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[Free Checklist] Have You Got a World-Class IVR?

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There are 35 individual factors that together create a great customer experience in the IVR channel. Use our checklist to assess how yours stacks up.

Your interactive voice response (IVR) is the first thing people hear when they call your business. Does it give them the treatment they expect and deserve? Is it a brilliant ambassador for your brand? Or does it provide the kind of confusing, frustrating experience that led consumers in 2012 to declare IVR the “most annoying invention of all time”?

These are really important questions, because huge numbers of people depend on IVRs for customer service. Despite companies’ investments in web and mobile self-service channels, a Forrester survey revealed that 63% of US adults used IVR for self-service in 2015—up from 48% the previous year.

If those people have a bad experience when they call, the fallout can range from miserable Net Promoter Scores to public naming and shaming on social media—and potentially defection to a rival brand.

If one of your callers happens to be a journalist, you may even find your below-par customer service becomes the subject of an irate opinion column in a national newspaper.


Assess your IVR experience today

So what’s the key to delivering a great experience via IVR?

The first step is to give your existing application a thorough assessment. Is the “persona” friendly, welcoming and on-brand? Does the interaction feel like a natural, flowing conversation? Is it quick and easy to get the help you need?

In all, there are 35 core characteristics of your IVR that you should assess and score, to determine whether it meets your callers’ needs or is more likely to drive them into the arms of a competitor.

We’ve collated all 35 into a 4-page checklist for you to download and use. It should only take a few minutes, but the exercise will give you a great insight into how your customers experience your IVR.


How it works

With the checklist in hand, call up your own IVR and see how easy it is to complete basic tasks. You’ll score the experience in four key areas: Persona and Brand, Dialog, On-Hold Experience and Multichannel Integration. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer, and be honest.

For best results, ask colleagues to complete the same exercise, and compare your notes. If you all agree there are areas for improvement, it’s time to take action. Depending on your findings, the next step might be a formal CX audit of the IVR, making some basic tweaks to the user experience, or evaluating upgrade or replacement options.

The alternative is to carry on in blissful ignorance of what your callers experience when they interact with your business via this critical customer engagement channel. In the Age of the Customer, when the winners are the companies that are most obsessed with the customer experience, that’s not a strategy that serves anyone well.