Four big pitfalls to avoid with your IVR setup!

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Four big pitfalls to avoid with your IVR setup!

Are you thinking about introducing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to help manage large call volumes?

While IVRs are getting better and better there are still many limitations, and it’s worth considering the tips below before going live, so you don’t risk loosing customers over a poor experience!

In fact, a bad initial phone interaction with long hold times or an overall lack of professionalism when answering calls could do much more damage to your business than you might realise: a Marketing Land study highlighted that the 74% of people were inclined to choose a competitor after a negative phone experience.

But what are the most common pitfalls with IVR, and what can we do to avoid them?


Making it difficult to speak with a human


Personally, this is the most annoying thing when I’m calling a customer service. I usually call to try to solve a problem, or to ask a specific question: why is it so often really hard to speak with a human being?! Sometimes callers have actual issues that only a human can understand! Or they simply prefer to talk to a person as opposed to an IVR.

IVR can save your employees’ time, but if it can’t deliver information effectively, it’s better not to have it at all! You should always offer a quick and easy way to get in touch with a representative, instead of making the caller wade through lists of options to find an answer.

Using bland prompts

This happens really often: a company has a great offer to make to its potential customers, but it gets caught in the trap of mediocre automated prompts for their IVR. We work every day to stand out and make people choose our businesses: a good starting point to do this right could be using new and interesting prompts that will earn immediately earn points in the mind of our callers!

When its set up, the IVR is a company’s first impression, so it should be great! We need to avoid boring or confusing language, and make sure we use a voice that customers can trust.

Too many choices

People don’t like being overwhelmed, and they’re typically in a rush when they call. Giving callers lots of options might seem important or convenient, but in reality, it only adds frustration. Along with this, what can make the situation even worse is having too many options: we may think that is a good thing to let the customer listen to the whole list of options available, but it could instead fatigue the caller and make them want to hang up!

An efficient antidote? Keep it simple! A menu with no more than three to five items will be perfect. Any more than that and callers will be dreaming of doing anything else.

Not asking for feedback!

One thing every business should do more of is asking for feedback. How can we understand which aspect of our IVR is helping or hurting the business without actually asking customers? A lot of customers are willing to share their thoughts about the phone call they had, in order to help companies to improve the service, so let’s not lose this opportunity!

A simple survey asking “What did you think about our answering system?” will be super efficient!

Now we know the common mistakes to avoid when it comes to IVR, will you be introducing an IVR system to your business? Let us know in the comments.

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