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GLOSSARY: Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

“Press 1 for English.” An automated system that greets inbound (and sometimes outbound) callers.  It gathers information and provides options that can help the company better qualify callers, better route callers, and yield self-service opportunities prior to connecting the customer to the live agent.   In theory, it should result in more efficient, more productive, more satisfying interactions.  In practice, many IVR systems have been criticized for not properly recognizing customer inputs, for simply putting customers in a “hold pattern” until agents become available or even for deflecting calls.