Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers, gathers and conveys information and possibly routes calls to the appropriate recipient. IVRs allow customers to interact with a company’s host system via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition, after which they can service their enquiries by following the IVR dialogue. IVR systems can respond with pre-recorded or dynamically generated audio to further direct users on how to proceed. IVR applications can be used to control almost any function where the interface can be broken down into a series of simple interactions. IVR systems deployed in the network are sized to handle large call volumes. An IVR system has the purpose of interacting with a caller and automating tasks that would ordinarily require a human. This results in tremendous savings for a company. We have successfully deployed IVRs for the following purposes:

  • Playback of information such as weather information, traffic reports, news, lotto and University results.
  • Feedback and report where users can provide feedback (e.g. on a product or services), complain or leave anonymous tips and reports.
  • Competitions and voting.
  • Self-help systems where the IVR interacts with the caller to solve a particular problem. If the call flow (script specifying the interaction with the caller) is designed in an efficient manner, IVRs lead to fewer calls routed to call centre agents.
  • Market research where the IVR is scripted to ask a caller questions and record their responses.
  • Intelligent IVR systems predict the reason for a person’s call and attempt to route them to the correct section of the IVR immediately.
  • Balance enquiries, recharges, package migrations, upgrade illegibility for pay-as-you-go systems.
  • Share prices via speech recognition.
  • Access control via speech verification (e.g. for a telephone banking application).
  • Chat and dating services.

IVR system needs integration into a company’s back-end database or services. This is a speciality of Vigeosys. We often see customers having laid out huge amounts of capital on traditional systems, only to find their chosen product is unable to do what they need to be done. At other times, customers are frustrated by the enormous costs of custom changes and additions. There is the problem of having to wait for extended periods of time to have a change or addition make its way through the development stages of these large corporations. Vigeosys believes that custom development and integration is vital to delivering systems that solve the problems of a customer efficiently.

We use many underlying technologies with our IVRs. These include:

  • Text-to-speech (TTS) for the playback of significantly varying information content.
  • Intelligent prompt joining for playback of limited varying content (such as numbers, dates, amounts). This allows prompts to sound virtually identical to the voice artist’s pre-recorded static prompts.
  • Automatic speech recognition (ASR) as an alternative to Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) / telephone keypad entry.
  • Speech verification used to verify that a caller is whom he/she claims to be.
  • Interactions with back-end databases, web services, files and memory caches.
  • Integration to short messaging centres (SMS) for text messaging and payment gateways for payment processing.
  • Custom integration and solutions so that the IVR can do (almost) any task required.