Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped thousands of call centers choose the right IVR system software so they can enable customer self-service and handle inbound calls.

Showing 1-20 of 97 products

PureCloud

PureCloud by Genesys is an on-premise and cloud-based call center solution for businesses of any size and industry. Key modules include Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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NICE inContact Cloud Contact Center

NICE inContact is cloud-based call center software that helps businesses to maximize the quality of leads and minimize the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises many features required to process inbound support requests... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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UJET

UJET is a cloud-based call center application that integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. It offers both voice and chat channels for customers to reach their support agents. Users can connect with agents... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Plum Fuse+

Plum Fuse is a cloud-based interactive voice response (IVR) solution that helps businesses automate customer interactions and business processes through their voice channel. Voice applications built with Plum technology provide users... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Talkdesk Enterprise Cloud Contact Center

Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that helps businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. It uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Verascape

Verascape is a cloud-based call center solution that caters to businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include call logging, call recording, a progressive dialer, call scripting, escalation management and voice recognition. Verascape... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Voxco IVR

Voxco IVR is an automated voice response survey system that streamlines the delivery of self-completion surveys to a broad audience. It can operate on an inbound, outbound, or a flexible mixed method basis. In survey mode, respondents... Read more

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Platforms: MacWin
Deployments: On premise
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VoiceGuide IVR

VoiceGuide IVR by Katalina Technologies offers creation tools for inbound and outbound interactive voice response (IVR). The solution offers on-premise or cloud deployment and an open-source architecture for integration with other... Read more

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Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Ytel

Ytel is a cloud-based integrated marketing suite that caters to SMB call centers and businesses with dedicated phone support teams, helping them manage multi-channel communications. The solution offers features including automated... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Kixie PowerCall

Kixie PowerCall is a cloud-based interactive voice response (IVR) solution that helps users automate their sales processes. It can also be deployed on-premise. Kixie PowerCall offers users one-click dialing, call recording, call history,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Aircall

Aircall is a cloud-based business phone and call center system that helps manage and streamline customer support and sales engagement operations. Designed for offices and teams in remote areas, it enables users to integrate software... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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FluentCloud

FluentStream is a business phone solution designed for companies of all sizes. It offers call monitoring, telemarketing, IVR and reporting features within an integrated suite. The solution is available both in cloud-based and on-premise... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a call center solution that helps businesses organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, capture and store lead data,... Read more

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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KOOKOO

KOOKOO CloudAgent is a cloud contact center solution that works both standalone or blended with your existing trunk/legacy solution. Advanced tools enable intelligent call routing, inbound lead management, abandoned call management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 13 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Five9 Cloud Contact Center

Five9 is an all-in-one cloud contact center solution for inbound, outbound, blended and omnichannel contact centers world-wide.  Powered by Practical AI, Five9 enables agents to provide customer experiences across phone, email, chat,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 12 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Dialpad Support

For quickly growing businesses looking to efficiently scale their support teams, Dialpad Support provides a cloud-based call center with access to real-time customer insights. Dialpad allows users to onboard quickly and focus on delivering... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Nextiva VoIP

Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer telephony services for small businesses with functionality that eliminates the need for a traditional phone system. The packages include VoIP phone systems, scalable PBX trunks, online faxing... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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OfficeConnect

OfficeConnect by UniVoip is a cloud-based phone system that offers features including auto-attendant, call paging, conferencing, email integration, one-touch speed dial and call recording. The platform is targeted towards mid to large-sized... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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XenCALL Predictive Dialer CRM

XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 6 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: Cloud, On premise
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Buyers guide


Last Updated: June 15, 2019

Interactive voice response (IVR) systems are a foundational technology for inbound contact centers. They allow callers to complete tasks over the phone, either via voice response or numerical keypad input.

IVR software can dramatically streamline the performance of a contact center—particularly when used in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software. But it isn’t the best fit for all business models. IVR systems offer complex, specialized functionality, and are packaged in different ways by different vendors.

