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

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

shocked_face_IVR_blog

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: 



1. Communication was not clear. 

When the caller relates the IVR process as "having had a conversation-like experience", that customer has had a positive, or even exceptional, experience. 

2. The caller felt unappreciated by the company.

Repeatedly, we were directed to leave the call. Yes, I understand how a company adding this element of an IVR process can be helpful, but placing it one time at the beginning should do.  

3. The system did not anticipate any of the caller's needs.

A great IVR system works with the caller to direct the conversation in a manner that meets the customer's needs and goal. I was trying to give this company money and they made it very difficult to do so.

4. The customer did not feel in control.

 Another dynamic of a great customer experience is that the customer has to feel like they are in control of the IVR process. Dead ends and loop-arounds to the same questions and information do not inform the caller, instead, it frustrates.

5. I was not understood.

It's not the job of the customer to understand the IVR or hosted IVR system or process. The responsibility of an effective IVR solution, sits directly on the IVR system to understand the customer's needs and get them on the path that is fast, predictive and pleasant. 




Is your company losing money, time and customers with a system that is no longer providing IVR solutions? Are you looking for your first Interactive Voice Response system? If so, download our "Make The Right Move When Choosing Your IVR Technology" document. 

  

Download Your IVR Document

IVR_Make_The_Right_Move

Tom Walje

Written by Tom Walje

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