Automated spam calls can be a nuisance for both individuals and businesses. These unwanted calls interrupt your day and cause frustration. One way to counter these unwanted calls is using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
An IVR system is a computerized system that can interact with callers through the use of voice and DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) inputs. By using an IVR system with your VoIP service, you can create a menu of options for callers to navigate through, making it more difficult for spam callers to reach a live person.
First, an Example of IVR
An example of an IVR system would be a phone call to a company’s customer service line. When the call is answered, the caller is greeted with a recorded message that says, “Welcome to XYZ Company. For English, press 1. For Spanish, press 2.”
Once the caller presses 1 or 2, they are then presented with another set of options, such as “For sales, press 1. For customer service, press 2. For technical support, press 3.”
If the caller presses 1 for sales, they are then connected to a sales representative. If they press 2 for customer service, they are connected to a customer service representative. And if they press 3 for technical support, they are connected to a technical support representative.
Throughout the process, the caller is able to navigate the IVR system using the keypad on their phone, without the need to speak with an operator. This allows for efficient routing of calls and reduces wait times for the caller.
IVR to Reduce Spam Calls
The example above illustrates a typical setup of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. However, if the primary goal is to minimize the number of unwanted spam calls, a more streamlined approach can be implemented. One example of this is to use a simple IVR flow that prompts callers to press a specific number to confirm that they are human before connecting to XYZ Company. This way, the company can ensure that only legitimate calls are forwarded to the intended recipient, and unwanted spam calls are filtered out.
Steps to Reduce & Stop Spam Calls
- Choose a VoIP provider that offers IVR capabilities.
- Set up a phone number to be used as the IVR number.
- Set up the IVR menu options on this number. This can include options such as pressing a number to reach a specific department, or to leave a message.
- Implement call routing rules to route to internal numbers. With this, you can route calls to different extensions or voicemail boxes based on the caller’s input. This can help to filter out unwanted spam calls.
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How does IVR help?
An IVR system can stop spam calls by providing a barrier that only real people can get through. Since most spam calls are automated, they will not be able to navigate and will be disconnected or sent to voicemail.
Even though IVR can help reduce and stop most spam calls, you might still get such calls. For example, some telemarketing and survey calls are made by real people. That being said, an IVR system is still a useful tool for reducing the number of unwanted calls you receive.
It’s important to keep in mind that it is not a perfect solution, but it can help to reduce the number of spam calls you receive.
More Ways To Reduce & Stop Spam Calls with VoIP
In addition to using an IVR system, there are several other Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) features that can be used to reduce spam calls:
- Call blocking: Many VoIP providers offer call-blocking features that allow you to block specific numbers or entire area codes. This can be useful for blocking known spam numbers or unwanted callers.
- Caller ID: VoIP providers can offer enhanced caller ID that allows you to see the name and location of the caller, even if they are not in your contacts list. This can help you to identify and ignore spam calls.
A Few Considerations When Using IVR
It’s important to keep the calling experience swift for legitimate callers. Here are some general tips to follow when using an IVR system for your business:
- Keep it simple: When designing your IVR system, it’s important to keep the menu options simple and easy to understand. This will help to reduce confusion and frustration for your callers.
- Limit the number of options: Too many options can be overwhelming for callers. Limit the number of options to the most important and frequently used.
- Provide clear instructions: Make sure that the instructions provided in the IVR system are clear and easy to understand. This will help callers to navigate the system more easily.
- Test and optimize: After setting up your IVR system, test it thoroughly to identify any issues or areas for improvement. Continuously monitor the system and optimize it as needed to ensure a smooth and efficient experience for your callers.
- Provide an option to speak with a human: Provide callers with the option to speak with a live agent if they are unable to find the information they need or if they prefer to speak with a human. This can improve customer satisfaction and reduce frustration.
- Regularly review and update: Regularly review and update the IVR system to keep it up-to-date and to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your callers.
By using a VoIP IVR system, you can effectively counter automated spam calls and reduce the number of unwanted interruptions while enjoying its other benefits. This can improve productivity and customer service for businesses, and provide peace of mind for individuals.