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IVR Hurdles Don't Make Your Callers Happy

Ah, the convenience of calling your company to do business …or is it?

All too often, IVR designers build in unnecessary hurdles that make the caller journey a call-dissatisfying experience. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Hurdles may add unnecessary caller effort

Well-meaning system designers build steps into the call flow to maximize call center system components, but not always the overall caller experience.  These steps may add caller effort when that effort may not be necessary at all or necessary at that point in the call flow.

Hurdles can sound simple, but...

Hurdles that callers have to clear can include simple-sounding information messages that are played on all calls (such as a location address or hours of operation) or mandatory functions on many call types, like account ID, but maybe not used at the point in the call when it’s requested or captured. Of course, there are important industry variations, from a financial transaction to simple information requests, so each call type or flow may be unique.

Keep in mind that anything extraneous to a caller’s perception of their call moving along is a hurdle they must clear, whether it’s an action they have to take or listening to information that you present.


Drive down effort; drive up call satisfaction

In these days of driving down transactional effort and driving up call satisfaction, everything that works against these objectives needs close scrutiny.

Location and hours can be a menu choice, rather than being played automatically. A “Listen carefully” message about menu options changing need only stay in place two billing cycles from the change. (We’ve heard systems with the same message playing over six years after the change!)

Asking for an account identifier upfront for transactions such as an straight forward information request, may not only be premature, it also may not be necessary at all. If not required, don’t ID, it simply prolongs the call and caller effort.  

Account ID is one of the biggest speed bumps on the IVR highway and needs a thorough analysis depending on the context and the call.

If you’d like to discuss your the hurdles in your IVR and how you might lower or reduce them, click here.


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