required to fulfill your request.

For example, when calling your bank, you may be asked to "say or press one for accounting information," and then you may be told to "confirm your account number." Following this automated system, the caller can easily access their account information, such as balance, recent transactions, etc., without a human representative's help.

Best IVR Systems for Small Businesses

Finding the best system for your small business can sometimes feel overwhelming. With so many options, you may not know where to begin. Fortunately, we have compiled a list of our most recommended IVR systems for small businesses.

1. Community Phone

Community Phone's IVR System

Community Phone is the best wireless business phone service provider in the U.S. Its services are more affordable and dependable than VoIP phones or digital phone connections. With the recent FCC regulation, which authorized a copper wire landline shutdown, Community Phone has become the most reliable option for businesses.

Community Phone offers services that require NO internet and can easily replace your current carrier or VoIP provider. Among these services are:

  • Custom dial menu creation
  • Personalized customer experience
  • Call routing
  • Live call transfers
  • Voicemail-to-email features
  • Ability to ring a second line if the first is busy
  • Simultaneous ring functions

With all these incredible features, it is no wonder Community Phone is a leading provider of IVR phone systems. The only concern we have about switching to Community Phone is that you will be upset that you hadn't left your current provider sooner!

How Community Phone Works

Community Phone’s business phone system operates off local cell towers in your area, eliminating the need for an internet or copper wire connection. It enables your business to stay connected 100% of the time, even during power outages!

Want to learn more about how Community Phone works? Check out our informational video

Another HUGE bonus of choosing Community Phone for your IVR phone system is that they have no hidden fees or long-term contracts. This way, you can always get a clear view of your monthly expenses.

The company’s ultimate goal is to provide upstanding service to business owners like you. Therefore, they have created a customer support line you can ACTUALLY reach! Its customer support team is continuously on standby and can be contacted via call, email, or chat.

What does it cost?

At Community Phone, we offer a variety of packages so that you only have to pay for what you need! When choosing a package, you can choose to pay monthly or annually (save 20%). If you aren't sure what you need or have more specific needs, our team can even work up a custom offer!

Switch today in as little as 30 seconds!

2. Ooma

Moving forward, the next best IVR phone system for a small business is Ooma. They can offer business owners various services to advance their phone systems. Included among these services are:

  • HD Audio
  • Lower International calling rates
  • Virtual faxing
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Toll-free numbers
  • Free local phone numbers

The only downside to Ooma as a provider is that it is unclear whether they can offer you to transfer your current business number. Although they offer reasonable pricing, Ooma does not appear to create custom service packages based on a business's individual needs.

3. Verizon

Next on our list is the well-known service provider Verizon. Their IVR systems are reliable and affordable for many small business owners. The features Verizon includes in their service packages are:

  • Usage-based pricing

  • Easy installation process

  • Prominent level of flexibility and scalability

  • Routing and transferring functionality

The quality of Verizon's services holds up to our standards for IVR phone systems. However, many consumers are disappointed in the contracts they are forced into when switching from their current provider.

4. DialPad

Number 4 on our list of best IVR systems is DialPad. Their interactive voice response system can route calls automatically and provide around-the-clock solutions to callers even when human representatives are unavailable. Their features include:

  • Linking your communication channels together as one
  • Easy call routing
  • Simple call forwarding
  • A built-in IVR service

While DialPad provides a variety of features for an affordable cost, some business owners may find that they will need to pay additional fees to get ALL the features they need.

5. 8X8

Our last recommendation is 8X8. The services are provided via an app or on your favorite browser. 8x8 can offer various services, including:

  • Unlimited SMS and calling
  • Multi-level auto attendant
  • Music while on hold
  • Call forwarding and transferring
  • Call queues and monitoring

8x8 can offer even more services than those listed above, which makes them a viable option for an IVR system. However, because their design relies on internet access, some businesses may worry that they will lose money during power outages or interruptions.

When Would an IVR System be Used?

Many businesses use interactive voice response, including call centers, healthcare facilities, banks, restaurants, and other cases where call volume is high.

Running a business or facility also means dealing with many questions, comments, concerns, and needs from your customers/clients. An IVR phone system helps minimize the call volume real representatives have to take on because an automated system can now do some of the work. That said, an IVR system can benefit virtually ANY business.

Benefits of an IVR Phone System

We spoke a bit earlier about how an IVR system can decrease call volume and enhance customer experience, but what other benefits does an IVR system have? Well, it can help to

  • Filter out spam calls
  • Offer language options
  • Promote current deals
  • Forward call to the appropriate departments
  • Reduce labor costs
  • Increase customer satisfaction
  • Maximize team efficiency

The Bottom Line

An interactive voice response system is critical for any business, mainly if your business receives many phone calls or messages. Without copper wiring, companies like Community Phone can provide excellent service, affordable rates, and many features to add to your business line.

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