What Is an Automated Phone System?

Automated phone methods have become almost ubiquitous in our effectivity-driven society, and many individuals regularly work together with them. Although these phone techniques, more formally often known as interactive voice response techniques, have turn out to be prolific, many individuals nonetheless marvel why companies use them and just how the methods work.

Definition

At its most simple stage, an automated phone or interactive voice response system is any telephone system that interacts with callers with out input from a human aside from the caller. More specifically, interactive voice response, or IVR, is the expertise that automates telephone contact between people and machines.

Types

Automated phone techniques generally fall into three types: outbound, inbound and hybrid. Outbound telephone methods place calls to human recipients, both to deliver a recorded message or establish a reference to another human. Inbound techniques answer calls from people and work together with the callers; these systems could either meet the caller’s needs or join the caller to a human operator. Hybrid techniques mix features from both inbound and outbound techniques, allowing them to each make and take calls.

Function

Outbound automated phone programs work by accepting bulk input of telephone numbers, normally from a pc drive or database. Using a bank of telephone lines, the methods place calls and listen for answers; when the methods detect a human reply, they either play a pre-recorded message or join the dialed party with an available human agent. Inbound programs work like outbound systems, however in reverse. These systems, typically operated by computers, reply incoming calls. The systems typically play a message, then ask the caller to both press a button or speak a response. Depending on the caller’s input, the automated calling service phone system may play some info, route the caller to another immediate or join the caller with a human operator.

Benefits

Many businesses and organizations use outbound automated phone techniques to deliver marketing messages to customers or connect clients with human telemarketers. Government entities additionally use outbound systems to deliver vital announcements and emergency messages. Businesses and other organizations typically use inbound automated phone programs rather than a receptionist; these programs can route callers to the suitable department, accept input and, when connected to a computer database, even reply fundamental questions.

Considerations

Though automated phone techniques provide a number of advantages for businesses, nonprofits and others, these methods have loads of critics. Outbound automated phone systems have the potential to harass consumers, and poorly configured methods can leave people listening to silence or receiving multiple calls throughout which the system merely hangs up. These systems have drawn so much ire that the Federal Communication Commission regulated their use and now requires companies using them to take in depth compliance measures. Inbound automated systems even have a number of drawbacks, as large, poorly designed methods can depart customers feeling frustrated and unable to achieve their intended party. Misdirected calls may hamper productivity, so many companies have discontinued their inbound automated phone systems in favor of connecting callers directly with live operators.