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3 Reasons why IVR will always be hated

While there are many tips and tricks to increase IVR usability and thereby increasing IVR usage, still IVR will always be hated due to its own inherent problems. While recent introduction of SIRI in IPhone, I hoped that people will adapt to the idea of speaking to “machines”, but sadly, it seems, after the “initial honeymoon period”, it is yet to prove its mettle!

After many years in IVR industry, now a days, I am almost resigned to the fact that, IVR will always be hated by some people, with some valid reasons, no matter smart we try to make the IVR systems. No matter how well the IVR call flow is designed, there are few features in IVR which will keep drawing flak from IVR users.

And I think, these three will not go away in foreseeable future! According to me, the following “problems” or hate points of IVR will never go away, may be minimised, but never go away :-

1. Sequential Menu
The IVR menus will always be presented in sequential way! One may try to bring the most used options to the front of the sequential menu, or play the menu options smartly after analyzing past usage by the caller, still it will always remain sequential! Some users will always wait agonizingly till the end of the menu before knowing what to press or what to speak for her required information.
Quickest solution to long menu may result in nested and multilevel menus which may again be very frustrating for many!
Well, I do not know if this if any one can come out with some smart solution where every one gets to hear his required menu option at the starting of the menu!

2. Speech Recognition

Recent survey result shows than majority of the contact centers have got rid of speech recognition, for good! Sad part is, speech recognition has to be used in IVR, for many reasons! And it will continue to fail to recognise commands from callers and continue to get people frustrated!

Even if the speech recognition works perfect, still people will assume themselves to be smarter than machines and blame it for any wrong input. It is specially true for IVR contest where caller has to speak a choice and which is an wrong answer!

Finally, I have come across many times over now why people will continue to hate IVR, I would like to call it:-
3. Somebody Else’s problem

IVR is a machine and it does not show any emotion while blurting out “bad news” to the caller, making payment reminders dutifully on a per-defined hour! As as the saying goes, “messengers get shot”, IVR will face ire from callers!

And no matter how well the IVR is designed, it will still get hated for the very fact for its usage, giving out information, bad, painful to the callers!

So, I am resigned to the fact that, no matter what we IVR people do, IVR will still be hated. Share your thinking please!

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