The Best Free IVR (+ a Paid One That’s Budget-Friendly)

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If you have the budget for an IVR system, Nextiva’s Advanced IVR is the best choice. 

But what if you don’t have the money and want a solution that can act as an IVR for completely free?

In that case, Voxibot is your best bet. 

Voxibot’s Virtual Telephone Agent is the Best Free IVR

Voxibot homepage

Ideally, every business would be able to afford a high-end IVR system like Nextiva because of the comprehensive features it offers. 

But we get it. Not everyone has the money to spend—especially newer startups that are just trying to get their bearings. Fortunately, there are less expensive alternatives, with Voxibot being our top recommendation. 

Voxibot offers a completely free virtual agent that can act as an IVR. It’s free for one channel, like your business phone system, and you can use all of its features. 

Here are some specific features it comes with:

  • Natural language for caller interactions
  • Caller ID
  • A personalized greeting message for each caller
  • Answers to common questions with pre-recorded audio
  • Incoming call qualification and routing 
  • Call overflow management
  • The ability to send and receive calls, texts, and emails
  • Call data collection that’s sent to your CRM

What makes Voxibot so effective is that it uses an NLU (Natural Language Understanding) conversational engine to 1) understand what the caller wants and 2) instantly respond to resolve their issue. This solution uses advanced AI technology to not only respond effectively to callers but convey emotion for natural, humanlike interactions. 

Here’s how it works. 

First, the caller states their request. Voxibot then interprets the request and identifies the caller’s intention. At that point, it immediately provides an accurate answer—all the while remaining professional and courteous.

Voxibot is available 24/7, so it’s able to take calls around the clock. And because it’s multilingual, callers can speak in their native language without dealing with frustrating communication barriers.

The purpose of this solution is to prevent unnecessary caller wait times, quickly provide callers with the information they need, increase business productivity, and boost customer satisfaction—all without lowering your overall service quality. 

As for the impact Voxibot can have, businesses can reduce their need for human support by an average of 30% and increase customer satisfaction by 11%. (These stats come from Voxibot’s own website.)

Again, if you only use one channel, this platform is totally free. However, if you want more than one channel, you’ll need to contact Voxibot to discuss pricing and the specific features you’re looking for. 

3 More Free IVR Systems if Voxibot Isn’t For You

While Voxibot is our personal favorite free IVR system, there are other options available. So, if for some reason it isn’t right for you, here are three more options to consider. 

Sonetel

This solution lets you create free cloud IVR apps in minutes to streamline call handling. While the capabilities aren’t over the top, Sonetel lets you create simple menus, messages to be played to callers, and voicemail boxes. You can also connect incoming calls to the app using the unique SIP address. 

It works like this. 

When a customer calls, they’re greeted by an optional welcome message and then taken to the menu. Or, if you want to skip the welcome message, they’re taken directly to the menu. 

From there, the caller is given a list of options, like pressing “1” for account information or “2” for billing. After selecting the appropriate menu option, their call is then routed accordingly.

If a caller doesn’t select any options (say there’s no option that exactly matches their request), you can define what happens next. You could, for instance, ask the caller the same question again or switch to a different question instead. 

Besides being free, we like Sonetel because of how simple it is to create a voice response menu. It offers a straightforward tutorial that walks you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to easily create flowcharts.

Sonetel IVR setup

So, even if you’re brand new to the concept of IVR systems, you can get your system up and running quickly.

The bottom line is that if you don’t need anything fancy and just want to create a simple voice response menu for callers, Sonetel can get the job done with no investment. 

MicroSIP

Here’s another completely free alternative. The MicroSIP basic IVR software solution is surprisingly customizable and lets you create your own menu with functions like pre-recorded audio, call recording, and call routing. 

Or, you can contact MicroSIP to create a custom IVR solution for you for a fee. 

It’s also multilingual, which allows you to accommodate callers who speak several different languages, including Spanish, Chinese, German, French, and Ukrainian, just to name a few. 

A big caveat, though, is that the setup process can be complicated. So, whether you’re using the free version or the custom-built solution, you’ll likely need a tech expert on staff to set it up and maintain the system. 

That said, MicroSIP is a platform that can be used with zero financial investment, which is why we’re including it. 

Verboice

This is a solution designed for those with the skill and capacity to develop their own custom IVR system. It’s a free, open-source platform for creating IVRs. 

To use it, you first need to register a phone number with Verboice. Then, you can pre-record your messages and set up your IVR navigation using their simple interface. Customers can call in and either use their voice or keypad to interact with the IVR. 

Say, for example, someone wanted to check the order status of a product they recently purchased. The caller could quickly choose the menu option for order status, either verbally or by entering a menu number, and instantly get it. 

Verboice can be used with most VoIP lines, making it easy to integrate with your business’s existing communications infrastructure. And because it automatically logs key details of each call, you can review interactions to identify potential areas for improvement. 

Although this platform has its limitations, it can still work for businesses that need a no-frills IVR solution and don’t want to pay for a full-scale product. 

If You Have Money to Spend on an IVR System, Choose Nextiva

We know what it’s like to have to watch every penny when financing a business. 

For many companies, choosing a free IVR is the only option—at least during the initial growth stages. But let’s say you have some budget to devote to an IVR system. 

Which solution should you choose?

Nextiva’s Advanced IVR System is the way to go. Here’s why. 

It uses conversational AI to allow customers to speak their requests using their natural language, so they can find what they need quickly without having to navigate through lengthy menu options. 

Let’s say a caller needs to schedule an appointment. If you have five menu options, and “schedule an appointment” is the fifth option, that means the caller has to wait to hear four other options before getting to “schedule an appointment.”

But with Nextiva, they can arrive at the menu, state their request, and be immediately routed to the appointment scheduling option. Or, if the caller needs to be routed to a live agent or particular department, they can be taken there instantly, based on their request and customer data.

Because Nextiva is powered by Google Dialogflow and IBM Watson—two extremely powerful pieces of technology—it offers high-level natural language processing that you won’t find with many other platforms. The end result is an advanced IVR that facilitates fluid caller interactions, getting customers to where they need quickly, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and lower operational costs. 

Some of the more noteworthy features include:

  • An easy-to-use web portal to manage all calling features
  • Multiple self-service options for 24/7 support
  • Automatic callback
  • Customizable call flow templates
  • The ability to create, send, and manage customer feedback surveys
  • PCI-compliant payment processing
  • Analytics that allow you to collect call and customer data

In terms of the long-term impact, companies that use Nextiva see a 99% reduction in customer service time and a 10-point customer satisfaction improvement. And by using a virtual agent instead of a human one, you can potentially save up to $23,000. 

As for pricing, you’ll need to talk to a Nextiva rep to discuss the details. 

Wrapping Up

Our top pick for a free IVR system is Voxibot, mainly because of the robust features you get. But if Voxibot isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then Sonetel, MicroSIP, and Verboice are all good choices as well, with each having options that are completely free. 

And if you have money to spend on an IVR, we highly suggest Nextiva’s Advanced IVR System, as it’s equipped with cutting-edge conversational AI and loaded with a ton of practical features. 



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