What is an Interactive voice response (IVR)?
Interactive voice response (IVR) or Auto-attendant is a feature that allows callers to interact with the phone system through the use of button presses (DTMF tones) inputted via the phone keypad.
An IVR can be layered above or below other features within your VoiceHost account and is configured via the web portal.
IVR / Auto-attendant Key Features
- Direct callers to any feature or extension via button presses (DTMF) e.g conferencing, call groups, Call Queues, Time-Profiles, IVRs, voicemail etc.
- Upload your own custom prompts via the web portal or use predefined options (.mp3)
- Timeout functionality
- Invalid keypress functionality
Lasting First Impressions and avoiding death-by-ivr
The IVR is crucial to effective customer service and having effective and simple routing will yield efficiency, fewer abandoned calls and customer longevity.
Tips for drafting an effective script:
- Be brief and professional.
- Begin your recording with a welcome greeting "Thank you for calling ACME Company".
- Clearly state all options available to your callers and let them know that they can make a choice at any time.
- Try to limit your menus to 5-6 options. More than that will become difficult for callers to remember. If you need additional options, consider using submenus.
- Present the most important options at the beginning.
- When announcing the options, state the option first and then state the corresponding key number. Example: For Shipping, press 1.
- Avoid saying please before every menu choice. This sounds repetitive. Example: For Sales, please press 1. For Support, please press 2…
- Let your callers know upfront if your menu options have changed recently. Remove this notice after three weeks.
- Reserve the use of the zero (0) key for being transferred to an operator or receptionist.
- Get your script reviewed.
- Consider using a time profile to offer out of hours options.
- Don't assume everyone has a touchtone phone. If a menu option is not selected within three seconds of the end of the greeting, connect the caller to the receptionist.