Everyone involved in IVR industry may have heard reasons why normal users, customers ‘hate’ using IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) Systems. There are many reasons why people hate using IVR and how IVR could be made more user-friendly with good VUI design practices. I thought I would update top five things about IVR that people hate about.
1. Duplicate Information
When customer calls to any call center looking for support, query etc., they are normally answered by IVR and customer needs to provide their information like phone number, account ID etc. ( depending on services they subscribe to). After all these ‘question-answer-round’ and agonising repeat-confirmation round by IVR, customer is finally connected to a CSR or human agent. But immediately, customer is asked the same questions which he had already answered to IVR!
Simple POP-UP screen at CSR dsktop is the solution and many call center do not use them and the customer ire falls on IVR!
2. Being on-hold for long time before one may speak to human agent
After customer’s call is connected and then when she chooses to speak to human/live agent, IVR takes long time to actually transfer the call to live agent as live agents are busy. While everybody agrees that human resources are costly, but so are the time of customers/callers! This long time required for successful call transfer to human agents make customer hate IVR.
Smart predictive dialer is one solution to this.
3. Irritating music on hold/advertisement
As if making wait to speak an human agent is not enough to antagonize the caller, many people use IVR to play irritating music or advertisements while call hold! Imagine, one customer wants to complaint about a service and he gets to listen to advertisements about the same service while waiting to lodge her complaint against the very service!
It is not possible to play music which would be liked by everyone. Simple all waiting tone or announcing of time remaining till CSR would be free to attend the call should be good enough information during call wait.
4. Having to repeat YES/NO in ASR and DTMF pressing
Many ASR ( automatic speech recognition) repeats the answer by the caller and asks to confirm by speaking YES or NO. While this may be a required step for validating user input for IVR developer, but it becomes irritating for a caller having to confirm every answer or repeating the same. It is not easy to press telephone keys using a mobile phone, so many people simply hate IVR for making them press DTMF keys!
Looks like IVR will not be able to come out of this! 🙁
5. Long Menu
Some IVR of call centers really provide long menus or long options to choose from! If there are 9 options in an IVR and if IVR plays them as soon as caller is connected, most probably, caller would disconnect his call before he hears the 3rd option! Many people hate IVR for making them hear options which are not required by them!
We can hope, with smart IVR systems and good VUI design practice, this hatred can be reduced.