IVR systems go a long way in helping businesses manage their incoming call flow and efficiently distribute calls across different departments and offices. Choosing the right IVR provider includes understanding how their software works and how they determine their IVR cost.
This will help you determine which provider fits within your communication budget and needs.
IVR System Costs: Factors to Consider
IVR systems are automated voice response systems that answer incoming calls and assist callers based on predetermined rules set by your business. Including such phone system automation can help improve caller experience and reduce wait times.
The IVR can determine the reason for the call and direct the caller to the right department or agent. This service is offered by phone service providers, both traditional (on-premise) and cloud providers.
How much an IVR system costs depends on the following factors:
1. On-premise or Cloud IVR
You first need to consider what type of IVR system you want to work with: on-premise or cloud IVR. On-premise IVR systems mean that you will have the hardware and servers located in your office and managed by your IT staff.
Cloud IVR is hosted, managed, and updated by a cloud phone service provider. Cloud IVR is generally more affordable than on-premise IVR because you do not need additional equipment or maintenance to make it work effectively.
2. Included or Charged Additionally
Since most IVR systems come as part of a phone service package, you must determine whether your provider includes IVR in the total cost or if they charge separately. For example, Global Call Forwarding offers cloud IVR and other free features with a virtual phone number plan. You buy the phone number and get access to the features without an additional cost.
3. Number of Business Lines
If your IVR service comes along with a business phone number plan, then the IVR cost is the total cost of the number of business phone lines you need. Because each line will have IVR functionality, the perceived IVR cost from that service equals the cost of business phone lines. And since the IVR service comes with the numbers, you do not actually pay any additional fees.
4. Simple or Complex Setup
Most IVR systems offered are flexible and customizable, and with an intuitive control panel, your teams should be able to design the call flow on their own. However, depending on your needs and setup, you might require additional help.
It is therefore essential to determine beforehand whether you need a simple or complex IVR setup and how your provider can support you.
Some providers offer tutorials during the onboarding process to help you understand how to use the software and build your IVR. Others may offer to set it up for you for an additional fee.
5. Cost of Voice Recordings
The last factor contributing to the total IVR cost is the price of voice recordings. You will need recordings for each message within your IVR system. This may include the opening announcement (welcome message), navigation and directions (for sales, press 1, etc.), confirmation messages, follow-up messages, voicemail messages, and so on.
You may have the option to record and upload your own recordings (free) or buy recordings from your provider (additional fee). Alternatively, you can purchase recordings from recording and audio services available online.
What types of recordings you need and where to get them from depends on your setup. For example, if you offer global customer support, you may need your IVR to provide support in different languages and dialects.
Global Call Forwarding: Cloud IVR Cost Breakdown
IVR is free with all of our phone number plans. We offer a call flow builder and IVR manager within our control panel, where you can design and adjust your call flows and IVR menus as and when needed.
*Note: Costs mentioned in this article are current at the time of publishing and may be subject to changes.
1. Cost of Virtual Phone Number
We offer a customizable cloud IVR system that is hosted by our servers. This means that you do not have to worry about maintaining the software. You simply design your IVR as desired.
The main cost of an IVR system with Global Call Forwarding is the cost of the virtual number. And so, you do not pay any additional rates for our IVR service. For example, our US numbers start at 7.95/month with access to our full IVR manager.
2. Additional Cost for Complex Configuration (if applicable)
Our IVR manager and call flow builder are easy to use and accessible through the control panel. Once you activate your service with us, you will have access to the IVR editor and tutorials on using it during the onboarding process.
If you have a more complex setup that needs additional configuration, you can reach out to your account manager. Together with our tech support team, we can help you set up your system. For a very complex setup, we may require a small additional fee.
3. Cost of Voice Recordings (if applicable)
For voice message recordings, you have a few options:
- Manage your voice recordings in-house (free) — that is, you have someone within your team record the messages
- Ask your provider to record (small additional fee)
- Pay a professional recording and audio service or freelancers to record (pro costs).
When choosing a professional recording service, keep in mind that some have a subscription model where you pay per month of usage, while others have a one-time payment option.
Some professional services start as low as $50 per 75 words or $20 for 10 seconds or less. Alternatively, you can hire someone on freelance marketplaces like Fiverr for as low as $20 per 120 words. These creators have a professional voice studio and a quick turnaround time. You can include add-ons such as background music, proofreading, fast delivery, script, etc.
Get Cloud IVR with Global Call Forwarding
So, your total IVR cost is equivalent to the cost of the service, voice recordings, and add-ons. However, if you get a cloud IVR system and manage recordings in-house, you can cut down on expenses.
Global Call Forwarding offers cloud communication tools to businesses across the globe. Our virtual phone service comes paired with no-code communication and call management features that let you organize and optimize your business phone system. Want to learn more about our IVR manager and call flow builder? Chat with our experts or call us at +1 (561) 908-6171.