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IVR systems have improved dramatically as a result of the development of artificial intelligence. Implementing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system...

IVR systems have improved dramatically as a result of the development of artificial intelligence. Implementing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system with a Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine can revolutionize your company's communication with customers. By using TTS technology, you can create a voice response system that is interactive, natural-sounding, and far more efficient than traditional methods of customer service. This article explores the basics of IVR systems and TTS engines, as well as their benefits, use cases, and design considerations. So, let's get started!

Understanding interactive voice response systems

If you plan on opening a contact center that’ll be handling a high volume of inbound and outbound calls, it’s crucial to understand how IVR automation can help you achieve your goals.

What is an interactive voice response system?

IVR systems are automated telephony systems that interact with callers through voice responses or keypad entry. These systems use advanced speech synthesis technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) or touch-tone inputs to allow users to access information and interact with a database. Compared to traditional customer service options, IVR systems are cost-effective, save time, increase efficiency, and provide real-time customer support.

IVR systems have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to handle high volumes of calls and provide quick and efficient solutions to customer inquiries. They are also beloved for their privacy and security as some even offer speech recognition, allowing users to verify their identity. IVR systems are an essential tool for businesses that want to provide excellent customer service while also reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Benefits of implementing an IVR system

By implementing an IVR system, you can provide 24/7 customer support, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce wait times. IVR systems can also streamline call handling, reduce staffing costs, and provide valuable metrics for measuring customer satisfaction. Moreover, IVR systems allow customers to self-service and resolve common issues without requiring human intervention.

One of the significant benefits of IVR systems is their ability to handle a high volume of calls simultaneously. This means that customers do not have to wait on hold for extended periods, which can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. IVR systems also provide customers with quick and efficient solutions to their inquiries, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Another benefit of IVR systems is their ability to provide valuable metrics for measuring customer satisfaction. By tracking customer interactions with the IVR system, businesses can identify areas for improvement and make changes to improve the customer experience. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.

Common use cases for IVR systems

IVR systems are used in various industries, including financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, and retail. Typical use cases for IVR systems include account information, bill payment options, ordering, scheduling appointments, and general inquiries. IVR systems can also be used for emergency responses, such as routing callers to the proper authorities or offering first aid advice.

In the financial services industry, IVR systems are commonly used to provide customers with account information, such as account balances, transaction history, and payment options. IVR systems can also be used to process credit card payments, which can save businesses time and money.

In the healthcare industry, IVR systems are used to schedule appointments, provide patients with test results, and offer medication reminders. IVR systems can also be used to provide patients with general health information, such as symptoms of common illnesses and advice on how to stay healthy.

In the telecommunications industry, IVR systems are used to provide customers with information about their phone plans, including data usage, billing information, and payment options. IVR systems can also be used to troubleshoot common issues, such as connectivity problems and network outages.

In the retail industry, IVR systems are used to process orders, provide customers with product information, and offer support for common issues such as returns and exchanges. IVR systems can also be used to provide customers with information about store locations and hours of operation.

Overall, IVR systems are an essential tool for businesses that want to provide excellent customer service while also reducing costs and increasing efficiency. By implementing an IVR system, businesses can provide 24/7 customer support, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce wait times. IVR systems can also streamline call handling, reduce staffing costs, and provide valuable metrics for measuring customer satisfaction.

Text-to-speech engine basics

Open-source conversational AI apps keep getting better, and their subscription rates are also becoming affordable. Let’s dive into how you can use a TTS engine to create a unique custom voice for your brand.

What is a text-to-speech engine?

A Text-to-Speech (TTS) engine is a cloud-based software that converts written text into audio files through computerized algorithms. TTS engines can read any text, from web pages to emails, and convert them into natural-sounding speech. This technology has revolutionized the way we interact with machines and has made it possible for people with visual impairments to access information easily. TTS engines can also simulate different languages, accents, and emotions, making them an effective and valuable tool for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems.

IVR systems are automated voice response systems that interact with customers over the phone. They are widely used in call centers and other customer service environments. TTS engines are an essential component of IVR systems, as they allow the system to communicate with customers in a natural and human-like manner.

How text-to-speech engines work

TTS engines use various algorithms to convert text into speech. These algorithms include concatenative synthesis, formant synthesis, and parametric synthesis. Concatenative synthesis involves stitching together recorded speech sounds to create sentences, while formant synthesis involves generating human-like speech from mathematical models of the vocal tract. Parametric synthesis uses a mathematical model for speech production, providing different parameters for controlling pitch, speed, and intonation.

