Recently I met a client who was in a hurry to get an IVR Software developed for his business. But while discussing specification of his IVR Software, he was very keen on documenting and finalising the IVRS call flow as he thought it will waste precious time and will delay the IVRS development, but I insisted that, before actually starting coding IVR software, we must completely document the whole call flow. I had to cajole him, explain him why call flow is required and a must for any customised IVR software! Finally he agreed and gave us few days for documenting call flow in tight schedule of his IVR development.
When we submitted him our first draft along with our suggested improvement in call flow as per usability point of view, he told us,” thank you Uttam for insisting on call flow, now I can see why you insisted in preparing the call flow before actually do the development. I totally agree with the changes in the call flow and most probably, I would have asked you to make the changes after I would have checked by dialing to the IVR.”
While I was happy to hear those nice words, I thought I should try to write benefits of IVR call flow. They are:
1. While IVRS is sequentially processed, if call flow is available, required option can be spotted quickly in IVR call flow. Caller or user does not have to listen out whole list of options to know which option he has to choose for his required information. This is particularly helpful for new caller.
2. To examine usability of IVRS, call flow is the document to consult! With call flow, one will know if the options are read out properly, and how they are presented to caller. One can check without actually calling to the IVR.
3. With the help of call flow, scripting of prompts to be used in the IVR System become much easier and it will improve IVR usability.
4. A call flow will help database design required for IVRS.
5. It is easy to make changes in call flow, but changing actual flow in IVRS may require changes not only in coding, but also in scripts, prompts audio files. It is time consuming, more work for developer as well as script writers as well as voice artist.
6. Call flow will help identifying and setting up milestones in IVR software development. It will reduce many avoidable alterations, changes after coding.
There will be other benefits too which most probably I am unable to recollect at this point of time, but I will update this post as soon as I recollect them.