What is Conversational IVR?

Conversational IVR is an AI-driven technology that automates customer communication at contact centers and helps create personalized user experiences at scale. A Conversational IVR can be easily integrated with contact center software to automate common user queries in real-time, taking the workload off human live agents.

Businesses can use Conversational IVR solutions to upgrade their customer-facing digital touchpoints and empower the customers with self-service support for fast and precise query resolution.


Conversational IVR: Automate Customer Care Calls with AI

Why Use Conversational IVR for Your Business?

Traditional IVR systems offer a poor experience by providing limited menu-based support to users. Whereas, an AI-powered Conversational IVR addresses this challenge by offering a seamless and interactive experience to customers. Here are a few reasons why you should consider this technological innovation as the frontline of your contact center business to augment customer experience.



  • Great Customer Experience Translates to Revenue Growth: According to Tractica, the revenues coming from software/tools using artificial intelligence are going to increase from 9.5 billion U.S dollars in 2018 to 118.6 billion U.S dollars by 2025. Conversational IVR translates to the revenue growth for contact centers better than any other cognitive AI-powered solution in the market as it directly impacts customer experience. Not only limited to growing revenue for your brand, this AI technology caters to a lot of benefits in the cost management space for your business.
  • Conversational IVR brings significant Reduction in Cost: Conversational AI technology allows contact centers to automate monotonous customer service requests and seamlessly auto-routes calls to agents if and when escalation is required. Integrating Conversational IVR into the contact center helpdesks resolves the queries in no time and reduces the support queue. This helps them significantly reduce annual operational costs by handling a huge volume of queries in a cost-effective manner with a hybrid human + IVR-powered customer support team.

Explore 7 remarkable Conversational IVR trends for the year 2021 and beyond

How Conversational IVR benefits Brands and Customers?

Conversational IVR has a crucial role to play in a brand’s contact center strategy. There are many customer experience gaps that need to be plugged. Many businesses have accomplished this by turning to AI automation of contact center operations and upgrading to Conversational IVR experience. Let’s take a look at what benefits contact center brands draw using the power of cognitive AI technology.


Enables Flexibility

Traditional menu-based IVR offers a limited menu of options and forces customers through a cumbersome navigation process. Conversational IVR does away with the menu-based experience. Conversational IVR can address customer issues directly basis the customer query. The AI intelligently picks up relevant keywords and phrases, gains a clear insight into the customer’s intent, and provides a resolution.


Enhances Agent Productivity

Conversational IVR enables contact center agents to be more productive by automating routine queries to decrease query volume load on human agents. This allows the agents to focus on helping customers who require dedicated assistance. The conversation history with customers is synced with existing CRM software so that the agent has full context of customers’ issues when a query gets routed.


Improves Support Time

Conversational IVR automates common queries, helps reduce the wait-time for customers, and in turn increases the efficiency for customer service teams. With customers getting their queries answered in less than a minute, this significant decrease in the response time for contact centers helps them improve support time and deliver a delightful customer experience altogether.



Expert Guide: How Businesses can leverage Conversational AI for IVR deflection and why it is needed

How Conversational IVR works?



The Conversational IVR experience begins with the customer calling the contact center from a public telephony network. Let’s take a look at how Haptik’s Conversational IVR solution works:

  • Once the customer’s call hits the system, the Contact Center Conversation Manager decides how to route the call. In the case of complex queries, the call is routed to a human agent, while in the case of common queries, the call is routed to an AI-powered intelligent voice assistant.
  • The speech recognition engine converts the voice inputs into text, to be processed by the Intelligence Layer. The AI comes up with a response, that is converted into speech and sent back through the Voice Gateway, reaching the customer in the form of a voice response from the system.
  • In case the AI is unable to understand the customer’s query, or if the customer themselves requests escalation to a human agent, this feedback is passed on to the Contact Center Conversation Manager, which immediately routes the call to an agent.

Success Metrics to indicate Superior Customer Experience

If implemented properly, and optimized based on measurable results, Conversational IVR has the potential to redefine voice automation in contact centers. Conversational IVR enables brands to enhance customer experience and drive exponential ROI. Here are a few success metrics that indicate how effective the implementation was in meeting the expectations of both the brand (in terms of business objectives) and the customer (in terms of experience).

  • CSAT & NPS: Customer experience metrics like CSAT and NPS paint an accurate picture of how successful the IVR automation solution is when it comes to answering customer queries or resolving issues with minimal friction. These metrics will also reflect customer feedback on the IVR’s conversational flows.
  • Wait Times: Conversational IVR will significantly reduce time it takes for a customer to receive assistance. If it works correctly, simple queries will be seamlessly resolved by the AI, while complex queries are routed to the relevant human agent. Reduced wait times will indicate the success of the solution at efficiently managing query volumes, and improving customer experience.
  • Call Containment: A contact center’s call containment rate indicates the percentage of incoming calls handled by the IVR end-to-end. A higher containment rate indicates that the AI is able to understand customer intent and provide the appropriate resolution for a large proportion of the inbound queries - highlighting the success metrics of IVR automation.
  • Cost Per Call: The cost per call, one of the most critical success metrics, when handled by a traditional IVR system, tends to be relatively high, which makes scaling up an expensive proposition. Conversational IVR automation can reduce the cost per call to as much as one-eighth of a traditional voice interaction that helps in the saving of overall operational costs for contact center businesses.

Building a Full Stack Customer Experience at Contact Centers

The zero coding integration of Conversational AI technology into the existing live chat systems like Freshchat, Genesys, etc and CRM platforms like Salesforce, Hubspot, etc, builds a 24/7 on-demand full-stack platform that ensures round-the-clock support to customers and delivers an omnichannel real-time experience over a wide range of digital platforms or channels like email, phone(android, apple), website, social media, mobile applications, messaging platforms like Facebook, google business messenger, WhatsApp, etc.


The integration between the contact center’s systems and the Conversational IVR is done through the Voice Gateway, which passes the customer’s voice inputs to the Intelligence Layer. Data from the business, e.g. customer information from the business’ CRM system, is also passed on through the Voice Gateway to the Intelligence Layer.



Final Thoughts

According to the industry experts and brand leaders in the technology innovation space, we are moving steadily towards a fully automated contact center landscape in the future. Empowered with the power of cognitive AI solutions like Conversational IVR delivering the best customer experience, only a few contact center businesses are ready to make the most from the technology revolution. With the emerging need for businesses to transform CX to stay ahead in the competitive market landscape, it is now time for brands to transform their customer support operations to boost retention, loyalty, decrease operational cost, and ultimately drive revenue and profit on the foundation of a customer-centric approach.

With Conversational IVR being the next disruptive technology for contact centers, it is only a matter of time before conversational interfaces become a key component of every successful customer service journey and long-term customer relationship.

Haptik, one of the world’s leading AI companies empowers Conversational IVR for brands to transform customer experiences. The platform has enabled over 100 virtual assistants, reaching close to 100 million devices and processing over 3 billion end customer interactions. We, at Haptik, are no longer teaching customers how to interact with systems, we are teaching the systems to interact with our customers.

If you’re interested in learning more about Conversational IVR, reach out to us at

Our slogan is “Build Once - Deploy Anywhere