About 94% of enterprises use cloud communication applications, like phone systems, CRM, file storage and sharing, call center software, SIP calling, and cloud-based IVR. Statistics indicate the efficiency of IVR in the cloud.
This article will introduce you to cloud-based IVR services and their benefits. We also suggest the top three cloud-based IVR providers to help you shift your business communication.
Table of Contents
What is IVR in the Cloud?
Interactive Voice Response, or IVR in the cloud, is a software solution enabling consumers to pay, speak with relevant business contacts and agents, and interact with automated voice prompts.
Cloud-based IVR interprets caller needs and redirects the call to the appropriate agent or an additional automated voice prompt menu. It uses dual-tone multi-frequency or DTMF tones, voice recognition, and natural language processing.
Cloud IVR Services
- Welcome Message
- Music on Hold
- Virtual Receptionist
- Analytics and Reporting
- Call Recording
- Email Notifications
- Full Disaster Recovery
- Scalable Capacity
- Real-Time Configuration
- App Integration
- Promo Offers and Rewards
- Surveys and Polls
- Information Inquiries
- Cloud Hosting
- Other Valuable Features
IVR cloud systems typically provide callers with a menu from which they can choose responses by pressing the corresponding keys on their phones. Based on their answers, cloud IVR delivers the requested information or transfers the call to the most suitable live agent.
The functions of a cloud based IVR are not limited to menu automation and call routing. Here are the other services IVR in the cloud has to offer:
1. Welcome Message
Greet your clients with a pre-recorded message when they reach your trunkline for a professional touch. Use a standard welcome message or customize it for your business type.
2. Music on Hold
Fill your caller’s waiting time with a soothing tune while they are put on hold in a queue or transferred to a customer service representative. You can also use informative voice prompts in place of music. These can include company updates, promotional announcements, advertisements, or after-office-hours notes.
3. Virtual Receptionist
An IVR cloud solution has automated reception for inbound call management via multiple phone extensions, built-in menus, and prerecorded messages. Like an answering service with automatic systems for processing calls, it leaves you with no unanswered client calls.
4. Analytics and Reporting
Experience in advanced IVR cloud metrics analysis. Identify trouble spots and arrive at more clever business decisions with real-time cloud-based IVR data analytics and reports. You can evaluate the following with ease:
- Response time
- First-call resolution
- Misrouted calls
- Customer behavior
- Common caller issues
Manage and track your cloud-hosted IVR campaigns with agility. Enable IVR actions and analyze them with a few clicks on the intuitive single-interface dashboard.
6. Call Recording
IVR allows you to record all inbound and outbound calls and save them in HD format. Call recording is handy for training, quality assurance, and issue resolution.
7. Email Notifications
You can receive email alerts for all IVR-based conversations in your company. Also, you can send an acknowledgment or follow-up email to a caller after a cloud-based IVR interaction.
8. Full Disaster Recovery
IVR in the cloud is deployed in multiple data centers within every region it serves, always ensuring the availability of adequate capacity. With a full disaster recovery service, you can rest assured that your business communications will function even during unexpected events.
9. Scalable Capacity
Concerning data recovery, cloud-hosted IVR is equipped with a scalable capacity to meet the increasing call volumes and your changing business demands.
10. Real-Time Configuration
You can perform real-time updates on your menus, messages, welcome greetings, and call rerouting SOPs. Redefine and fine-tune configuration sets for faster and easier bulk modifications.
11. App Integration
Interactive voice response cloud services enable seamless digital channel integration with a chatbot, online payment portal, or SMS software, allowing calls to move smoothly across different platforms. App integration frees agents’ time, increases productivity, and improves client satisfaction.
12. Promo Offers and Rewards
Businesses can use IVR in the cloud for marketing campaigns to introduce products or services and promote discount offers. This feature is an efficient marketing tactic to generate qualified leads, convert them, and make a sale.
13. Surveys and Polls
Ask for customer feedback via an automated survey or poll that automatically saves their responses. A cloud-based IVR is efficient for soliciting feedback, requiring only a few taps on the respondent’s phone and making it hassle-free for consumers.
