Interactions Corporation announced results of a study on consumer perceptions of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Systems on 23rd June 2011. Interactions Corporation commissioned Liel Leibovitz, New York University Assistant Professor of Communications, who conducted the study on consumer satisfaction on IVR.
The consumer research was completed in two parts. In the first part, 408 respondents completed an 11-question survey about general attitudes towards IVRs and other service options. In the second part, an additional 21 respondents were interviewed in person and in depth to provide greater insight regarding these customer service options.
“The study concluded that there is continued overwhelming dissatisfaction with Interactive Voice Response Systems, despite the increased investment in, and recent growth of, the IVR industry. Consumers still view them as difficult to use and less desirable than any other service option.
According to consumers, a key shortcoming of IVR systems is that they are difficult to use. On an ease-of-use scale, IVR systems scored lower than any of the other service options and was the only option perceived as difficult to use. In addition, IVR was the least preferred service option with only 15% of consumers choosing IVR as their preferred option. ” Press Release by Interactions, Inc
So, according to the study, they main shortcoming in any IVR system is, it is difficult to use! So, in order to make IVR easier to use by callers, one has to make the IVR very, very simple!
Over the years, I have seen that majority of the IVR systems uses one number to call and then it tries to solve multiple problems, offer multiple services or tries to do multiple tasks. This result in lengthy and boring menus or instructions!
So, the solutions for making IVR very easy to use for callers may be using “One Phone Number One Task IVR” policy! In this policy, an IVR would provide only one service. For example, in a mobile service provider, 1110 will provide prepaid balance of the caller, 1111 will lodge a complaint of the caller for X reason, 1112 will lodge a complaint of the caller for Y reason etc.
Now this will require the IVR user to remember many numbers for his services required! So he can either remember IVR numbers for corresponding services or he may choose to listen to menus!
So, I think the complaint of IVR being difficult to use will keep coming and IVR service providers will have to continuously monitor call abandon and keep trying to make it easier for callers to use!