It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that a bad interactive voice response (IVR) practice can completely destroy the caller experience – and angry customers mean a bad day for everyone. Many may sit back, kick their feet up and point the finger at these “disadvantages” of IVR, but that’s simply not the case.
“The problem with IVR systems is that it’s hard to design a good one and easy to design a bad one,” says this How Stuff Works article. You’d think it’d be easy in this day and age, but anyone can assure you that companies everywhere have not yet taken the hint and put some hard work into ramping up their IVR systems.
In light of this, here are three horrible IVR practices which may very well be dragging your business down.
1. Stay away from long menus: The very last thing we want to encounter is untangling ourselves out of the messy string of menu options provided by more IVR systems than we care to know. The only thing perhaps worse than going through this maze of menu options is encountering a sassy human agent upon waving the white flag in signal of your defeat.
“Experts recommend that no menu should exceed four choices,” the article advises. “This makes it easy to remember the options and doesn’t waste the caller’s time listening to tons of choices.”
2. Try to limit the amount of information required to an absolute minimum: I know this isn’t the easiest of tasks, but it’s the most daunting of them for your poor customer. When writing a script for your IVR system, keep in mind the bare basis and the least amount of irrelevant or excess information possible, says How Stuff Works.
Think about it this way; we all know – for the most part – how to navigate our way using the phone menu system, as well as the hours of operation and extension numbers. If you need this kind of specific information, arrange your IVR so that a caller can ask for help or request this information before bombarding them by offering it all up front.
3. Beware of voice prompts: They are oftentimes hard to understand, and while this is caused by a series of factors, sales departments must be careful when using IVR to receive customer calls. Additionally, organizations must put in the time, effort and – yes – money to achieve optimum results.
Like the age old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” In the article, it’s explained that some organizations don’t hire proper professional voice talent in order to save money, therefore settling by recording the audio over the phone instead of in a studio. Don’t compromise when it comes to ultimate IVR voice efficiency, because you’ll be sorry in the long run.
If you can stay away from these three things, you’re surely on the right path! Take it from a major player in the IVR arena, Plum Voice. Providing IVR software, systems and expertise for a variety of companies’ diverse needs for years, Plum Voice is fully focused on supporting you and your business to take you to unique, new heights.
To explore what Plum Voice can offer you, click here.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein