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IVR complaints you should solve immediately

Handling hundreds of calls every day and answering the same questions is not easy for the agents. IVR systems are of immense help in such cases. Although it doesn’t eliminate the calls entirely, it does cut down the call frequency to a significantly low number.

Here, it is important to understand that employing an IVR is not enough. This boon can turn into bane in no time if the IVR performance is not constantly monitored and optimized. As a company who keeps customer experience at the utmost priority, it is inevitable for you to constantly enhance your IVR’s performance.

And it starts with collecting feedback and addressing common customer complaints. Claiming to be a customer-friendly brand yet ignoring customer complaints is the biggest mistake that can lead to damage your brand and kill your customer experience. To prevent your brand from such damage, here’s a list of 5 common IVR complaints that you should immediately address.

1. Circling in IVR

What Kills

When customers call on your customer service number, one thing is sure that they are looking for a solution which they couldn’t find otherwise. It might sound obvious but, alarmingly, a large number of companies ignore this fundamental aspect of customer service while designing the IVR.

In the hoard to create an IVR with scores of options, companies neglect to test the usability of these options. An IVR with too many levels and more than 5 options in each level is confusing for the callers to operate. This can lead callers to an indefinite loop of menu options where they are left with no other alternative except to disconnect the call. Such a situation not only kills your IVR customer experience but also puts an irreversible dent in your brand reputation.

What Saves

To understand whether you’re doing the same mistake or not, you need to sit back and evaluate the simplicity of your IVR structure. Identify whether the defined structure is providing the intended solution to customers or is escalating their problem. To start with, ask yourself these simple questions.

  • How many levels are there in your IVR?
  • How many menu options are there at each level?
  • Do these options cover broad categories of customer queries?
  • How easily can a caller connect with the company agents?

Besides, answering these questions you should also evaluate these answers against the customer experience you want to deliver. And then put yourself in the customer’s shoes to check if it fits the desired CX.

2. Asking Callers to Repeat Information

What Kills

Callers comply when it comes to verifying their authenticity or providing some basic information to the agents. To ensure they get a quality and accurate resolution, callers don’t mind answering agent’s questions. But at the same time, they don’t want to reiterate the information every time their call is transferred to a new agent or is answered by a different agent. It is a major turn-off.

They are looking for a quick resolution and answering a repeated question only delays the process and tests their patience. To reach an agent they have already traversed through IVR, thus the last thing they look forward to is answering redundant questions.

What Saves

To save customers from this trouble, companies can deploy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. It is an excellent platform to store a customer’s entire information. Agents can fetch information from CRM quickly and easily on a few drags and drops.

They don’t have to manually search customer’s information in the database. Just by entering customer ID into the portal, agents can get all the information on their screen. Moreover, CRM is a centralized portal thus, any and every agent can retrieve customer’s data without bombarding customers with questions.

3. Keeping Customers On-hold

What Kills

It is a common yet the most dreadful experience for the callers. The uncertainty of how long the call will be kept on-hold make callers anxious. High chances are callers can go ballistic if the call hold time crosses the 1–2-minute mark. Inter-department call transfers can further worsen the situation as in such cases call hold time is significantly higher.

Studies also cite that 75% of people said they were “highly annoyed” when they couldn’t get someone on the phone in a reasonable amount of time.

The average call hold time is also one of the most crucial call center metrics that defines the efficiency of any call center. High average call on-hold times indicates that call centers are unable to provide quick customer support.

What Saves

First of all, make sure you have enough agents to handle calls. No call handling strategy can make up for scarce resources. In case of budget limitations, go for call back option. To initiate a callback, ask your customers to leave a miss call or SMS on your marketed number. Doing this can save the customer’s effort and time that earlier went into navigating the IVR. Also, it gives you the leisure to connect with customers at your ease and time.

4. Conversing in a Scripted Tone

What Kills

To get into the detail, it is essential to cognize a basic rule that if callers opt for a “connect with an agent” option, it means they are looking for a personalized one-on-one conversation with a human agent. Thus, it eliminates any scope of the robotic conversation.

On contradiction to this expectation, agents generally follow a programmed method of conversation. They are trained to follow a script for every situation where from welcome greetings to thank you messages, everything is mechanized. Situation deteriorates further in case of disagreements between the customer and the agent. In place of infusing compassion into their tone, agents’ robotic replies intensify customers’ anger.

In the era of personalized customer experience, robotic conversations are bummer. They are a huge disappointment that hurts the CX of your call (in the current scenario) and brand (in the longer run).

What Saves

Only solution to save you from this mess is prioritizing personalization. In no ways, your agent should indulge in a scripted conversation. Personalization over call in simple words can be understood by the phrase ‘It is not what you say but how you say it’.

Yes, the only way to add personalization into the conversation is to follow the natural style of conversation where the tone of the conversation varies. Having said that, agents cannot afford to lose their calm over the call. Thus, they need to be conscious of the conversation pitch all the time.

5. Playing Shrill and Lengthy Advertisements

What Kills

Companies stuff their hold times with lengthy and ear-piercing voice ads to make the waiting less burdensome for the callers. While the purpose is noble, the results are opposite.

The last thing a caller wants is to listen to your offers, especially when they have approached you with a problem that needs an immediate solution. Although a caller is left with no other option other than to wait, but if the call holds are longer than expected, chances are callers will disconnect the call mid-way or will have second thoughts before contacting you the next time.

What Saves

Albeit you cannot totally eliminate on-hold time but aspire to cut down your on-hold time to the minimum. Also, cap your on-hold time with a maximum of 2 minutes, this will automatically trim the waiting.

Doing this helps you in two ways,

  1. You don’t need to play on-hold music or ad anymore. Instead, use a simple countdown that informs the caller about the remaining on-hold time. It is a helpful psychological trigger that calms down the anxiety of the caller during the wait. Once the uncertainty of how long the caller has to wait is answered, remaining on-hold becomes a lot easier.
  2. Customer is ensured that he/she will not be asked to wait for longer than 2 minutes. And if you want to inform the customer about an upcoming offer, you can keep the ad concise and short (preferably one minute). This puts the customer and you in the win-win position.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are revolutionizing voice communication. They are a must-have for businesses looking to enhance their customer experience. If your business prioritizes customer satisfaction, then the IVR system can prove to be a boon for your business. However, ignoring customer feedback and complaints will lead to severe repercussions.  Cater to the above mentioned 5 user complaints and skyrocket your customer satisfaction.

If your business is located in India and is looking for an IVR solution, then a cloud telephony provider like Acefone is the best option for you.

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