IVS versus callbots: Which is the most effective?

IVS versus callbots: Which is the most effective?

In the context of your call center operations, it's worth noting that in France, 72% of customers still prefer to use the phone to contact brands (Salesforce, 2022 [in French]). This statistic underscores the ongoing relevance of this communication channel in our industry! 

So, IVS or callbot? This is the question you should ask yourself for your call center. Today, reaching a line without an Interactive Voice Server or callbot is rare. These solutions are designed to handle calls instantly and redirect them to the correct service, ensuring efficient communication, and customer satisfaction.

So, whether choosing a traditional IVS or a callbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is a practical question for your call center. In this article, we'll delve into the pros and cons of both solutions, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your business or organization.

Callbot: The solution powered by artificial intelligence

What is a callbot?

A callbot (or a vocal conversational agent) is a computer program that automatically answers telephone calls without human intervention. As you can guess, callbot is simply a portmanteau of the words "call" and "bot." This program uses two principal technologies: 

  • voice recognition
  • natural language processing (NLP) powered by AI can understand complex voice commands

Callbots: Pros and Cons

Callbot AdvantagesCallbot Disadvantages
A versatile and multifunctional toolIt may only be compatible with some of the existing tools in the organization.
Tool powered by artificial intelligence: an advanced technology that allows it to understand complex queries.More complicated to integrate than an IVS
Automates repetitive tasks 
Available 24h/24 
Reduces customer wait times 
Consistent responses across all channels 
Personalized responses using CRM 
Automatically collects and analyzes data 
Reduces costs 
Improves customer satisfaction 
Natural and fluid conversations between the caller and the bot 

The callbot has several advantages, including advanced features that can significantly enhance your call center operations. Unlike an IVS, which can only follow predetermined scripts and basic workflows, an intelligent virtual agent can complete several personalized tasks simultaneously, offering a unique and engaging customer experience. 

  • Answering calls
  • Redirecting callers to the correct service
  • Recording and transcribing calls
  • Holding a natural and fluent conversation with the caller
  • Taking useful information (customer information, statistics, and ACT) from calls and adding them to the CRM
  • Analyzing this information to improve customer service continually

Beyond this versatility, callbots can also: 

  • Operate 24/7, unlike human agents.
  • Offer the same information to any customer, regardless of the channel or the situation.
  • Offer ultra-fast and ultra-detailed answers, which is great in a culture where consumers expect the customer service from their favorite brands to be increasingly reactive! 

Your callbot can come with all the functionality and necessary data to optimize your customer service and call handling in just a single platform

Nevertheless, integrating a callbot into your current ecosystem can involve significant financial investments. But the return on said investment is quick.

Interactive Voice Servers (IVS)

What is an IVS?

An IVS automated telephone system answers incoming calls and guides callers through predefined menus. The interactions usually involve simple voice commands or button presses (for example, "Press 3 to speak with a customer service adviser). The IVS uses strict scripts and decision trees to direct calls to the right service or to provide prerecorded information and answers.

IVS: Pros and Cons

IVS AdvantagesIVS Disadvantages
Quick integrationUnable to understand complex vocal commands
Simple: less risk of malfunctioningLack of versatility
There is no need to train staff on the use of the IVSStrict scripts with predefined menus
Financial investmentThe caller and the solution interact via simple voice commands or button presses.
It saves time for human agents for each incoming callSmaller return on investment

Interactive Voice Servers meet all the requirements of a standard call center looking to improve agent productivity by redirecting incoming calls. Installing a solution is quick and cost-effective, making it a reliable choice for businesses with budget constraints. 

Furthermore, while an IVS may redirect specific calls to the correct service, it doesn't necessarily improve the customer experience; callers need to press buttons or clearly say keywords to be taken through a predefined menu by the IVS. In 2024, this isn't considered an advanced technology but a minimum requirement for the customer experience.

Callbots, the perfect solution for call centers

Are you still deciding between an IVS and a callbot? A callbot is a complete solution that will meet all your call center needs. An IVS is a more straightforward solution with reduced functionality, which might still meet your needs. However, you won't be able to benefit from valuable features like collecting and analyzing calls or offering 24/7 customer service. 

Regarding the features, callbots offer a dynamic and personalized experience. Customers can use their own words, and this AI-powered solution will provide tailored answers, even to unexpected questions. On the other hand, IVS relies on static scripts, requiring customers to navigate fixed menus or press buttons, which may not always deliver the best customer experience. The versatility of callbots and machine learning make them the ideal solution for any call center.