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5 Features Of A Good IVR For Small Businesses

Does anyone really like Interactive Voice Response (IVR)? Not really. In fact, everyone pretty much hates it. They are a means to an end. We see them as a necessary evil – either as a path to get the information we want, or as a way to talk to an actual person. But what if we thought about IVRs in a different way? What if we visualized it another way instead of presenting option after endless options? After all, no one wants to spend the rest of their day talking to a machine. And this is why people generally hate IVRs. A well-designed IVR should not make one hate it. Yet most IVRs are not designed well. This is why people don’t like them. An ugly website, or one that is difficult to navigate will cause a company to lose prospective customers. Poorly designed IVRs will also cause heartache. Research has shown that when people have a poor IVR experience, over 80% of them will terminate their business with that company. Over 70% will propagate that favorable news through word of mouth. Devastating! Thus it’s essential that companies put thought, effort and testing into designing their IVR systems. But what we find most of the time is that most companies see IVR almost as an afterthought, which ultimately does more harm than good. Now what it is really useful is a well designed IVR. Remember – the customer is calling your company in order to obtain some information. They are not necessarily calling to talk to a person; usually they want to talk to a human because customers believe that humans can solve their issues better than machines. Yet, if they can call and get the answers they want in IVR, they’ll leave just as happy. If the IVR is smart enough to recognize the caller, dip into the database, and answer the query (such as reciting the status of an order), the need to talk to a person would be obviated. Based on our extensive experience and research with contact centers, we have thought of five attributes that every IVR system should have.


1. Recognize your customer

By far the most important characteristic, this not only shows the caller that your company cares, but it instils more confidence in them when they call. When they are greeted by name, the call is started on a good note. When this does not happen, the caller begins to think the IVR is simply a dumb system, and starts to punch buttons, trying to connect to an agent. 2. Recognize the context

When the caller calls the IVR a second or third time, they shouldn’t have to repeat answers they provided on the prior calls. The IVR should be intelligent enough to recognize the state of the caller’s query and be able to provide the correct contextual answer. 3. Provide default options

A caller should never feel as if they are lost in an IVR. There should always be default options: Go back to previous menu, go to top menu, or talk directly to an agent. And these are the barest of minimums. There should also be fall backs for the touch tones, and a caller should be able to enter tones multiple times as well. 4. Direct caller to proper agent and pass info to contact center

After gathering caller information, select the correct department or specialist, then direct the call there so the caller gets immediate assistance. Do not make them repeat information they have already entered on their keypads. 5. Support multiple languages

Many countries including America are lands of many languages. Provide the caller options to choose their preferred language. Then remember that choice, so the next time they call, they are greeted in their own language. Telesystems can help you install sophisticated VoIP systems along with award winning IVR systems that are guaranteed to help your business. Call us today.

5 features of a good ivr for small businesses  
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