Your IVR Prompts Are Too Wordy
You’ve probably noticed the absence of the word “please” in the previous IVR script problems section. That’s intentional. The wordier your script is, the more cumbersome it is for your customer to engage. In other words, don’t overestimate your caller’s attention span. Remember, proper voice direction and tone can help you keep your IVR scripts short without making the customer feel hurried or snapped at. If you must say “please”, use it sparingly, such as in the main prompt: “Please hold for the next available representative.”
Other phrases, words or options to eliminate:
For This, Press One:
Generally the construction of a DTMF prompt is structured like “For [action], press [key to press].” As you progress through the menu you can drop the press for long menus in a technique called Tapering: “For Sales, press one. For Service, press two. For Technical Support, three. Directions, four. Store Hours, Five.” As the menu progresses, your words in the menu streamline or taper off. The caller gets the idea of how to use the system. This probably isn’t the first IVR they’ve ever called into.
WWW-dot, backslash, colon, etc.:
One of the large call center companies did a study and determined that 75% of the callers are on your company website while they are calling you. If you don’t have technology that can determine that the person calling you is also logged in currently on the website (Preferred option to provide a better experience) and you feel you must inform the caller of a website option, keep it as simple as possible so your customer can easily write it down or remember it later. Domain and extension, nothing more. Once you tell the caller about the website, don’t continue abusing them with it in hold messages and transfer messages and the agent script.
Long, complicated words:
Always remember that this is a script someone has to read out loud for someone else to hear it. Keep words brief and accessible. As mentioned above, if it sounds weird to you, or is hard to say out loud, it will be awkward for the caller to hear let alone understand.
While you want to avoid complex words, you don’t want to revert to abbreviations or TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms). Your customer might not understand your internal specific acronyms. instead of using the abbreviation, just say it. EXAMPLE: Here is a great example of a TLA that means different things in different industries: Look Up PCI
Unless thee is a very specific reason to split out the options, don’t have multiple options that lead to the same caller destination. It is permissible to group options “For Billing and Payments, Press One.” Avoid options like repeating of a menu or asking them to press a key to hang up “To end this call, press nine” – Really? How about “If that’s all you needed, hang up.” Give them permission.
Keep your call center greeting script brief and to the point. Do your callers need to know that your IVR options may have changed? Have they really changed? Do they need to know they changed? Can you tell them once and mark their profile so they never have to hear that again?
Learn How to apply this to your Project:
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