14. Information Inquiries
The cloud IVR system automates clerical tasks, such as data retrieval, without requiring a live assistant’s involvement. This is excellent for answering bank account queries, questions on company details, and other simple inquiries.
15. Cloud Hosting
Cloud-based IVR services are accessible remotely on any device, significantly reducing interruptions and keeping you ahead of the competition.
16. Other Valuable Features
Other IVR in the cloud features that facilitate your business communication include:
- Multiple languages support options
- Visual cloud IVR
- CRM integration
- Compliance and security
- Fraud prevention
- Caller authentication
- Advanced call path
- Outbound IVR and automatic callbacks
Benefits of Cloud-Based IVR
- Reduced Operational Costs
- Enhanced Customer Experience
- Agent Productivity Boost
- Error Reduction
- Strengthened Security
- Server Redundancy
Whether you run a startup or you are seasoned in your industry, you can enjoy these business optimization benefits:
1. Reduced Operational Costs
Cloud-hosted IVR systems are cost-efficient. They lower call volumes for client care representatives while helping your business remain accessible to callers during off-peak hours and holidays.
Cloud IVR solutions offer cost-saving benefits for businesses of all sizes, including offshore call centers. But they are especially advantageous for small to medium-sized companies and startups that want to maintain high customer engagement yet are not fully staffed.
Cloud-based IVR offers robust features and significant cost savings compared to in-house IVR. Small businesses typically spend $1,500 per line for in-house IVR, while mid-sized enterprises can spend tens of thousands. Cloud-based IVR can reduce these costs by up to 30%.
2. Enhanced Customer Experience
Nearly 60% of consumers say that long waiting times are the most frustrating aspect of customer service. These result in a high call abandonment rate. With its self-service solutions, cloud IVR can improve customer experience by drastically decreasing, if not eliminating, prolonged holds.
Here are more ways in which interactive voice response enhances the consumer journey:
- Simplifying payment processes
- Integrating CRN tools to give information, such as online purchase history
- Sending outgoing reminders
- Customer callback option
- AI-powered human-like two-way conversational experience
3. Agent Productivity Boost
IVR in the cloud helps increase first-call resolution rates (FCRs). With caller issues solved quickly, live customer service agents can allocate more time for placing outbound sales calls. They can also spend more time solving more complicated consumer problems instead of making follow-up calls involving the same common concerns.
In addition, interactive voice response technologies help evenly distribute workload among call specialists for better work optimization.
4. Error Reduction
Effective IVR deployment can reduce glitches within customer service processes because it does not entirely depend on a live representative to reroute calls or take notes.
5. Strengthened Security
Cloud-hosted interactive voice response systems incorporate voice recognition technology for caller identity verification. This feature adds an extra layer of data security to protect sensitive personal information, like social security numbers, bank account details, and medical lab results.
6. Server Redundancy
Backup functionalities and redundant servers with cloud IVR services keep your telecommunications infrastructure up and running when the central server is down. Besides keeping your customer service operating, this offers immediate premium solutions minus the high expenses of performing in-house configurations.
Common Business Types Using IVR in the Cloud
Enterprises in any sector can take advantage of cloud-hosted IVR services, but these business types use it the most extensively:
- Utility companies, like energy providers, use cloud IVR to facilitate bills payment, check account balances, transfer account ownership, and receive emergency alerts via automation.
- eCommerce stores use it to verify orders, provide shipping updates, manage parcel returns, and send promotional offers and reminders.
- Marketing agencies send client satisfaction surveys, seek feedback through polls, place outbound calls for advertising campaigns, manage reward programs, and conduct market research using cloud IVR.
- Hospitality management, like hotels, lets callers book, allows rebooking or reservation cancellation, and manages guest requests using cloud IVR.
- Healthcare, like hospitals, clinics, and telemedicine, receive appointments, provide insurance information, facilitate bills, send follow-ups, monitor patients, and refill prescriptions via cloud-based IVR.
- Education, like schools and research institutions, provide updates on a learner’s performance, retrieve attendance reports, and communicate with partner institutes using IVR in the cloud.
