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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 with the system and is efficient for the callers to choose menus without bothering an actual receptionist.

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, that will also avoid confusions in both parties – it results in a faster transaction. A time-efficient system that can help an organization productive and effective.

Harnessing the power of technology gives businesses more leverage in its 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 enterprizes (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 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the engagement of services from a third-party provider. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to hasten the delivery of services. The business activities could be back-office such as, but not limited to, payroll, accounting, human resources, or front office jobs like customer service, sales, and marketing, etc. In the case of content providers, these business activities could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business activities use their time on core services and competencies. With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes that 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.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

When a business engages an external specialist to manage and operate some of its internal processes, it's referred to as business process outsourcing. 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: significant savings of up to 70%, leveraging the lower global salaries Global market: access to a bigger employment pool of talent Global presence: having operational across the globe increases trade opportunities Flexible workforce: reduces internal local labour and employment compliance obligations Leverage skill: leveraging the skills of other specialist companies Focus: enables the client company to focus on their core functions

 

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing many millions of people worldwide. Some examples 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 hem full time, 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 generalist, in that they offer a full range of professional services, although some specialise in certain verticals (ie accounting, or animation).

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates form 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: operational, technical and specialist functions Healthcare: various functions of the backend of the healthcare and health-insurance industries Creative and content: everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content Tech, IT and development: network management, web and app development and maintenance Sales & customer support: ongoing sales and customer operational support and delivery Marketing: ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities Talent and HR: externalising the management of company HR, recruitment and compliance Administration: general business administration and operational activities Top BPO companies in the world's top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of BPO companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them have even earned awards and recognitions by award-giving bodies due to their performance on both the roles they take and on their way of taking care of 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

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 4,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing.

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About OA

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

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between Philippines 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 900+ 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.