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IVR Best Practices

This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to IVR Development and custom IVR software and products. Business phone systems and toll free answering systems (generally 800 numbers and their equivalent) are very popular for service and sales organizations, allowing customers and prospects to call your organization anywhere in the country. The PACER and WIZARD IVR System is just one of many DSC call center phone system features..

What Is IVR?. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) processes inbound phone calls, plays recorded messages including information extracted from databases and the internet, and potentially routes calls to either inhouse service agents or transfers the caller to an outside extension.

The following article is recommended to our clients and others who are considering implementing IVR solutions in their organization and wish to employ the best IVR design concepts. A well designed IVR can be a valuable asset to your company, but a system that frustrates and alienates your callers can likewise be a liability. This article is a valuable resource for IVR designers and implementors.

Contact DSC today. to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.

Paul English - The IVR Cheat Sheet

By Paul English
The IVR Cheat Sheet™ is Copyright 2006 by Paul English.

"Interactive voice response (IVR) systems have a reputation—in many cases well deserved—for predisposing customers to take their business elsewhere. Most companies deploy voice self-service applications to cut staffing costs, and many believe that reduced customer satisfaction is a necessary tradeoff for the savings they get." (Aspect Communications)

A very popular website has now been focusing national attention on the issue of poorly designed and implemented IVR systems. Paul provides a cookbook on how to get around the often annoying "front end" to poorly designed systems.

Paul English writes:

"IVRs ("interactive voice response") are the annoying computers that answer phones. They can sometimes be useful (check flight status etc), but consumers should be able to decide when they want to speak with a human, simply by pressing 0. For example, what if the consumer is:
  • a senior citizen who does not ever want to talk with computers.
  • someone hard of hearing or in a noisy environment or on a bad cell phone connection, where communication with a computer is always more difficult than talking with an actual human.
  • someone driving a car who does not want to go back and forth between listening to prompts and pushing buttons.
  • someone who knows the IVR system will not help with their current question.
Some IVRs require you first enter your account or social security number. This is also stupid:
  • many times after punching in your account number, the human who finally answers asks you to repeat it anyway!
  • what if I don't yet have an account number?
  • what if I don't have my account number handy?
  • what if my question has nothing to do with my account?
While some companies claim that IVR cost savings are required to do customer support, there are some awesome, profitable companies who have figured out that it is a good thing to have humans answering phones..."

Contact DSC today. if you would like to learn more about our IVR services and IVR application development software.

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