Transform Your IVR into Employee of the Month

By Joe Roche on July 5, 2017 in Blueface, Communications & VoIP

[Read Time: 3mins]

We’ve explored the features and benefits of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) in previous blogs but today we want to maximise the customer’s IVR experience.

To catch everyone up, IVR is the voice-over menu you hear when calling companies and Call Holding is when you hear a nice jingle, with some — often repetitive — voice overs.

Caught up? Let’s dive in.

Introduction | Press #1 Now!

Having a virtual receptionist is a brilliant way to retain customers and create an always-open impression of your business. That said, refining the process and maximising customer engagement is difficult.

This prompted businesses training with our system to ask about best practices for IVR system or more specifically “how can I plot this so I don’t frustrate my customers?”

Our world of innovation has created a lot of questions, some more burning than others. If you’re a technology / SaaS company, you typically experience a high frequency of calls due to the well-documented tech-skills gap.

Some customers cut off before they even get to a support agent, leaving their custom in the hands of chance and benevolence.

We asked Blueface clients about common complaints their customer care teams receive and put together this quick guide on helping your IVR keep your customers cool.

Reduce Abstraction | Layers Upon Layers


The most common problem businesses with new IVR face is mapping out a customer’s journey through the IVR. For bigger companies, this can be a monumental task.

This can result in a Labyrinth-style experience (sans-David Bowie) for the customer, who may have an urgent question and quickly growing frustration.

To start, this makes the call experience for both the customer and support agent more difficult to navigate.

Existing clients will be hesitant to continue using your service again, particularly if you operate in finance, private healthcare — any of the Maslow “Needs” industries.

Potential customers will find over-layering a deterrent as something as simple as buying a product has become a complicated process.

In a worst case scenario, customers with quick queries can wind up hearing their account details for minutes before finding out the call centre is closed.

With varying business-size, it’s important to note that it’s not a one-route fits all system. Fortunately, Unified Communications will give you the data and the access you need to review and refine your company’s auto-attendant.

Avoid Repetition | Protocol, Protocol, Protocol!

Typewriter Recording for Training & Quality Purposes make Jack a Dull Boy…

Account holders, well… most people will have heard the “Recording for Training & Quality Purposes” line hundreds of time.

It’s crucial to include but almost implied at this stage. Whatever way you choose to frame this line, we would recommend making it short and including it at the beginning of the call and not in between.

“Hello and thank you for calling Company A, please be advised that all calls are recorded for training and quality purposes.”

It can be argued that protocol should be read every time you speak to a new customer care agent. But what if the call needs to be transferred?

They’ll hear about about Data Protection legislation two or three more times before they get their problem solved.

Protocol, while extremely necessary, should be addressed swiftly so your agents can get down to brass tax. Avoid repetitive processes at all costs.

*Regulation may vary from country to country.

Hire a Voice Over Artist | Open a Dialogue

Yes, we’re sure that someone in your company has the syrupy, dulcet tones that would be perfect for recording. That said, you’re not producing an R ‘n’ B record — you’re managing call volume and customer engagement.

Believe it or not, it takes a very particular cadence to be the incorporeal first point-of-contact for clients and prospects. Some companies carry out three-interviews before hiring for reception or front-of-house — this should be a priority.

Did you know?

Peter Dinklage (Game of Throne’s Tyrion Lannister) tried his hand at voice over work in blockbuster video game, Destiny. It didn’t go well… ending with the two-time Emmy winner’s post-launch replacement by voice actor, Nolan North.

You can source brilliant voice over artists from sites like PieHole & VoiceBunny or go to an agency, although they’re a little pricier. They send over samples of their work, and you can get the voice that most matches your organisation.

Noise Levels | Safe & Sound

Have you ever been quietly watching late night TV, when suddenly an advertisement ramps up the volume — waking everyone in the house?

Noise differences on advertisements became such a global problem that the FCC (US) passed legislation — along with many other countries — to mitigate these offenses. Every country has their own stance on this rule but it’s illustrative of a common complaint — noise.

It’s important that customer-interactions are consistent, from first contact to the customer hanging up the phone. Don’t whisper, then shout, then speak — it can be a touch fraying.

Ensure a consistent level of volume between your on-hold menu and your chosen IVR V/o.

Time | Tick… Tick… Tick…

Interactive Voice Response shouldn’t feel like a prison sentence for customers waiting to be helped, it should be an interactive guide.

Ultimately, most customer’s auto-attendant frustrations fall under the “time” umbrella — particularly for premium dialled numbers.

Mitigate the time a customer spends on your IVR by following all of the steps above and using your data to refine the process.

Shorten scripts; avoid repetition, keep it simple (3-layers tops), correct your call-routing, and ensure a smooth aural journey. Customers will start calling through just to hear the menu.

If your call volume remains too high after following these steps, it might be time to consider hiring more staff members.

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