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Interactive Voice Response or IVR is a method of using the keypad or voice inputs of the callers to direct the calls to the right team of customer service agents. Usually an automated voice guides the callers through the choices but some companies like to use a recorded human voice to make the experience more personal. Since IVRs make sure the calls reach the right experts, agents get to save all the time they would have otherwise spent directing callers to the right department.

But the thing is, most consumers (and I mean most) passionate hate IVRs. IVRs are a sign, according to them, that the company doesn’t value them or their time. It really doesn’t help the case for IVRs when a lot of support teams, in a misguided effort to be helpful, make the mistake of burying the agent behind multiple, complex levels of IVR. Something that frustrates customers more than a problem that agents don’t seem to be able to solve.

And with more and more customers expecting instantaneous, personalized support nowadays, it’s best not to resort to an IVR unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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