What To Think Of When You Shop Interactive Voice Response

Evaluating various systems? Here are some selection and installation tips to keep in mind when looking over the vendor brochures.

1.  Add a note hereChoose a system that lets you easily add more telephone interfaces and voice storage capacity — you should always anticipate growth. Line capacity describes the number of simultaneous conversations the system can handle. This requirement is a function of anticipated traffic, peak volume demands and the tolerance of the caller receiving a busy signal or a ring-back of more than two or three rings.

2.  Add a note hereUser interfaces are typically subjectively evaluated during the system selection process, and are a function of the script and recordings. Recordings are usually first created by the installer, but updates are maintained via recordings made after the installation. Thus, the ease with which the system administrator can manage recordings is critical.

3.  Add a note hereThe product should allow high quality recordings to be made directly with a microphone or telephone set, but should also support recordings made by commercial studios.

4.  Add a note hereSystem usage reports are critical in preventing a business using an IVR system from isolating itself from its callers. The system must be capable of supplying informative reports about the nature and disposition of incoming calls, such as:
§  Add a note hereHow long did people stay on the line?
§  Add a note hereHow many hung up without making any selections?
§  Add a note hereWhat items were selected most often?
§  Add a note hereHow many after-hours callers left messages for an agent to return their call?

5.  Add a note hereMake sure the vendor understands exactly what you want. Tell them exactly what you want your customers to hear. Check references so you’ll know their history of service and support.

6.  Add a note hereYour system should not force regular callers to listen to lengthy prompts. Callers should be able to bypass recordings and skip to the prompt they want to hear.
Add a note hereIncreasingly, thanks to better integration between IVR and the switch, you can offer IVR as one option to callers languishing in the hold queue.

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