It’s very easy to build an IVR that degrades the customer experience. Here are some things to consider when designing your interactive voice menu.

1- Offer too many options to the menus

Avoid confusing callers with more than 5 options. Human memory has a capacity limit and it can be frustrating for your customers to have to write down the options to make the right choice!

2- Greeting message too long

Be efficient and concise, avoid putting your caller to sleep. Use clear terms and refrain from repeating the same messages. For example in “If you wish to join sales, press 1. If you wish to join support, press 2. If you wish,….”, It is redundant to repeat “If you wish to join”, use “for” instead. To be more concise.

3- Poor quality of messages

Avoid having your automated messages recorded by “the great Bob”. Make sure the volume, intonation, energy and flow are comfortable to hear. A professional narrator is a smart investment.

4- Music on hold which does not represent you

Hip-hop and heavy metal may be great fun for you in the car when you get stuck in traffic, but probably a little less so for clients who call into your law firm.

5- Absence of temporal processing

How not to remember spending 10 minutes browsing the menus of a large corporation or government only to be told that the office is closed! Make sure you let your customers know early on that your office is closed or that you are on leave when they call after hours.

6- Bad vocabulary

When using the term “dial”, you would expect more than one number to be dialed. We will say “dial” to indicate that we expect a series of numbers (for example an extension), we will say “press” to indicate an option to a number.

7- Poorly prioritized options

Know why customers are calling you and offer them the most popular option right off the bat. If you offer the option to join the “front desk”, place this option last to prevent your customers from selecting “the easy choice”.

8- Calls routed to the wrong employee or department

Nothing is more frustrating for a caller who has just spent 2 minutes in an automated system than to be told “you do not have the right extension, hold the line, I will transfer you” … and end up in the voicemail of the employee on vacation. Think about your customers and get them the right service as quickly as possible. Usually, when a customer calls you, they want to talk to someone!