- Banking and finance use IVR in the cloud for balance checking, loan application follow-ups, and investment portfolio modifications.
Top Three Top Cloud-Based IVR Providers
If you’re looking for IVR in the cloud, consider these three providers:
With Twilio, businesses can develop their own customized IVR in the cloud, choosing features and functionalities their business requires. Twilio provides a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop menus to set up call paths, manage user IDs and phone numbers and integrate their CRM to create complete customer profiles.
Twilio offers the following features:
- IVR communication using voice, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
- Ability to continuously play prerecorded audio files in the IVR system.
- Speech recognition with real-time transcriptions.
- Secure payment processing via phone with self-service and agent-assisted options, which meet PCI compliance standards.
- Automatic pause/resume recording (tokenization) to protect sensitive credit card information.
- Supports nine credit card payment methods and connects to payment gateways, including Stripe, Chase, Base, and CardConnect.
- Voice insights and analytics.
- Accessible through mobile phones and desktop computers.
- Text-to-speech functionality for IVR communication.
- Call queuing to handle large call volumes.
- Outbound IVR capabilities for tasks such as appointment confirmation and payment reminders.
Twilio provides flexible pricing options depending on your business requirements.
CloudTalk is a cloud-based voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) solution designed for customer service and sales teams. It gathers, consolidates, and manages calling data, allowing you to personalize the customer experience. It automates workflows and provides built-in analytics to improve performance and call efficiency. CloudTalk offers over 70 features and integrates with various CRMs and helpdesk tools.
CloudTalk offers the following features:
- Voice features
- Intelligent call routing features
- Productivity features
- CRM, helpdesk, and eCommerce integration
- Statistics and monitoring
- Utility tools for better and easier management
CloudTalk’s pricing starts at $28 per user monthly (Starter plan), $33 per user monthly (Essential plan), and $55 per user monthly (Expert plan). A custom plan is available at request.
Vonage IVR is a comprehensive and user-friendly VoIP solution with numerous features that businesses can use via desktop, mobile apps, and desk phones. You can use existing phone numbers or create new ones, including toll-free options.
Vonage offers the following features:
- Conference calls
- Caller ID
- Call forwarding
- Call flip
- Call recording and transcription
- Unlimited calling and SMS messaging
- Text-to-speech greetings and user-input responses
- Salesforce integration
- Real-time insights
Vonage pricing starts at $13.99 per line monthly (promotional 30% off offer). The mobile plan costs $19.99 per line monthly, the Premium plan is available for $29.99 per line monthly, and the Advanced plan costs $39.99 per line monthly.
Wrap-Up: Gearing Your Business for Success with IVR in the Cloud
IVR in the cloud offers communication solutions that help set your company up for long-term success. Cloud-based business communication systems enable you to adapt to the fiercely competitive market that relies heavily on rapidly evolving technologies and emerging new ones.
Automating your interaction platforms helps you keep up with competition and stand out in your industry. The cloud-hosted structure of communication with clients lets you maximize your time and resources so you can focus on growing your organization.
Professional answering service companies can also help you with this process, so we advise looking for the right agency to partner with for your project.
IVR in the Cloud FAQs
1. How much does cloud IVR cost?
IVR in the cloud typically costs $7.95 per month plus $0.02 to $0.10 per minute. However, several factors influence its price:
- IVR charging method (it can be included in the phone service package total cost or charged separately).
- A total number of business phone lines your business needs.
- The complexity of IVR setup.
- The cost of voice recordings (you can either record and upload your recordings for free or buy recordings from your provider or online services).
2. What is an IVR call script?
An IVR call script is a pre-recorded set of instructions that guide callers through a company's IVR system. Recorded voice messages play when a caller interacts with an IVR system, providing options to choose from and suggesting them to the appropriate department or menu option. The script ensures the caller's needs are met efficiently and effectively while also providing a positive and professional experience.
3. What is IVR call flow?
An IVR call flow is the call's path, from the initial greeting to the destination, such as a customer service representative or a recorded message.
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