Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is getting widely adopted by businesses irrespective of their size. And the reason behind the wide acceptance of IVR has been the acceleration in efficiency it has offered to everyday business processes. IVR has also been a life-saver in handling mundane tasks such as answering a never-ending number of phone calls or solving basic customer queries.
While IVR has become a popular option among business, on the other hand, there are a significant number of customers who encounter a disappointing IVR experience which hampers their customer journey with the brand. In fact, going by the research stats, 83% of customers would hesitate to associate with a company which delivers a poor IVR experience.
So, in order to avoid poor customer service, a company needs to put in their best foot forward while designing an IVR. Before getting started with the development, it is important to create a blueprint of the IVR by keeping in mind all the touchpoints of customers’ journey.
Once the IVR is developed, the next step is to perform IVR testing before putting it to use. However, in haste to launch IVR this step often gets neglected by the businesses, and they end up delivering unsatisfying customer experience. Thus, before putting your IVR in customers’ hand, companies should invest time in IVR testing in order to examine the delivered customer experience.
Let’s have a look at the below checklist which will equip you with points for thorough IVR testing.
1. IVR Greet Callers Warmly
It is important for your IVR to welcome every approaching customer warmly. Therefore, the persona and voice used in the IVR should be welcoming and natural. If voice greeting of your IVR sounds robotic, monotone or less humane, then possibility of losing the customer in the first point of connection increases drastically.
Thus, always make sure that your IVR welcome message
- Has a warm, clear and audible voice
- Does not use industry jargons
- Has a consistent voice texture throughout the IVR
- And, is not filled with company introduction or offers
2. IVR has Limited Menu Options
The customers want to be quick in finding the answers to their queries. Overcomplicated menu structure can affect the efficiency of the whole query resolution process as providing more than 3-4 options confuses the customer. High chances are that most customers might even forget the initial menu options till the time they reach the last option.
During IVR testing, inspect if the number of menu options provided to the customer is more than four. If the list contains more than 4 options, then you must evaluate the importance of every option and trim it to the minimum.
3. IVR Announces the Option Before the Description
Press 1 to connect with the Sales department.
We are familiar with this IVR approach where the option (Press 1) is stated before the description (to connect with the sales department). But only a few companies have realised the setback of this approach.
Announcing the option before the description affects the recall of the option. As IVR has a list of options to announce and customers have a short attention span, the probability of customers remembering the option after the description reduces to a great extent.
In such scenarios, the customer is left with no other option other than traversing through the whole list again. Thus, to eliminate any such scenario, always make sure that description is stated prior to the option, such as
To connect with the Sales department, Press 1
This multiplies the chances of receiving an accurate response in the first attempt and reduces customer frustration.
4. Self-Help Options Are Providing Correct Results
Every quality IVR is designed with self-help options to ensure their customers can resolve basic queries on their own without having to wait for the agent’s assistance. These self-help options provide a speedy issue resolution to customer queries; thus, are the most preferred choices by customers.
As the customer relies on a self-service option to find answers, it becomes highly critical for the business to ensure their IVR provides accurate information. So, while testing your IVR system, ensure your self-help options are working correctly.
5. IVR is Giving the Option to Connect with an Agent
“Connect with an agent” is the second important option after self-help, which a customer looks for while using an IVR. So, along with other menu options, it is imperative for the business to provide an option that can connect them with an agent.
During IVR Testing, make sure to provide an option to the customers which connects them directly with the agent without any added hassle. Also, ensure to place this option in the first level of IVR to avoid any complexities in the search process for the customer.
We will discuss the remaining 5 points in our next blog – IVR Testing Part 2.