That’s why we’ve written this guide to help you better understand which systems will work best for your needs. In it, we’ll cover the following topics:

What Is IVR Software?
Benefits of Using IVR Software
Common Functionality
IVR Systems vs. Auto-Attendants
Best-of-Breed Systems vs. Contact Center Suites

What Is IVR Software?

IVR software accomplishes two major goals:

  1. It helps callers help themselves through “self-service.” These systems provide automated menus that allow callers to complete tasks without assistance from support agents.
  2. In conjunction with an automated call distribution (ACD) system, an IVR system helps route callers to the right support agent when their needs can’t be met by self-service options. (An ACD system parks incoming calls in a queue until agents are available to answer, and then distributes calls to agents using rules that factor in agent skills, performance metrics etc.) For instance, if a caller says or enters the numerical option for “billing” using the IVR system, they’ll be routed into the call queue (controlled by the ACD system) for an agent in that department.

IVR systems follow a branching menu structure known as a “menu tree.” The top-level menu may include options for, say, “support” and “billing.” If the caller selects “support,” they’ll be funneled into a submenu that contains numerous self-service options for support issues (e.g., instructions on how to reset a device). If these options don’t meet the caller’s needs, the caller will be routed to a support agent.

Branching Prompts in an IVR Menu Tree

Branching Prompts in an IVR Menu Tree

As mentioned, the IVR menu tree also assists in call routing through integration with ACD systems, which use callers’ spoken or touch-tone responses as they navigate the IVR system to route calls to the right agent.

Benefits of Using IVR Software

Customers may not know what the term “IVR” means—but they do know what they like and don’t like, and many perceive IVR technology as annoying and difficult to use. So why does your call center need an IVR system in the first place?

The answer is that IVR can cut down on the number of calls agents have to handle by enabling callers to resolve certain issues through self-service options. By reducing the overall number of calls your contact center handles, you can slash your top expense: personnel.

Moreover, even though consumers tend to dislike IVR technology, they probably aren’t thinking through the alternative: a drawn-out interaction with a support agent. When we interviewed call center benchmarking expert Bruce Belfiore about IVR design best practices, he noted that some consumers (particularly younger callers) prefer to avoid interacting with a support agent whenever possible. These callers actually prefer IVR and other self-service technologies.

Additionally, even if an IVR system isn’t able to fully meet a caller’s needs, it can still automate the initial steps of collecting information and routing the caller to the right group of agents. Without an IVR, these steps would need to be handled by human workers—increasing the number of transfers (and, most likely, the caller’s level of frustration) before getting the call to the right agent.

Simply think back to the times you’ve been bounced around like a ping-pong ball between multiple contact center agents who couldn’t answer your question, and you’ll quickly realize the value of IVR.

Common Functionality

The following list of IVR capabilities includes standard offerings of most systems. This list also includes more advanced capabilities offered by niche vendors or enabled via integrations with other contact center applications:

Visual IVR designer A drag-and-drop graphical user interface for designing IVR call flows (the branching menus through which callers pass as they select options for support, sales, billing etc.).
Automated speech recognition (ASR) Allows callers to speak responses instead of using touch-tone input. Frequently requires the use of third-party ASR software, though many IVR vendors partner with ASR vendors to deliver a complete solution. Some systems allow for voiceprint authentication (comparing audio data from a call with a model of the caller’s voice) to verify caller identity.
Text-to-speech (TTS)/common data speaker Text-to-speech enables the system to read information from databases out loud for customers (payment history, account balances etc.), as opposed to simply playing recorded prompts. Also assists in the development of IVR menu prompts. A common data speaker is a more basic capability that only allows highly structured data, such as dates and numbers, to be converted into speech.
Multilingual support Enables the IVR menu structure to play prompts and recognize spoken responses in multiple languages.
Data retrieval from Web server Allows customer data to be retrieved from a Web server in order to verify response input (e.g., checking a spoken account number against a stored account number) and otherwise assist agents.
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