The Full form of IVR is Interactive Voice Response. IVR is an automated telephony system that interacts with callers and takes necessary inputs from them and accordingly provides options or routes their calls to the recipients. It is designed to accept touch-tone keypad selection and voice telephone input and responds accordingly in the form of voice, email, call back, and more. In short, it is a technology in which computers interact with humans through the DTMF inputs via keypad and the use of voice.

IVR in telecommunications allow users to interact with a company’s host system via speech recognition or by a telephone keypad. IVR systems can respond with dynamically generated or pre-recorded audio to further direct customers on how to proceed. IVR systems are designed to handle large volume of calls and for outbound calling, as IVR systems are more intelligent than many predictive dialer systems. IVR systems can be used for banking payments, mobile purchases, services, travel information, retail orders, utilities, and weather conditions.

The term automated attendant is distinct from an IVR and mean different things to traditional telecommunications professionals—the purpose of an IVR is to take the required input, process it, and accordingly provide a result, whereas the purpose of an automated attendant is only to route calls.