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Interactive voice systems (IVR’s) were once touted as the miracle solution for contact centres. Yet they have a fundamental flaw; consumer’s just don’t seem to like them! To address this, IVR’s need to be designed with customer experience rather than business priorities in mind.

Common IVR Mistakes

When it comes to implementing a new IVR, many businesses (and their IT Partners in conjunction) focus too much on the cost benefits and not enough on improving customer experience. Which after all, is what the IVR was made to address. Common mistakes include:

1. Bombarding customers with multiple menus:

It’s tempting to create complex menu trees for callers in order to obtain as much information as possible before connecting them to an agent. This is time-consuming for customers to navigate and significantly increases the complexity of the initial customer engagement.

2. Hiding contact information:

There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck in an IVR, unable to identify the correct department. Worse still, is the department not being listed as a clear option in the first place. This can be perceived as the system trying to prevent any caller from getting to an agent and can make the consumer feel unvalued by the brand.

3. Lack of timely updates:

Offerings and policies are constantly changing, but companies often neglect to update their IVR system. This results in incorrect and confusing information being shared, which creates disconnect between the customer and the brand.

The impact of these seemingly small decisions can be great. 81% of consumers claim an IVR has caused them to abandon a call to a business in the past year (imagine all those lost sales opportunities), whilst 51% have stopped using a business entirely because of a poor IVR experience.