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IVR message

Why your IVR and on hold messaging is costing you customers

We’ve all been on the receiving end of an off-putting IVR or on hold messaging system. At best it makes for a frustrating few minutes on the call, at worst it puts you in a foul mood for the day.

For businesses, the stakes are a lot higher. 83% of respondents surveyed state that they would avoid a company after a bad experience with their Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. What’s more, statistics show that people tend to reach for the phone first when contacting a business, so chances are this will be your customer’s first interaction with you.

It is therefore essential not to underestimate how important this experience will be in shaping your future relationship. A professional, appropriate and, dare we say it, even enjoyable on hold experience will not only improve customer retention but also onboard new customers who love your superior customer service.

So, what are the pitfalls that the IVR system of any successful business must avoid?

1. Length

If your messages on hold are too long, the likelihood is that callers will hang up and take their business elsewhere. Hone your IVR script by putting the most important and frequently requested information at the start and keeping your language clear and concise.

Many companies hide their most popular options within long IVR, meaning callers end up confused and don’t get the help they need. Experts recommend no more than four options in each menu to retain clarity.

2. Voice

This one is simple. Hire a professional no matter the size of your business. The number one crime we hear in IVR systems all the time is using an automated voice or a cheap text-to-speak service. These lack the human touch that customers respond so well to. That said, using someone in the office to garble your voicemail greeting is not going to give the right first impression either.

At Matinée, we have a catalogue of exceptional voice over talent with regular availability at your disposal. Choose an easy to understand voice and relatable accent that gives your IVR message a personal yet professional touch.

3. Tone & pace

One of the major hazards of doing your own telephone IVR is achieving the perfect tone and pace in your messages. If your professional voicemail greeting is too conversational, your customers won’t have confidence in your company, too stiff and they won’t feel engaged. The pace must be the perfect balance of easy to listen to and understand, but not too slow that the caller becomes frustrated or bored.

4. Annoying hold music

Inappropriate or low-quality hold music is one of the key reasons you could be losing customers. Keep callers on the line with music that speaks to your target audience and doesn’t have them reaching for the red button.

Ensure you integrate enough hold music to keep your customer engaged for the average call length. Is there anything worse than listening to one song on repeat whilst you wait twenty minutes to speak to someone?

5. Sound quality and volume

It should go without saying, but recording your IVR or on hold message on a mobile phone is going to result in sloppy, unprofessional sound quality that will not inspire your customers. IVR recording that takes place in a studio will result in crisp, clear audio at an appropriate volume every single time. Using a service that includes professional post-production will ensure a good balance between the voice and hold music volume, leaving your customers with a great first impression.

6. Consistency

It’s not enough to record one IVR script and consider the job done. To stand apart from your competitors, you want your IVR system to sound fresh each time your customer calls. By mentioning the latest special offers on your products or extending your clients a seasonal greeting, you will make their on hold experience seem more personalised and show your commitment.

By working with a professional IVR recording service such as Matinée, your recording can have the same voice artist under the same recording conditions every time, guaranteeing consistency across your on hold marketing.

Show how much you value your customers by investing in high-quality IVR telephony and on hold communications that will showcase your business at its best. At Matinée, we offer a wide selection of voice artists and in-house professional recording studios, ensuring consistent, high-quality recordings for your IVR system.