If you’re hearing complaints in your business about misrouted calls and unnecessary ‘bouncing’ calls between departments, you may be leaving customers in the dark and money on the table.
The problem: likely the result of a faulty call flow design, which originated when you installed the interactive voice response feature of your new voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephone system.
The solution: you need to optimize your IVR call flow so that your menu options are logical, efficient and simple.
“We talk to companies every day experiencing these kinds of problems,” says Bryant Wilson, CEO of On Hold Company. “IVR features are not ‘one size fits all’. They must be customized to the type and size of business. If not, you’ll have a nightmare on your hands.”
On Hold IVR consultants develop strategies to make call flow more logical, efficient and simplistic in all aspects of menu design including:
• Main automated menu
• After-hours greetings
• Departmental voicemail messages
• Branded on hold messages
• And special messages such as holiday greetings and weather-related closings.
Here are some practical ways we help clients.
If you study your call flow, you’ll find patterns that indicate how your menu options rank in terms of caller preference. Once you have that data, you can reduce wait time and frustration by reorganizing your menu options in terms of caller preferences.
While there are many things your interactive voice response system can do, there are some things it can’t do. For example, it can’t answer specific questions or connect to someone who isn’t listed on the menu. In situations like these, you will have to use logic in your call flow design to give callers an option to speak with a live person.
When designing IVR call flow, ‘if you confuse, you lose.’ Too many menu options will confuse the caller, increasing the likelihood of an abandoned or misrouted call.
Too few options will reduce the efficiency of your IVR system. Try to strike a balance between thoroughness and efficiency.
It also helps to be efficient when writing your script. Use short phrases rather than sentences. For example, say, ‘For Accounting, press 2;’ rather than, ‘If you’d like to speak to someone in accounting, please press 2.’
Above all, be succinct and clear.
Simplifying your call flow design is a matter of making small changes that reduce caller confusion. Things like moving the telephone extension number to the end of the prompt rather than at the beginning, so that it’s easier for them to remember the number.
Also, make sure your language isn’t dated. For example, modern telephones dictate that we ‘press’ a number, not ‘dial’ it. The language in your script should be relevant, and precise.
No doubt, optimizing your IVR call flow is key to reducing abandoned and misrouted calls. It can make all the difference in your level of customer satisfaction and to your company’s bottom line.
To read a brief case study about how we helped one of our clients optimize their IVR call flow, click here. (Note: four-minute read.)
To talk to one of our IVR consultants about your call flow click here or call 1-800-492-1901.