How much do your customers hate your IVR?

So much that entire companies are being launched to aid customers in getting around it.

BRINGO is a new service which enables customers to get to a human fast…

BRINGO cuts through all of that so you don’t have to. That’s right, BRINGO has conquered phone trees.

Here’s how it works:

1. Find the company you’d like to call by category (credit cards, mortgages, loans, health care)
2. Enter your phone # (we will never disclose your phone number to anyone, not even your mother!).
3. Wait a few seconds while we navigate the phone tree.
4. When we call you back, pick up your phone and you’re done. No more phone trees.

Which begs the question – why implement technology that your customers hate?

I’ve been working with this technology for better than 12 years now with fortune 500 companies as an empoyee and as a consultant, and in that time I have yet to see an IVR system that customer’s like.
I’ve seen many that customers use (often because they are given little choice)… but never one that customers celebrate as a WOW experience. Why? Believe it or not when customers pick up the phone to call your company, they want to talk to a person.
What about Speech Recognition you ask? All empirical data pretty much indicates they hate that too… they just hate it a little less.

Again, they called because they wanted to talk to a real live person…

So let’s be honest with ourselves and our customers, the IVR is not about creating a great customer experience… it saves us money. If we did not do it we would have to charge significantly more for our products.
In short it is a necessary evil.

2 thoughts on “How much do your customers hate your IVR?

  1. Arjita – to clarify the point the post made, you can “pay me now or pay me later”. The cost of NOT having an IVR would inflate product prices – particularly software.
    So you get cheaper software and a less pleasant support experience. It is a trade-off that gets made every day.
    Not pleasant – but reality.


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