Are Weeds Growing in Your IVR?

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I was working in our veggie garden recently. I never really got into gardening until I started raising food…then I got excited. You mean I put in some work and get food? Rock on! I’ve been hooked ever since.

Recently when I was doing some weeding it hit me – IVRs are like gardens. Like gardens, IVRs need to be tended.

To keep a garden in good shape, it needs routine maintenance. Not just watering, but energy devoted to the health of the plants, whether pests are present, and if changes are needed to increase productivity in the garden space.

When you install an IVR (or a garden), there’s a lot of energy spent planning before the first day of turn up. What will the IVR “look” like? What is the logical path to create? What choices do you offer and in what order? The list goes on. The preparation is typically focused, thoughtful, and deliberate.

Can the same be said for maintenance of an IVR? Often it isn’t focused, thoughtful, or deliberate. “It’s up and running and gets calls to us and provides self-service, too. Job done.” A frequent comment about IVR maintenance :“I know I should be doing it, but I never get around to it.”

When it’s a physical garden, the consequences of inattention are visible…it gets hard to see those tasty Black Cherry Tomatoes in between the weeds. Often, the consequences of avoiding IVR maintenance are subtle. Things like:

  • A gradual increase in transfers between queues
  • More “standard” messages/updates read to customers by agents
  • Agents commenting that they’re frequently answering routine questions

This can be avoided without a ton of effort! Here’s some ideas on how to get IVR maintenance back in your routine without breaking your back:

  1. Put a 15 minute appointment on your calendar each quarter to call your IVR. Call it and make every possible selection combination you can in that amount of time. You’ll be surprised at what you learn by that small time investment. (Bonus tip: this is a great developmental opportunity for high-potential agents. Have them call your IVR, take every available path, and do a write-up on the results and their recommendations.)
  2. When you have staff meetings before seasonal changes or routine periodic planning, add this to the standard questions the group addresses in the meeting: “Can we change anything in our IVR that will help our customers and our business?” Adding this one question can provide small but powerful changes.
  3. Review your system-generated IVR reports.  Do this every quarter, and make adjustments to your IVR based on where customers frequently drop out, call mix changes, etc. (Again, a great developmental opportunity for high-potential employees.)

One of the great things about inContact’s platform is that we have a powerful, easy-to-modify scripting program for your IVR and ACD. Also, we provide IVR reporting to get the most productivity out of your customers’ IVR experience.

Don’t let weeds grow between the menus of your IVR. Spend just a bit of time, and you’ll be feasting on delicious productivity.