CGAP IT Innovation Series: Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Technology
This note analyzes the benefits of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology as a viable solution for those MFIs seeking to enhance customer service as well as reduce the bottlenecks caused when large numbers of clients request simple information in day-to-day operations. For MFIs, this information would generally include locations of branch offices, account or credit balances, client payment information, and general information on the organization and its products. A case study on Edyficar, an MFI in Peru, who had implemented IVR technology, has also been included in this note.The note discusses that there are distinct benefits to implementing IVR, such as more staff time for personalized tasks like business counseling or collection calls. However, the drawback is that an investment in IVR technology would be cost-effective for only those MFIs with a fairly large number of clients, especially those having access to telephones and electronic technology. The note suggests some takeaways for IVR implementation:
- Carefully consider unique customer attributes;
- Invest in client education;
- Ensure technical back-up; and
- Design an easy-to-use information tree.