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IVR vs Chatbot: Choosing the Right Automated Solution

IVR vs Chatbot

The drive to improve customer relations has led to the integration of automatic systems in organizations. Some of the most prevalent include IVRS and chatbots with IVRs being the older of the two. Such technologies help to manage customer relationships, cut costs, and raise service delivery effectiveness. But it is never easy to determine when to use IVR and when to use Chatbots. It, therefore, becomes important to be clear as to what sets them aside and the versatility of each of them in the real world.

What is the Difference Between IVR and Chatbot?

IVR and Chatbot are two services that are associated with computers and technology, and because they are a little complex to understand, most people tend to confuse the two.

IVR systems and chatbots have the same functionality of responding to customers’ frequent inquiries but are implemented in different manners. IVR systems are where the customer is presented with a recorded message to dictate to him or her the sequence to follow often via phone. Clients communicate directly with the system and perform keypads numbers or speak commands. IVR for Call Centers have been in use for many years to cater large volumes of calls, routing the calls to the concerned department and addressing most of the frequently asked questions on their own without involving the call center executives.

Whereas, chatbots are a type of software applications that utilize text messages to interact with the users. Such interactions may take place on the official sites, application, or social accounts of a business. Chatbots are designed to solve any issue, starting from simple questions on a product or a service to buying one through text conversation.

The principal distinction is based on the channel of interaction; IVR employs the use of voice, whereas chatbots work with text. This difference determines the areas for which they are best suited to apply and the extent of their efficiency.

What is the Difference Between AI and IVR?

AI and IVR are related systems; however, IVR is different from artificial intelligence. IVR Solutions work through scripts or options which are relatively rigid and can sometimes prove to be quite unsatisfactory for callers if their concern is not listed on a script or an option. Compared with traditional IVR, self learning IVR can incorporate proficiency of the natural language understanding and the context as well.

AI on the other hand is a larger branch of study and comprises of machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning technologies as well. Other possibilities include: A longer conversation history of the user allows AI-driven systems to more naturally and in a more contextual way understand human language. AI can take up some uniquely interactive conversations and makes the interaction unique and dependent on the previous talk.

Indeed, traditional IVR is always robotic and cannot move beyond the set responses, but with AI, conversational IVR, which is more evolved than IVR, can be created. Conversational IVR essentially deploys artificial intelligence and natural language processing to better comprehend and answer to the custom’s voice commands and queries hence are less rigid and annoying than traditional IVR. This leads to the question: The only visible difference between IVR and conversational IVR is that while the former simply speaks to the customer, the latter engages the customer in a two-way communication. In other words, conversational IVR can be considered as the next generation innovation of IVR which integrates the AI component to offer a better interface for the users.

IVR Solutions for Call Center

IVR Solutions are essential in call centers; their importance has been confirmed by their effectiveness especially dealing with a high call traffic. IVR for call centers can transfer a call to the right section, one can get details about the balance in the account or the working hours and can go through simpler transactions without requiring any operator help. This not only helps to lessen the load on actual human beings who work for these call centers, but it also guarantees that customers do receive help when they need it.

Some components of Applications like IVR now involve the incorporation of some AI that enable it to support more complex interactions and offer better customer care. For example, it is possible to expand the functions of the speech recognition technology for the genuinely natural speaking instead of going through a number of subordinate menus to get the application they want.

When to Use IVR?

IVR systems are most helpful and effective in situations where voice interaction is quite desirable or indeed required. They are ideal for:

Handling high call volumes: IVR systems are capable of handling many calls at the same time and thus, do not let the customers wait for a long time before they are attended to and they get their information.

Routing calls: It can be very helpful in routing the calls to the relevant department or agent and this way it enhances the efficiency and customers satisfaction.

Providing basic information: For frequently asked questions like balance in the account or time of operation of a store, IVR systems can speak to the clients directly and provide the required details.

However, fixed IVR can be disheartening where it does not have this flexibility or where they put in too many sub menus. This is where conversational IVR can come in and make a huge difference especially in providing more natural ways of engaging the customer.

When to Use Chatbots?

Chatbots are good in text relationship and flexible with the use of different platforms. They are particularly useful for–

Customer service on websites and apps: First, chatbots can respond immediately, answering frequently asked questions or helping customers with a procedure, which leads to better UX and, therefore, fewer human agents’ interventions.

Social media engagement: Another application of AI is that, chatbot can be used to answer customer inquiries on the social media platforms and retain interaction with them.

E-commerce support: From simple tasks such as helping the customers find the product that they want to more complex tasks such as executing the customer’s orders, chatbots can be of great help to the customers.

They are very versatile, which is a bonus since many customers prefer interacting with companies through digital interfaces. They can work round the clock which enhances the level of customer satisfaction since the help is always within reach.

Choosing the Right Solution

Nevertheless, the decision to use IVR or chatbots vary depending on several factors, such as the nature of customers’ communication, channels of communication, and the nature of queries customers present.

For voice-based interactions: If your business organization is dealing with customers’ interactions mostly through the voices, then the IVR Solutions would be more suitable for you. They can effectively answer the calls, transfer it to the concerned section, and even provide general information without even involving staff. Enhancing the IVR to the conversational level can go a step ahead to improve the interactions that users have with IVR.

For text-based interactions: If your business navigates customers through your websites, mobile applications or social media platforms chatbots are the best solution. They can customize as per the needs, are versatile, and give prompt services.

Hybrid approach: It is common to observe many companies implement IVR alongside chatbots, where one will address specific aspects of customer support. For example, IVR solves the problem of phone calls, and chatbots address requests made via the Internet, which provide seamless services at different platforms.

Key Takeaway

Putting it into the essence, it is necessary to stress that differentiating between IVR and chatbots and realizing when to use which offers a great chance to achieve the greatest results in the field of customer service. But as for the voice communication and call routing, IVR systems, particularly conversational IVR, are prime, on the other hand, chatbots are great for text-based interactions in the digital world. Each has its unique advantages and, therefore, the appropriateness of each depends on the business context, as well as the style of communication with customers. When a business is equipped with the right automated solution, then the company is guaranteed a better overall performance of its services, satisfaction to customers and ability to compete in the modern marketplace.
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