AI Voice bots vs IVRs: Which One Should You Choose?

A person confused between opting for Modern IVRs & Traditional IVRs

Have you ever wished you could have a natural conversation with a customer support system instead of navigating through a maze of menu options? Well, the era of traditional Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems is being challenged by the capabilities of AI Voicebots.

In today’s blog, we will explore the key differences between AI Voicebots and IVRs, and help you determine which solution is best for your business. So, without further delay let's dive in and discover the future of customer experience.

AI Voicebots & IVRs: The Definition

A flow chart demonstrating Voice bot Architecture

Before we delve into the comparison, let's briefly understand what AI Voicebots and IVRs actually mean.

Voicebots: are advanced conversational agents that use AI and NLP to engage in human-like conversations with customers. They enable customers to interact naturally, just like talking to a live agent, and provide contextual responses based on the actual customer query.

IVRs: are traditional telephony systems that use pre-recorded voice prompts and touch-tone keypad selections to route customers to specific call center agents or provide predefined information.

Now, let's explore the key differences between AI Voicebots and IVRs to help you make an informed choice for your customer support needs.

Understanding the Differences:

Image showing the common differences in capabilities between AI Voice bots & IVRs

1. Customer experience comparison - Direct communication vs. menu navigation:

  • Traditional IVRs often frustrate customers with rigid tree-based menus, forcing them to select options that may not match their needs.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie by Ori, provide open natural dialogue, allowing customers to express themselves just like they would with a live agent.
  • VoiceGenie's generative capabilities enable it to understand and respond to customer queries, creating a more personalized and engaging experience.

2. Contextual Responses - Static vs. Dynamic:

  • IVRs offer pre-recorded responses that lack context and fail to address the specific needs of customers:
  • AI Voicebots, such as VoiceGenie, provide contextual responses based on the actual customer query, mimicking the way a human agent would respond.
  • With VoiceGenie, customers receive relevant and tailored information, enhancing their overall satisfaction.

3. Handling Complex Queries - Simple vs. Comprehensive:

  • IVRs are limited in their ability to handle complex queries, often requiring escalation to a live agent.
  • AI Voicebots, powered by advanced voice AI technology, excel in handling complex queries that were once reserved for human agents.
  • VoiceGenie's versatility ensures that it can handle a wide range of complex queries across various industries, from sales to support and beyond.

4. Sales Capabilities - Restricted vs. Comprehensive:

  • IVRs primarily serve as information gatekeepers and lack the capability to drive sales.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, are vital throughout the entire customer lifecycle, facilitating sales, upsell, activation, onboarding, support, and retention for both inbound and outbound use cases.
  • VoiceGenie's humanized voice and multilingual support ensure seamless communication and excellent customer experience.

5. Journey Design - Business-Defined vs. Customer-Driven:

  • IVRs enforce a predefined journey, limiting customers' options and potentially prolonging issue resolution.
  • AI Voicebots, such as VoiceGenie, empower customers to choose their own path, reaching a resolution in the shortest time possible.
  • VoiceGenie's conversational interface enables customers to select the most relevant options, streamlining the customer journey.

6. Automation - Limited vs. Extensive:

  • IVRs offer limited automation capabilities, often requiring manual intervention and handovers to live agents.
  • AI Voicebots, leveraging advanced AI technology, offer extensive automation and can integrate with the full IT stack to solve various use cases.
  • VoiceGenie's integration capabilities ensure a seamless experience by accessing relevant customer information from various systems.

7. Multilingual Support - Limited vs. Seamless:

  • IVRs struggle to support multiple languages effectively, leading to communication barriers for customers.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, excel in multilingual support, enabling seamless communication across languages within the same conversation.
  • VoiceGenie enables seamless customer communication across 100+ languages and dialects, eliminating language barriers.
Image showing VoiceGenie's success demographics across sales and support


8. Navigation - Touch-Tone vs. NLP:

  • IVRs rely on touch-tone navigation, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming for customers.
  • AI Voicebots, leveraging NLP, enable customers to interact naturally and effortlessly, enhancing the user experience.
  • VoiceGenie's intuitive interface enables customers to freely express themselves while understanding commands like speak slowly, loudly, and repeat, enhancing convenience and efficiency in interactions.

9. Hold Time - Lengthy vs. Zero:

  • IVRs often result in frustratingly long hold times, leading to customer dissatisfaction and increased call abandonment rates.
  • AI Voicebots, such as VoiceGenie, eliminate hold times by providing instant responses, reducing customer frustration.
  • VoiceGenie ensures a seamless experience, allowing customers to get the information they need without unnecessary delays.

10. Call Abandonment Rate - High vs. Low:

  • IVRs with their complex menus and long hold times contribute to high call abandonment rates, negatively impacting customer experience.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, offer personalized and efficient support, resulting in lower call abandonment rates.
  • VoiceGenie's ability to provide immediate assistance keeps customers engaged and ensures a higher level of customer satisfaction.

11. First-Call Resolution - Low vs. High:

  • IVRs often struggle to resolve customer issues on the first call, leading to customer frustration and repeated interactions.
  • AI Voicebots, powered by advanced AI algorithms, excel in first-call resolution, resolving complex queries effectively.
  • VoiceGenie's comprehensive understanding of customer queries and ability to provide contextual responses contribute to higher first-call resolution rates.

12. Handover to Live Agent - Cold vs. Warm:

  • IVRs often require a cold handover to a live agent, resulting in information gaps and repetitive explanations for customers.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, enable a warm handover to live agents, providing them with full context and minimizing customer effort.
  • VoiceGenie's seamless handover ensures a smooth transition between the voicebot and human agents, leading to more efficient problem resolution.

13. Agent AHT - High vs. Low:

  • IVRs lack automation and effective issue resolution mechanisms resulting in high average handling time (AHT) for live agents.
  • AI Voicebots, with their automation capabilities and ability to handle complex queries, significantly reduce agent AHT.
  • VoiceGenie's automation and contextual understanding of customer queries enable agents to handle more cases in less time, improving overall efficiency.

14. Cost Per Resolution - High vs. Low:

  • IVRs require frequent live agent escalations leading to higher costs per resolution for businesses.
  • AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, optimize costs by resolving a significant number of customer queries without the need for human intervention.
  • VoiceGenie's automation capabilities and multilingual support contribute to a lower cost per resolution, ensuring a more cost-effective customer support solution.

15. Customer Experience - Frustrating vs. Happy:

  • IVRs with their long recorded messages and complex menu options often frustrate customers and create an impersonal experience.
  • AI Voicebots, such as VoiceGenie, create happy customers by engaging them in natural and contextual conversations.
  • VoiceGenie's humanized voice and personalized responses make customers feel like they are talking to a live agent, enhancing their overall satisfaction.

Wrapping Up:

In the battle between Voice AI and IVRs, the choice is clear. While IVRs have served as the traditional option for customer support, AI Voicebots, like VoiceGenie, provide a significant leap forward in customer experience.

With their open natural dialogue, contextual responses, multilingual support, and extensive automation capabilities, Voicebots outshine IVRs in every aspect. By embracing VoiceGenie, you can offer a more humanized, efficient, and personalized customer support experience across the entire customer journey.

So, don't settle for outdated IVRs; click here and switch to VoiceGenie unlocking the true potential of customer support in the digital age.


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