We Fix Ugly Pools…Oh and IVRs

Where I live there’s a rather prominent pool repair and remodeling business called “We Fix Ugly Pools.” Their mascot is a thumbs-up-man called the Ugly Pool Guy.

I’ve come to think about the Professional Services group in a similar way for IVR Solutions—sort of the Ugly IVR Guys with the motto “We fix ugly IVRs”.

It’s Not Easy to Say

It’s never an easy conversation to tell someone that their IVR is ugly. This is somebody’s baby, but unfortunately, unlike babies, there are ugly IVRs.

What Does That Mean?

  • If your system asks callers for the same input after more than two failures, you might have an ugly IVR
  • If your system changes input types in mid task flow, you might have an ugly IVR
  • If your system has long periods of dead air, you might have an ugly IVR
  • If it takes more than five minutes for callers to complete a task that takes a live human two minutes, you might have an ugly IVR
  • If callers are deliberately creating an error so they can talk to a human, you might have an ugly IVR
  • And finally, if your system is regularly dropping calls into ghost queues (or worst just dropping callers) after telling a caller they’re being transferred, you might have an ugly IVR.

So What Do You Do?

What do you do if your IVR is ugly? Well first, of all, as always, don’t panic. It took time for your IVR to get this way, and your customers are still using it (some more grudgingly than others, no doubt). So be smart about it. Don’t let’s throw the baby out with the bath water.

Practical Steps:

  1. Take the time to analyze what’s working and what’s not. This doesn’t have to be complicated or lengthy, but taking a quick inventory of the platform frequently shines light on business needs that are not being met or could be met better.
  2. Talk to the business. Take the techno-babble, how-to-solve-the-problem nonsense out of the conversation and start with the problem. In other words talk about “what” not “how”. When the business need and problem is boiled down to a simple series of “what” statements, the “how” falls into place naturally.
  3. Think “Platform” not “phone”. The contact center is a critical piece of the Unified Communications strategy and infrastructure, and the IVR is one of several front ends that meet your customers where they are. Thinking about the IVR in isolation from the rest of the contact center and UC is like thinking about the pastrami without the rye and mustard.
  4. Do it right. What this means will be unique to every business, but a universal truth is this—if it sounds to good to be true, it is. No system is going to fall out of the box, plug itself in, set itself up, and be handling customer contacts without an experienced delivery team to put it all together.

At the end of the day, if you’ve taken the time to learn what you’re doing right, understand the business problems, plan with an eye toward integrated communications, and do the correct things in the right order, your customers will all be saying “What a beautiful pool! Can I take a swim?”

If You’d Like Any Help With IVR Solutions Eckoh can help

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Posted by eckoh at 2:28 PM on Jun 17, 2015


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