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Chapter 10. Interactive Voice Response

10. Interactive Voice Response

An interactive voice response (IVR) system lets computer systems interact with telephone callers, who provide input to the system either by pressing the keypad on their telephone set (dual-tone multi-frequency [DTMF] keying, a.k.a. Touch-Tone) or by saying something (natural language speech recognition). Most IVR systems provide selection menus for routing calls without requiring operator intervention, but modern IVR systems can also be very complex applications that handle information or control equipment.

The basic principle common to all IVR systems, however, is that the caller is read a menu and chooses options from that menu to perform actions, or, alternatively, enters information (in numeric format, through pressing the keypad). IVRs can be used to obtain stock quotations, train schedules, and weather reports; they can also be used for automated purchasing systems, such as for concert tickets. The potential applications are limited only by your imagination.


  

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