The tips below are a compilation of ideas from the book "Asterisk Definitive Guide - Open Source Telephony for Companies", where best practices for creating automated attendance are displayed. I strongly recommend using them for IVR implementations on PBX clients.
- Put the most used options in the IVR first. For example: if the support sector is the most typed option, leave it among the first options, not option 9. Leave the least used options as a fax last.
- Record the audio of the greeting ("Thank you for calling company X") separately from the options, because if you return to the previous menu, you will not need to repeat the greeting message again.
- Give the caller the option to hear the options again, as many people do not pay attention to the entire menu.
- First say what the option means and then the digit. For example: saying "For support, type 2", it is better than "Type 2 for support". The customer will hear the value of the option first and will be able to dial without having to wait to hear all the audio to understand that "2" is the support option.
- Keep the IVR structure simple to understand to facilitate maintenance and with the least possible options and sub-options to speed up customer service.
- Always have an option so that the customer can speak to an agent. Do not let all of your assistance be done electronically in the IVR. Remember: the customer who is on the line wants to talk to someone, and not hear ready responses from a machine, no matter how good their electronic service is. We recommend that it is easy for the customer to contact you.
- Treat errors elegantly (invalid digits, not entering a mandatory field such as the CPF, etc.), returning a message to the user that corresponds to the error in question. For example, if the customer enters an invalid option in the menu, inform them that the option is invalid and ask them to retype it a certain number of times.
- Try to keep the time to wait for a digit and the number of repetitions always the same in all IVRs that are involved in the service. This will maintain uniformity in attendance.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- To think that an IVR can completely replace people.
- Use IVR to show people how smart you are, with a variety of menus and submenus that often won't even be used.
- Think about building an IVR if you are unable to receive numerical or spoken input. Nobody wants to spell their name on a telephone keypad.
- Force your callers to listen to advertising. Remember: they can hang up at any time.