The most advanced TTS engines use neural networks and machine learning algorithms to synthesize speech, generating natural-sounding voices that are indistinguishable from human speech. These engines analyze large amounts of speech data to learn the nuances of human speech, including intonation, stress, and rhythm. This allows them to produce speech that sounds natural and expressive.

Selecting the right text-to-speech engine for your IVR system

When selecting a TTS engine for your IVR system, consider the following factors:

  1. Quality of speech output: Make sure the TTS engine produces natural, human-like speech that is easy to understand and free of distortions. The quality of the speech output is critical to the success of your IVR system, as it directly impacts the customer experience.
  2. Language and accent support: Select a TTS engine that supports the languages and accents you need for your customer demographic. If you serve a diverse customer base, make sure the TTS engine can handle different languages and accents.
  3. Customization and integration: Choose a TTS engine that integrates easily with your IVR system and allows for customization and personalization of voices and styles. This will enable you to create a unique and memorable customer experience that reflects your brand's personality.
  4. Cost and scalability: Evaluate the cost of the TTS engine and ensure that it is scalable and can handle growth and increased call volumes over time. Consider the total cost of ownership, including licensing fees, maintenance costs, and upgrade costs.

By considering these factors, you can select a TTS engine that meets your business needs and delivers an exceptional customer experience. With the right TTS engine, you can improve customer satisfaction, reduce call handling times, and increase the efficiency of your operations.

Designing your IVR system

Defining your IVR system’s goals

Before implementing your IVR system, define your goals and expectations. Determine what services you will offer, what menus or options you will provide, and what metrics you will use to measure success. Consider your customer's needs and preferences, and design your IVR system to be as user-friendly and streamlined as possible.

Creating an effective call flow

An effective call flow maps out the steps a caller will take when using the IVR system. Divide your IVR system into logical segments and branches and provide clear instructions to guide users through the process. Organize the menus and buttons in a logical and easy-to-use order. Make sure that the TTS engine speaks at a comfortable speed and tone, and provide options for speeding up or slowing down the speech rate if necessary.

Incorporating user feedback into your design

Use a survey or feedback mechanism to gauge user satisfaction with your IVR system. Use this feedback to optimize your IVR system and improve the user experience. Consider factors such as wait times, effectiveness, and ease of use. Make continuous improvements to ensure that your IVR system remains effective and efficient over time.

Implementing text-to-speech in your IVR system

Integrating text-to-speech APIs

Ensure that your TTS engine integrates seamlessly with your IVR system. Use APIs or SDKs to incorporate the TTS engine into your IVR platform. Test the integration to ensure that the TTS engine is functioning properly and is delivering high-quality speech output.

Customizing voice and language options

Consider customizing the voice and language options in your TTS app to suit your customers' needs. Provide options for selecting different voices, accents, and languages. Consider incorporating local or regional accents to make the IVR system feel more personalized and friendly toward your customers.

Ensuring clear and natural-sounding speech

Ensure that your TTS engine produces clear, accurate, and natural-sounding speech. Monitor the volume and intonation of the speech output and make any necessary adjustments. Make sure that the IVR system is able to handle different types of text input, including numbers, currency, and abbreviations.

Let Speechify bring your IVR TTS engine to the next level with it’s natural sounding ai voices

With Speechify, you can take your IVR TTS engine to a whole new level of naturalness with its AI voices and advanced functionality. Gone are the days of robotic and monotonous voice commands that frustrate and annoy your customers. With Speechify's cutting-edge technology, your IVR system can deliver voice prompts and messages in a way that engages and delights your customers, giving them a seamless and enjoyable experience.

And with the EN-US language code, you can be sure that your message is delivered with clarity and precision every time. You don’t have to worry about the pricing, as it is reasonable considering the endless features you’ll get. Speechify also allows you to enjoy audiobooks from Amazon, Microsoft Library, Chrome, and other providers, all in lifelike human voices wherever you are. Trust Speechify to take your IVR system to the next level with its natural-sounding AI audio formats and join the ranks of the most successful businesses in the world.

FAQs

Q1: What is a text-to-speech engine for interactive voice response?

A text-to-speech engine for interactive voice response is a software that converts written text into spoken words, allowing automated phone systems to verbally communicate with callers.

Q2: What should I look for in a text-to-speech engine for interactive voice response?

Consider factors like the quality and naturalness of the voice output, support for multiple languages, ease of integration with your current systems, and the level of customization possible.

Q3: Can a text-to-speech engine for interactive voice response handle complex queries?

While the text-to-speech engine can read out any provided text, understanding complex queries typically requires additional technologies like natural language processing or artificial intelligence.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.