Today, most customers or consumers are aware about bad phone technology usage. Telephony is like every other technology, neither good nor bad, it’s how we use it. Think about it, otherwise you may be damaging your brand image instead of increasing customer’s satisfaction.

To build a well designed phone service checks these 8 lessons and ideas:

  1. Speech Recognition Failure
  2. Limited Menus’ Options
  3. Takeover Option
  4. Music On Hold
  5. Long Hold Time
  6. Avoid Repetitions
  7. Information Privacy
  8. Quality Surveys

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1. Speech Recognition Failure

Malfunctioning speech recognition software is once of the top way to irritate a loyal customer.
Don’t implement complex grammars; never believe your speech recognition engine would run on perfect conditions.

Be sensible, add always a DTMF skip option in your phone service. No speech recognition engine is 100% reliable. There’s different way to implement a good alternative option like “press a key to select an option”.

2. Limited Menu’s Options

Take care about IVR menus option, keep always an open door to your users.
Remember, it’s impossible to code a menu with all options that your customer will need.

Don’t put more than 5 options per voice menus, one of them must be keep option “Others”.
Never create more than 3 menus levels, always design thinking about a 3 or 4 steps process.

3. Takeover Option

Never start an phone service saying “press 0 to call an agent” before anything else.
An phone self-service must be designed to be a stand-alone system.

Separate clearly what is going to be done by a robot.
Tell first your customer what your phone self-service can do in a short introduction.

4. Music On Hold

A phone service is not designed to listen music like an iPod.
Make sure to keep away your customers from an irritating pop or classical music.

Add phone self-services options instead of a music on hold.
Be creative, add productivity and innovation to your phone service; IVR technology is ready for it.

5. Long Hold Time

Never put on hold a customer for long time.
At phone, long time means more than at 1 minute without any interaction.

Add a Callback IVR service and improve your phone self-services.
Customers’ time is as important as your own call center production times.

6. Avoid Repetitions

Never ask several times for the same thing.
Unfortunately, it’s very common to use the IVR to ask first for an account or number and after an agent ask it again.

Improve your systems integration and data collection processes.
Don’t forget to connect your IVR system with your business processes through the CTI and PBX.

7. Information Privacy

Speak to an agent is not the best way to keep information privacy.
Most business transactions require to manage passwords, credit cards numbers or personal data.

Avoid to use humans in processes like identification, account access, money transfers, personal data… Try to implement a self-service for it, to keep privacy of your customers. They will be appreciate it.

8. Quality Surveys

Do you really trust that a customer can tell an agent his opinion about your phone service?
Forget it, try another quality survey method.

Add an IVR inbound or outbound phone survey for this.
Results reported are much better than a surveys done by agents. Try it!