Top 2 Things To Implement In Your IVR System's Top Menu

By Ken Smith on Mar 11, 2015 8:41:28 AM


Our friends at Software Advice, a VoIP market research and reviews website, recently conducted their own survey by calling the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems of 50 customer service-oriented Fortune 500 companies. They collected metrics on how those companies implement their IVR technology. Software Advice then interviewed specialists in operations research and call center bench-marking (the scientific comparison of call center performance metrics) to get their thoughts on best practices for IVR design. Here is one component of their findings:

Depending on a company's business model, the number of options callers are offered in the top menu will change. The average number of menu options for Software Advice's survey was 4.16. But if your company needs numerous options on the top menu, there are two key elements on which to focus.

Eliminate Submenus By Using Open-Ended Questions and ‘Next’ Options

Two of the companies Software Advice called simply prompted the caller for an open-ended response instead of offering a menu. Eric Tober, principal speech solutions scientist for Interactive Intelligence (a leading supplier of contact center solutions), explains that this sort of structure, known as “natural language understanding (NLU),” uses “statistical language models and call routing [to] greatly expand the number of distinct selections (150-plus) a caller can make, while enabling a more natural, open dialog.”

Such structures are ideal for companies that offer numerous services through their IVRs, he adds, since they streamline IVR systems by effecting “greater flattening of the menu structure for many callers.” In other words, callers don’t have to go nearly as deep into IVR submenus to complete a task. Continue reading article...

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The Bleet Goes On: Top 2 Ways To Drive Sales & Lower Costs With These IVR Solutions

By Tom Walje on Jan 23, 2015 8:16:00 AM

In business, lowering your cost is like making money and increasing sales is most certainly making money. So in combining the two, when making your Interactive Voice Response (IVR and Hosted IVR) decision, make sure you know the top 2 ways to make your IVR platform work at maximum efficiency. 

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3 Huge Statistical Topics You Need To Know About IVR Systems

By Tom Walje on Nov 24, 2014 11:35:29 AM


No matter how tech-sophisticated we as a society get, human interaction is still desired and demanded.

And it's no different in the way your company should interact with your customers. This valuable infographic shows that when using an IVR, that a live agent path is still highly sought after.

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5 Things Business Failures And Bad IVR Systems Have In Common

By Tom Walje on Oct 30, 2014 7:50:12 AM


We've all heard the statistics that 50% of new businesses fail in the first year and around 90% of businesses fail in the first five years. 

While most of these failures end in anonymity, there are those companies that burst on the scene and then cone to a resounding halt with equal amounts of fanfare. 

So we looked at the "why" of some of history's famous business failures and we began to see common threads between what makes a company have to shutter it's doors and the components that make up a bad IVR and hosted IVR system.  


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5 Ways An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System Irks Your Customers

By Tom Walje on Aug 15, 2014 4:01:38 PM


Let me relay to you a recent experience I had on an IVR call: 

IVR: Welcome to __________. Please listen because our menu options have changed. Please have your ten digit phone number ready. Please enter your ten digit phone number.

I ENTER THE NUMBER

IVR: I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Please enter your ten digit phone number.

I DO IT AGAIN.

IVR: Thank you. Your call is very important to us. Did you know that you can have most of your questions answered by visiting our website at (the company's website url)?

So basically the company just said, "Your call is very important to us. Now let us give you information so we don't have to mess around with you." Besides, I had already visited their website. It didn't answer my question. 

IVR: Press one to continue to your account.

I PRESS "1"

IVR: Hello. Please listen because our menu options have changed. Please have your twelve digit account number ready.  If your service is not working or you're experiencing an interruption in service, press one. If you have new service and are setting up an account press two. If you are calling to pay your bill press three.

I PRESS "3"

IVR: Thank you. Did you know that you can pay your bill online by clicking on the "Pay My Bill Now" button on our website at (the company's url)? Please enter your twelve digit account number. 

I ENTER THE ACCOUNT NUMBER

IVR: We're sorry, the account number you entered does not match the phone number associated with this account. Please enter your ten digit phone number. 

I THEN REALIZE THAT I PUT IN MY PHONE NUMBER AND NOT MY GIRLFRIEND'S NUMBER (I was paying the bill for her.). So I input her phone number.

IVR: Thank you. Your call is very important to us. Did you know that you can have most of your questions answered by visiting our website at (the company's website url)?

WAIT, DIDN"T I JUST HEAR THIS?

IVR: Press one to continue to your account.

I PRESS "1"

IVR: Hello. Please listen because our menu options have changed. Please have your twelve digit account number ready.  If your service is not working or you're experiencing an interruption in service, press one. If you have new service and are setting up an account press two. If you are calling to pay your bill press three.

I PRESS "3"

IVR: Thank you. Did you know that you can pay your bill online by clicking on the "Pay My Bill Now" button on our website at (the company's url)? Please enter your twelve digit account number. 

I ENTER THE ACCOUNT NUMBER

IVR: Thank you. One moment please (a recording telling me about how to save money, time and energy begins. Then music. Then back to the recorded message about money time and energy then back to the music).

IVR: We're sorry. The phone number you entered does not match the account number in our system. We're sorry for the inconvenience. Goodbye.

CLICK

This is how I felt.

Suffice to say, I did not have an exceptional customer experience. Memorable, yes. As a matter of fact we remembered to switch from that company. Yes, we did. We really did. So what reasons did I come to loathe this company's IVR system, thus, loathing the company? Here are five: 


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