IVR: what is it? Definition and decoding

Today, the notion of IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is increasingly common. This is what is known, not everyone knows, although almost every day they face this technology in real life. Let's try to give an idea of such systems, describing them in a generally understandable language.

IVR: what is it?

To immediately become clear what such systems are, let's give a simple example. Most of us somehow had to contact the mobile operator's service center. When you call, you hear a greeting and an offer to press a certain button on your mobile phone to select the section that best matches the query in the interactive menu.

What is IVR? Just this is the organization of the help system based on the use of pre-recorded or synthesized voice messages, designed to redirect the user to the necessary section of the service center. It is naive to believe that there is a living person at that end of the line and constantly uttering the same phrases. Instead, when a call comes in, a special application activates and activates the greeting message, and then, depending on which button was pressed by the subscriber, a redirect to the corresponding section occurs, where a different audio track is triggered or a direct voice synthesis is made based on the advance Assigned text.

And, as you can see, any IVR-system is a multilevel structure with pre-distributed transitions on the submenu.

Where IVR systems are applied

What is an IVR-service, in general terms, is probably understandable. This is not the only example of using such a structure.

The biggest distribution of such systems is in the so-called call-centers and in most cases are used in such areas as:

  • mobile connection;
  • Banking institutions;
  • Insurance companies;
  • Payment systems;
  • Land and air transport (pre-order tickets, update schedules, etc.);
  • Large, medium and small businesses (enterprises that provide reference services for their goods and services), and so on.

As you can see, these are only the simplest examples. Today, the correct organization of IVR-systems allows us to attract customers in a variety of areas and improve the quality of service. At the same time, systems that operate on the basis of actions with technical devices and voice client requests (for example, in the bank to determine the state of their credit or deposit account, sometimes you just need to name the full contract number or the last few digits).

Varieties of IVR-systems

Now let's look at the complexity of IVR systems. What is it is not difficult to understand if you consider their organization. The simplest structures work on the basis of pre-recorded samples and the complexity of the software does not shine very much.

As for the major players in the market, who provide their clients with access to help systems, the following technologies can be separately noted here:

  • ASR - synthesis of speech.
  • TTS - speech reproduction based on text.
  • Response systems based on voice calls, followed by access to special databases (DB).

Basic principles of work

Such systems operate on the basis of specially developed scripts. The most widely used technology VXML, which involves the adaptation of the XML language to voice applications.

For example, in the Call Manager Express platform, based on Cisco technologies, when the incoming call comes in, the system first tests the dial-peer, and after finding the match it accesses the flash memory and launches a special script VXML-IVR. After pressing the buttons on the phone, DTMF operations are processed, which results in a redirection to this or that section of the help system.

IVR settings

As mentioned above, the proper organization of the hierarchy and structure of the system itself plays a significant role (in some cases it is this that predetermines the client's attitude to convenience or the inconvenience of accessing the help system).

If the structure has too many sublevels and all sorts of interactive sections, the subscriber can just get confused in them. In addition, many of us clearly do not want to listen to standard recorded templates, but want to talk with the operator live. In the event that there is no free operator at the moment, it is necessary to take steps to inform the system about the approximate time during which the subscriber will be in the queue. Finally, he also needs to know his priorities, because he is on the line and not everyone wants to listen to annoying music. In addition, when calling from mobile devices, waiting time may be charged.

Requirements for recording IVR greetings

This is another point that needs to be considered regarding IVR systems. What is it is already a little clear. Now let's look at some important points related not to the organization of the structure of the reference system, but to the requirements for design.

You can record IVR messages today in companies specializing in it or make short greetings or a descriptive part of the sections yourself. Here comes to the forefront (not to mention that all messages should be concise and as informative as possible) the choice of the timbre of a male or female voice, as well as musical accompaniment, if any.

When recording audio, many companies are asked to clarify the customer, with what intonation the phrase should be pronounced, where the text will be used to raise or lower the tone, at what speed this or that text will be read, etc. Roughly speaking, the responding voice should be unobtrusive And pleasant by ear, so that no one has a desire to immediately hang up.

The same goes for music. To her choice should be approached very carefully, because many of the same composition Beethoven "To Elise", despite all her genius, is simply bored. So here you should use some un-tuned melody, which will be more relaxing than dancing or written at a fast pace. But you can not give a subscriber a fall asleep either. However, there are so many music in the world today that there is clearly something to choose from.

Advantages and disadvantages of IVR-systems

If we talk about the benefits that an enterprise or a company receives with the introduction of such systems, it is obvious, because the subscriber receives exactly the information that interests him, the system works constantly, which means that you can access it at any time of the day or night.

But among the shortcomings, many specialists often note an overabundance of sublevels, to which redirection occurs, which leads only to the fact that a person is lost in them. In addition, depending on the package of the same mobile operator, calls may be levied for such service centers, despite the fact that many organizations today are increasingly turning to the use of numbers, calls to which neither from mobile operators, nor from organizations , Serving the home (city) phone numbers, are not charged.


Here is briefly and everything that concerns the basic understanding of IVR systems. What it is, was explained on the simplest examples, and the technical part of the issue was not particularly affected, since the subscriber trying to obtain consultative information is not needed. But in terms of a general idea of the principles of the functioning of such services, this will be enough.

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