An IVR system is a great component in helping you and your business to deliver excellent customer service, they are extremely helpful in filtering customers to the right call centre agent and delivering extra information to them. However, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is only useful when it works effectively, otherwise it can be a source of frustration for a lot of callers who get passed around the system and seemingly feel like they are getting nowhere. Here are a few things that you should avoid and steer clear of in your IVR system to make sure it is helping customers rather than hindering them.
Too Many or Too Little Menu Items
No caller wants to sit through a long list of 13 different menu options, not only is it frustrating, it’s confusing too. By the time anyone has reached the 13th option it is more than likely that they have forgotten at least the first 5, and they will definitely have to listen to menu all over again. However, it is very unlikely that most of the callers had stayed on the line to hear the option of listening to the menu again and if they did stay to the end they probably don’t have the patience to sit through it again. Customers just want to speak to someone to address their problem, so they will probably put the phone down instead and you would have lost their business.
Setting up between 3 and 5 different menu items is optimal, any less and it creates another problem for the customer. With not enough options the customer can become confused as to which option to choose to get them to the most relevant department. If you have too many options and you’re finding it hard to cut down, you could consider using voice recognition instead to eliminate the push button menu altogether and give the customer the power to tell your system what they’re looking for instead.
There is a reason this word exists, to describe every word we don’t understand, much like the word ‘jargon’ itself. In most cases the customer is calling you because they don’t understand something, need help or have a question or query about something, so they probably don’t understand all of the technical industry jargon related to your business. You don’t want to blind your customer with these words and confuse them even further, so avoid jargon unless it is absolutely necessary, for example, if a technical term needs to be used in a menu item to point a customer in the direction of the department that deals with that item specifically.
A Lack of Consistency
Changing your wording from menu item to menu item is only going to cause confusion for the caller, don’t go from ‘Press 1 for sales’ to ‘To speak to someone about reservations press 2’, it throws the customer off because they can’t follow an easy, predictable pattern which means they have to concentrate on the menu options even more than before to make sure they select the right one and don’t make a mistake. As well as style of menu items, you need to ensure you keep the same voice and volume throughout, if the caller has to keep turning their volume up and down to suit the varying volume of your IVR system it is just creating more work for them which can really annoy them.
Not Including a Call Back Option
Calling call centres and customer service departments are branded with a stereotype that you will spend a lot of time on hold and being passed around without getting anywhere. No one appreciates being on hold, not even for a few minutes, it often stops you from being able to do anything else while you spend your time hanging on and waiting for a sign that you’re going to be able to speak to a real person soon. If there is no one available to speak to the caller you should always give them the option to hold until there is or to request a call back instead. Offering a call back option saves the customer from wasting their time and their money, it shows the customer that you care about them and understand that they have a life outside of the call that they are making, it’s just good customer service!
Avoid these mistakes to ensure your IVR system is user-friendly and won’t turn customers away! Find out more about our IVR systems.