IVR Builder Software
Requirements and components of a modern IVR building software system.
In earlier posts I have discussed how IVR can help reduce number of agents required in a call center, and the use of text to speech versus prerecorded messages. Now let's discuss what other characteristics an IVR system would ideally require.
- Flexibility. The IVR systems of are almost never static. Usually their requirements change with time, as business requirements change. An auto responder may be required to change schedules as business schedules change, or inbound call distribution may change as staff or department response change. Therefore IVR software should be built in a way that it is easy to modify. Be it a phrase in text to speech, or a file to play, or different number to respond to. It should not require a programmer to update such small day to day tasks.
- Feature set. A large selection of features is desirable: playing and recording voice files, text to speech, speech recognition, various touch tone (DTMF) detection ways (like long strings or single press commands), possibility to connect with 3rd party APIs and databases. Besides that IVR should possess ability to do some arithmetic, logic and string manipulation operations, like combining strings to pass to text to speech, or calculate numeric values. It should also have built-in flow control logic, like loops, conditional branching (if, then, else) and iteration support.
- Monitoring and Alerting. The IVR system should offer tools to constantly monitor its status and alert in case of critical incident. As with any telecom system, always on and instant incident reporting is crucial for interrupted service delivery.
- Extensive Reporting. IVR is mostly an automated system, and what is going on between it and the user, is not directly visible to the operator. Operator might not see if users are able to successfully navigate through the IVR flow and reach the goal, and at what point they are likely to drop off. Therefore extensive logging and reporting is essential: to be able to follow users navigation through the flow in order to reveal possible issues.