voice recognition

Customer Experience Outsourcing – 6 Considerations Using IVR Systems

Like most technology, interactive voice response (IVR) has evolved over the years. From automatic switchboards to completing self-service tasks like activating a credit card or paying a bank bill—IVR systems have modernized companies with intelligent virtual agents (IVAs). If companies want to stay competitive in their industry, implementing an IVR system will help automate numerous operations in a company and ultimately save time, money and resources.

IVR Outsourcing

IVR outsourcing is an excellent way to do this, but with so many vendors out there, how do you know which one to choose? The correct choice is the one that meets the specific needs and requirements of your business and industry and provides superior customer service. There are many things to consider – keep reading to find out precisely what you should look for in a vendor to get the very best IVR outsourcing.

Automated IVR

IVR is automated phone technology that allows callers to interact with AI software to find information quickly without the need for live agent intervention. IVR technology can integrate with current company systems, such as databases and CRMs, which will enable you to automate numerous business processes.

A well-designed IVR system will increase customer satisfaction, especially during times of high call volume. Customers won’t have to wait for answers to simple questions; they will have the ability to perform simple tasks themselvesIf necessary, customers can be transferred to a live agent best suited for their needs for more complex issues.

Automated IVR is used by various companies and in a variety of industries, such as healthcare, banking and utilities. And while IVR technology has been around since the 1970s, today’s IVRs provide more features and a personal touch, including answering open-ended questions.

What Are the Benefits of IVR Outsourcing?

Not every company has the time or resources needed to build or manage a particular solution. By outsourcing with cloud vendors such as Plum Voice, you don’t have to manage an on-premise system or have dedicated developers on staff. Employees can focus on higher-priority projects while an automated IVR system answers phone calls in real-time and provides answers to routine and repetitive questions. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of IVR systems and why you should consider outsourcing your customer experience.

Improved Customer Experience with IVR

Nobody likes waiting on hold. In fact, 60% or more of customers would choose a customer self-service option rather than speak to a live agent. IVR improves customer experience by giving them what they want, which is a customer voice self-service application. This reduces average hold times and offers customers a self-service option twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week and 365 days per year. IVR outsourcing allows you to tap into available call analytics to optimize applications and better serve your customers. By outsourcing IVR, ALL employees are more readily available to focus on more critical aspects of your business. 

IVR Systems Save Companies Money

Training and managing live agents is expensive. It doesn’t make sense for companies to spend unnecessary money and time handling routine tasks and answering simple inquiries. When outsourcing your customer experience process by using IVR system for simple tasks is cheaper than utilizing live agents, and it frees up those agents to take calls with more complex issues. Customer service improves while overall costs decline. Also, outsourcing IVR can result in additional savings with other application features such as an AI cloud platform. Cloud-based services eliminate the need to purchase and maintain on-site software, which can be pricey.*

Flexible Technology

Enabling voice applications to utilize real-time data is extremely beneficial. If you adopt a CPaaS platform to manage an IVR system and other voice applications, you can use APIs to connect to and integrate with a vast amount of other external technologies. For example, a cloud platform, like Plum Fuse, offers pre-built application templates, which can shorten development cycles and speed up timelines for design and deployment. Optimizing applications for better customer service is more manageable with built-in analytics and reporting with tools like Plum VoiceTrends

6 Considerations for Outsourced Customer Support with IVR

Now that you know what IVR is and how customer experience outsourcing can benefit your company, here are six considerations to keep in mind to get the best IVR outsourcing available:


Every business handles sensitive information, so they need top-notch security, especially when adding new technology vendors and growing their operations. Whether your company handles private information like bank account details, social security numbers and medical history, or simply maintains a database with customer names and phone numbers, personal data privacy is a concern. Customers should never have to worry about their data being seized and used without their consent. 

Consider outsourcing your IVR system or hosting it in the cloud when security and compliance are crucial. This way the IVR provider won’t compromise customer experience for safety and will protect the confidentiality and integrity of your customers. The best outsourcing IVR vendors will offer PCI-DSS, SOC2, and HIPAA compliance standards. For example, Plum Voice’s cloud infrastructure meets these compliance standards and, therefore, meets the security standards of its customers and the industries they serve. This was accomplished through rigorous audits so that Plum Voice’s customers would never have to worry about the security of their data moving through applications on Plum Voice’s platform. 


The reliability of your customer support or contact center directly correlates to the success of your business. Nobody can afford downtime. Your calls should get through every single time—no matter when or where they’re placed. For the best IVR outsourcing options, look for a vendor with a minimum of 99% uptime. Plum Voice’s cloud IVR platform handles millions of calls each day, and is so reliable that it guarantees 99.9% uptime in all service-level agreements.

Disaster Recovery

Natural disasters will happen. While it’s uncertain when they will occur or how much damage they may cause, you still need to plan for them. The best IVR outsourcing options will be those with more than one data center for redundancy. Those data centers should be separated by a minimum of a few hundred miles. 

For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, nobody knew exactly where it would make landfall. If your data center was in Boston and the hurricane landed  close to Boston, it’s likely your infrastructure would be disrupted. If you had another available data center located in another state away from the east coast, your inbound and outbound communications traffic would be re-routed.

When choosing an IVR vendor, there are a couple of things to consider: The number of data centers in their network and the storage capacity of each data center. For example, Plum Voice has three data centers in the US – Boston, Dallas and Northern Virginia – and a fourth in London. The dispersed geography of these data centers is essential for recovery during and after a natural disaster because it’s unlikely that all will be hit at the same time. Data center infrastructure needs to be set up to ensure that no single event will reduce capacity – resulting in a service reduction, even if there is a current burst in traffic. 

The requirement for this design is described as N+1 redundancy—meaning: if your company has one data center’s worth of traffic, another data center is required. So, the redundant capacity necessary is the amount of traffic that one data center can handle even though you’re paying for two. However, if you have three data centers—you have two centers worth redundant capacity, and you still only need to pay for one extra. 


Choose a platform with scaling of service requirements in mind. Scalability is one of the biggest reasons companies move their IVR to the cloud. Your IVR vendor should be capable of handling call volume growth effectively to maintain excellent customer service. If calls increase dramatically or slowly over time, a scalable cloud solution empowers companies to act appropriately and improve performance. No matter how many calls you expect to receive in the future, get an infrastructure that scales with your voice application.

24/7 Support and Continuous Updates

An IVR centered around customers is a process—not a product. Technology continually evolves, but with continuous updates, you don’t need the next version. Choose an IVR vendor that maintains its platform up-to-date and performs regular audits and updates. This saves you  time and money from maintaining servers on your end. The Plum Voice platform supports the latest technology, including text-to-speech (TTS) and advanced speech recognition (ASR). Check out the artificial intelligence (AI) apps, IVR analytics tools and more.

IVR Development Options

The correct development approach is the one that meets the specific needs of your company. If you’re interested in coding, try code-based Plum DEV. It leverages the same flexibility and power as VoiceXML. If you’re a non-coder, check out Plum Fuse. With no coding necessary,

Plum Fuse makes the development process easy, and it also offers a visual call-flow editor to develop and deploy rapidly. 

Now that you know what to look for to find the best IVR outsourcing or cloud-based IVR vendor, you can start your search knowing exactly what questions to ask. With the right provider, your company can start improving customer service while improving your workflows and reducing overall costs. Get in touch with a Plum Voice expert today and learn more about our platform, tools and applications