8 IVR Benefits You May Not Know About, but Should

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is not the newest market research tool and it’s certainly not the flashiest, and as such, perhaps that’s why it’s often overlooked. But new doesn’t always mean better. IVR may offer more benefits to your research than you realize, and for many of our clients, it’s invaluable. Here’s what you need to know about IVR.

A Refresher on IVR

We’ve all seen it, the toll-free number and survey code on the bottom of your receipt offering a chance to win a prize or cash for calling in to answer questions about your shopping experience. That’s one example of IVR. Simply put, IVR is a technology that allows respondents to take surveys by interacting with a computer using a telephone touchpad.

But here’s where it gets interesting. IVR can also:

  • Automate outbound respondent interactions
  • Screen inbound calls for in-person phone interviews
  • Automate appointment settings and schedule call backs
  • Offer questions in a variety of different languages
  • Record calls for quality assurance
  • Provide automatic transcription, language translation and coding of verbatim responses

Benefits to Your Research

Now that we know what IVR can do, let’s discuss the impact it can have on your research… whether it's customer satisfaction, customer experience, employee, patient or member surveys, transactional surveys or more.

  • Improved Response Rates – IVR makes it easier to reach audiences that can only participate by phone and it caters to your respondents’ preferences by giving them a choice of engagement methods.
  • More Options – IVR can be used in a stand-alone survey or can be part of a multi-mode project blending it with online or mobile for example.
  • Reduce Self-Selection Bias – With IVR you aren’t limited to insight from just the very satisfied or very unsatisfied because you can automatically follow-up with all transactions using outbound surveys.
  • Increased Flexibility – Not only can you blend inbound calls with outbound calls in interviewer queues for faster response to callbacks, you can also manage calls in a way that maximizes respondent retention such as transferring calls to a live interviewer when needed.
  • Anonymity – Particularly when it comes to sensitive subjects, the ability to complete surveys anonymously can increase the likelihood of not only response, but honesty from your respondents.
  • More Leeway with Language – IVR not only has multi-lingual ability; we find that respondents are much more amenable to less than perfect diction than with live interviewers.
  • Faster Turnaround – IVR is more proactive, saving you from waiting on respondents to complete online surveys for example. It can also be scheduled and deployed at any time for any calling windows without having to rely on available hours.  What’s more, IVR results are captured in real-time enabling you to get actionable insights much sooner than other methods.
  • Less Expense – You can capture large amounts of data much more cost-effectively than through live interviewers or in-person. In addition, you can save on training costs and dedicate your interviewers to surveys where more in-depth dialogue is needed.

Bottom line: IVR may not have much flash but it offers a whole lot of value; and when your business decisions depend on research insight… that’s really all that matters.

To learn more, contact Ironwood Insights Group today at or call 602-831-1973.  


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