November 2019

What callers do when their first instinct is to go around your IVR in search of a person could be the result of poor phone system design in other IVRs they use, or could be the fault of your system to provide clear paths that your callers can use intuitively.

We’ve learned, from working with thousands of callers to automated phone systems, that, if menus are designed with the following goals in mind, that callers are documented to use the systems features far more often …and, even, with greater satisfaction using that system

We’ve learned, from working with thousands of callers to automated phone systems, that, if menus are designed with the following goals in mind, that callers are documented to use the systems features far more often …and, even, with greater satisfaction using that system

 

Our “mantra” for designing high performing menus and call flows is that they need to be:

 

CLEAR  Menu wording that takes the pressure off callers to have to think about the meaning of the words they hear makes a huge positive difference in the usability of the IVR.

 

CONCISE  Having the right number of those words is important, for too many words cannot be processed quickly in realtime by many callers.

 

MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE Words that sound like one another in different places in the menu lead to confusion and system bypass.

 

ALL INCLUSIVE  Every menu in your IVR needs to have a catch-all option, a safety-net choice that reduces the pressure on callers to find something in the system that matches the reason for their call.

 

And menus designed with the above goals in mind need to be IN A STABLE SYSTEM, so important for regular callers who can mental map what they will do on their next call!

Don’t keep making tweaks and changes to your menus once you’ve got customer-tested and high-performing options in place. Your regular repeat callers - mental mappers - need consistency to help them navigate your IVR in the future. Frequent changes often drive those callers around your system in frustration of not being able to navigate it as they have in the past.

 

The bottom line:

As one respondent told us at the end of testing new menus that came out of the menu and call flow design IVR Workshop we conducted for the company he was calling, “I didn’t have to think.”  Things were so clear and intuitive, he was able to and actually wanted to use the automated features.

© 2019 IVR DOCTORS

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