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Is it time your IVR grew up?
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

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Is your IVR still in short trousers when all its peers act like adults? It's painful to be told your IVR system needs to grow up. But it's possible to intervene swiftly and propel your IVR into adulthood ... much to the relief of customers.

IVR grew up 900

Old school is cool within reason People's love of all things vintage extends to retro diners, vinyl and haircuts. But not old IVRs.

Spending 15 minutes watching an episode of an old favourite TV kids' show can be fun. Spending 15 minutes stuck in a 1990s-style IVR would be torture.

And yet some of today's IVRs haven't moved with the times and customers are noticing. Their expectations are soaring: They want a personalised experience with a wealth of self-service features to match some of your other contact channels.

So has your IVR kept pace with people's aspirations? Here are three clues that your IVR may have some growing up to do:

Clue #1: Your IVR needs to learn manners

Saying 'Hello' properly is a basic human interaction that children learn early on. But does your IVR struggle with meeting people putting callers through the same old song-and-dance of arduous authentication every time? And after that, does your IVR remember who the caller is and give them the respect they deserve? If not, every conversation gets off on the wrong note.

Learning to listen is vital too. So what if you could scrap menus completely and enable your IVR to talk like a grown-up by providing natural language speech recognition? And how about ending IVR sessions with an invitation for customers to provide feedback via a quick survey. That way, your IVR would listen well and learn fast.

Clue #2: Your IVR isn't allowed to 'play' with all the toys

Are you holding your IVR back? Today's consumers vary some are happy to find out things for themselves while others prefer to pick up the phone. Your IVR needs to be able to deal with all these variations and to do that it needs to be able to ‘play’ with all the toys in the box.

When this happens, your IVR could give customers general information about your stores and locations, provide them with updated travel details, route their calls through to the best agent, make an automated, yet secure, payment and help them find what they want by using speech recognition.

Clue #3: Can your IVR be trusted with money?

Being able to manage money is a big achievement for a growing youngster. But does your IVR know how to handle transactions simply and securely? If customers want to make payments 24x7, then does your organisation say a firm 'No' ... unless an agent is available to baby-sit the process?

What customers need is an ultra-fast, secure and convenient way to make payments via IVRs so they can buy from you anytime they choose to.

Ready for big school?

There comes a point where an IVR needs to move on with the rest of the class. But some of the ideas we've mentioned go further and could actually help your IVR to leapfrog its peers and go to the top of the class - giving you a competitive advantage.

What's more, you don't need to scrap everything and spend a fortune.A redesign may re-use much of what you already have and add new functionality in a way that's cost-effective

For more ideas, download your free copy of our ebook 'Is Your IVR Behaving Badly? You'll find it packed with practical advice, from simple tune-ups, through to getting the most from major transformations.

If you'd like to talk more about this or any other issues relating to IVR and Self-Service, why not give us a call on 08000 630 730 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Author

Mark Holmes

Mark Holmes

Head of Sales

Mark has over 20 years’ experience in business, commercial and technical roles across many sectors including retail, public sector, telecommunications and outsourcing. His knowledge means that he can quickly get to the crux of any client challenge and address it via a consultative approach. Mark head up Eckoh’s sales team, proactively and reactively addressing viable commercial opportunities and ensuring that the customer is offered, and receives, the very best solution for them.  

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