Interactive Voice Response or IVR is among the most sought after features when it comes to human-machine interactions in telecommunications. What IVR essentially accomplishes is that it allows users to interact with computers through the use of dual tone multi-frequency and voice inputs. In other words, when you encounter voice responses through automobiles, or through a telephone line, and so on, it is usually IVR that gets down at work and makes voice communication possible. The IVR is basically an interactive voice response that you get for simple human-computer interactions and dialogues, to help you navigate a simple interactive process.
The automated attendant is the system that allows you to interact with the computer or gadget, without the aid of a telephone operator or any human actor to intervene and guide you through the process. A good example of where you might have encountered an automated attendant is on a menu system, such as ‘dial 1 for technical support’, ‘2 for sales assistance’, and so on. This is also the system that comes into play when you need to transfer calls to voicemail, or redirect calls to a different number, and so on.
Overall, based on the descriptions that we have seen above of the two systems, if we had to look at the differences in operation between the two, we can say:
- First of all, the automated attendant is characterized by the telephonic options that you get when you call a number, redirecting you to the various communications amenities that you can access depending on your requirement. IVR, on the other hand, is more advanced in terms of the levels of response, technology and interaction.
- The most important difference is that IVR is also equipped sometimes with voice recognition technology; therefore, the level of interaction between you and the computer is far more advanced as opposed to in an automated attendant.
- While both systems aim to eliminate the intervention of a human interceptor such as a receptionist or a telecommunications operator, the automated attendant permits only a limited dimension to the interaction with limited options. However, IVR is more advanced and nuanced in its interactive ability and options provided to the user.