Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can greatly increase the efficiency of your contact centre but it is important that it be designed with customers in mind so that it remains useful to them, and not a frustrating maze.

Here are some of the most common mistakes made.

Make customers listen to messages that have no relevance to them

These can include list of documents they will need at hand – if your contact centre is sufficiently staffed, an agent will probably get to the client before they have a chance to gather the documents and it will annoy them. Taking advantage of the fact that you have them captive to deliver recorded sales pitches will not go well either.

Using different volumes

You are watching a film when it is interrupted for a commercial break. Annoying enough as it is, it probably isn’t as annoying as the fact that your TV is suddenly shouting ads at you. Spare your customers that experience when they call you and ensure that the same volume is kept throughout your IVR, at a reasonable level – you don’t want them to have to keep the receiver several centimetres away from their ear to avoid premature deafness or not being able to hear the menu options.

Offering too many options

Talking about options, don’t overestimate the human ability to retain information. Human memory can’t remember more than 5 choices easily so anything above that may lead to them having to listen to all the options again and they won’t thank you for that!

Redirecting customers back to your website

Phone calls have become the last resort to customers and them calling you means that they weren’t able to resolve their problem any other way, so don’t tell them to go back to your website to find a solution.

Asking customer to repeat information

Don’t ask them to pre-identify themselves unless your system can forward this information to the agent who eventually takes the call. You may find that customers aren’t too happy to have to repeat themselves!

Making your customers to navigate the IVR if the contact centre is closed

One of the top complaints from customers is being led for several minutes through various menus, being asked to enter various informations to be told that the contact centre is closed and that they will have to call back. If the centre is closed, say so at the very start of the call.