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Voice Response Unit (VRU)

Definition

See IVR.

What is the Voice Response Unit (VRU)?

The Voice Response Unit or VRU is an automatic telephone answering device composed of hardware and software that enables a caller to navigate across a set of pre-recorded messages.

When call centers started to transition to digital in the late 1990s, businesses began investing in computer telephony integration (CTI) with VRU systems.

Today, many call center companies use voice response units to handle the front end of inbound calls. VRUs usually play recorded greetings to callers and then present them with menu options. Interactive voice response (IVR) is another term for VRU.

Importance of voice response unit (VRU)

Voice Response Units help consumers communicate with the company’s host device using a keypad or voice recognition, through which services can be accessed via its interface. 

VRU systems may respond to additional direct users with pre-recorded or dynamically produced audio including how to proceed.

Voice response units can maximize customer service and increase operational performance. In addition, VRU systems can be used for smartphone transactions, banking transfers, services, shopping orders, utilities, travel details, and weather conditions. 

A correctly deployed voice response unit could be a key asset that helps both consumers and call centers.

Importance of voice response unit (VRU)

Benefits of a voice response unit

Here are some benefits you can expect when using a VRU.

Cost savings

The voice response unit is one of the most considered useful for every business. You can save money on recruiting agents to handle minimal inquiries and routing incoming calls through using VRU to offer some customer service aspects and provide automatic call distributors (ACD).

Consistency and professionalism

Businesses can ensure a high degree of consistency and professionalism by incorporating voice response units into your system throughout the process. 

Customers will receive messaging and the tone you wish to engage every time they call if you have pre-recorded messages placed on your system.

Excellent customer service experience

Customers are put on hold while waiting for agents to answer the call. By answering calls immediately, voice response units can help relieve your consumers’ frustration. 

Even if there is a high call volume and a long wait for a live agent, your VRU may enhance customer service and reduce staff anxiety by informing callers of projected wait times or providing a callback

Personalized customer service 

Many customers increasingly prefer the convenience of self-service in every brand they go to. Voice response devices can help consumers with basic or common questions by immediately answering them or directing them to the appropriate agent. 

Further, you can set your VRU system to identify and welcome such individuals by name. 

Data and information gathering

You can use your voice response units to collect data and information from callers if it does not breach any data regulations. This can help with future marketing and segmentation of your client base. 

Further, voice response units help identify common reasons for calls, allowing you to allocate more resources to that area if necessary.

Outsourcing FAQ

Interactive voice response meaning

Interactive voice response meaning

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a programmed telephone technology set to interact with callers. It has automated features that can reroute callers to the exact recipients. 

It is also capable of receiving touch-based or touch-tone keypad selection as well as voice command that enables the speaker to voice out any commands that can prompt the Interactive Voice Response or (IVR) to respond such as callback, fax tone, voice mail, and any other methods of contacting. 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is integrated with a database that allows callers to have access to the system and is efficient for the callers to choose menus without bothering an actual receptionist.

How do IVRs process calls?

IVRs are utilized by call centers to route the calls on specific departments that are chosen by the caller such as the technical team, billing departments, or simply a human operator.

To attract the customer’s attention, IVRs are also used to give business information like the latest promos and updates or give reminders or instructions — such as telling the caller that the system will record the call.

Additionally, IVRs are applied to the whole operation of a contact center to allow self-service options to callers. It offers solutions to simple customer queries that can be easily solved. This enables agents to focus on more complex issues.

Some processes that IVRs can now do are the following:

Look up basic information  Access the caller’s account Inquire about account balance Set PIN numbers or change passwords Fill up forms and surveys Make small payments or transfer funds

IVR call center

Having an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in an organization can make things easier. One thing to consider is the time-efficiency, wherein an organization can save up a lot of time without rerouting callers to any inappropriate recipients. 

Few selections are available for the caller to choose from, which will also avoid confusion in both parties – it results in a faster transaction. A time-efficient system that can help an organization be productive and effective.

Harnessing the power of technology gives businesses more leverage in their industry. Getting the most advantages of having an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is part of proven solutions for your business.

Gaining access to modern A-grade facilities can be utilized for the betterment of your business’ ongoing and future ventures.

Outsource Accelerator specializes in helping small & medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 2-500 employees, typically based in the high-cost English-speaking world. We are the experts in transforming these businesses with outsourcing.

What is Telephony?

What is a Telephony?

Telephony is defined as the field of technology that involves the development and application of telecommunication services between distant parties through the use of appropriate equipment, whether voice, fax, or data. It is also linked to the invention of the telephone.

Telephony, as a term, is also used to refer to any computer network systems, hardware, or software, that carry out the roles usually performed by telephones.

Types of telephony

Telephony allows people to carry out long-distance communication, and it is most commonly used to refer to telephone systems. However, there are other types of telephony:

Traditional telephony Voice Over IP (VoIP) and internet telephony Mobile telephony Faxing telephony

 

What is Automatic Dialer?

What is an Automatic Dialer?

An automatic dialer or autodialer is software for outbound contact center solutions that lets agents instantly dial phone numbers from a lead database. Automatic dialers may either be programmed to play a pre-recorded message or connect a call to a live agent.

Autodialers can help a caller to reach an agent instead of a voice mail. It can also dial new numbers when the caller predicts that an agent will be present based on call analytics. Autodialers can determine if a person or machine answered the call, and they can either play a message or connect a call to an agent to handle it.

Importance of automatic dialer

An autodialer software makes it more effective to execute outbound campaigns. It helps call center companies to carry out constructive consumer interactions efficiently. Customers can also reliably anticipate when agents will become available and screen out unproductive calls.

Autodialers can maximize the efficiency of an agent, increase contact with customers, enable consistency and quality assurance, improve the efficiency of the contact center, and decrease the running costs.

Types of automatic dialers

Predictive Dialer. Predictive dialers are advanced outbound call processing and monitoring technologies that use predictive data to help determine how many numbers need to be dialed at any given time.

Preview Dialer. Preview dialers often encourage agents to review all prospects’ details so that they can plan for a discussion before a call. It is also the safest choice for critical calls, including sets, in-house sales calls, etc.

Progressive Dialer. Progressive Dialers help agents prevent dialing the client's mobile number manually for outbound calls. 

Smart Predictive Dialer. The predictive dialer is an automated dialing system. It allows call center agents to increase their number of live connections.

Voice Broadcasting. A pre-created message is sent to voicemails or individuals based on addresses that are pre-set.

 

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.