Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response Costs

The process of selecting an Interactive Voice Response can be frustrating. There are lots of dealers in the market and none of them make cost comparisons easy. We'll help clear up the confusion with a brief guide to IVR system costs.

A carefully planned IVR system implementation can result in substantial savings for the average, high-volume call center.

Instead of employing additional call center personnel to handle routine customer inquiries, IVR lets you streamline call center staff and refocus staff assets on strategic tasks.

Achieving an effective ROI depends largely on your call volume. If you're a small business that doesn't depend on call center tasks for a high volume of sales or customer service calls, you're better off adding an auto-attendant feature to your phone system for incoming call routing. But if your call center is at the heart of business operations, a comprehensive IVR system can more than pay for itself over time.

Hosted vs. In-house System Pricing

The biggest consideration in IVR technology pricing is whether your solution will be maintained hosted by an on-premises server or hosted by your provider. If your IT department will maintain the system in-house, you're going to have to factor in the cost of a dedicated telecom closet complete with servers, switches and other hardware. Hosted solutions eliminate many of the initial setup costs, but incur monthly service charges going forward.

Initial Set-up Costs

Initial setup costs vary according to a number of factors, not the least of which is the size of the system itself. Costs go up with each additional port/user that requires software licensing and hardware. Features like voice recognition, developer tools, database software and customized programming are also upcharges. For in-house IVR, small and medium-sized businesses can expect to pay between $1,500-$2,500/port. Larger companies, on the other hand, often incur total project costs of $10,000 or more. It's not unheard of for enterprise-level solutions to come in at $100,000+.

Monthly Hosting Fees

Hosted IVR systems eliminate upfront hardware costs. Instead, pricing is based on monthly fees that are paid to the hosting service provider. Unlike other hosted applications, monthly bills are accurately matched to actual system usage, so seasonal spikes in call volume will be reflected on your monthly statement. Generally speaking, hosted IVR solutions have a greater long-term cost than in-house systems. Many companies choose to begin with a hosted system and eventually transition to an in-house alternative.

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