IVR

Trust me, I’m a professional…

Sometimes it can be difficult completely letting go and putting your trust in a professional service – even when you’ve parted with money for it.

For me, this is never more apparent than when I’m sitting in the hairdresser’s chair. Usually I have a rough idea of how I want my hair to look but I’m very particular about my hair so it takes a lot for me to put my trust in someone changing my ‘do. As I’m sitting nervously in the chair though, I relax a little bit when I remember that the hairdressers creating my stylish new look are professionals and they’re there to make me look my best. I know I want a full fringe and a few highlights to take me into summer, but I’m happy to accept they’re going to make me look better than I would if I hacked into my hair myself.

Trusting professionals never hurt anyone, especially Ferris Bueller

Trusting professionals never hurt anyone, especially Ferris Bueller

I’m taking a risk because I’m trusting someone to know better than I do. When we employ the professional services of those around us we’re basically paying them to know more than we do about whatever it is we want them to do.

When my kitchen sink breaks I have to trust that the nice man who’s come to fix it for me knows more than I do about plumbing. When my throat hurts I have to trust that the doctor I speak to knows more than I do about medical science. And when I order a meal I’m going to trust that the professional chefs cooking my dinner know way more about how to cook my pasta al dente than I could hope to.

It’s the same when it comes to marketing your business. You probably have a rough idea of what you want the outcome to be but what’s the point in blindly fishing around, and possibly making mistakes, when you can rely on professionals who can help you reach your goals?

Sometimes people are unsure about trusting a team of copywriters to write their on hold productions, and that doesn’t surprise me. After all, most business owners know their business inside out so it makes sense they’d know best how to explain it. But knowing how to effectively sell your business is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Here in the copywriting department, we want you to rely on our expertise. When you trust us to write your production, you’re trusting that we know how to sell your business and your products effectively… and to be honest, we do! Just like my hairdresser listens to my thoughts on what I want out of my new haircut, we’ll listen to yours on what you want from your on hold production and use our skills as professional writers to give you a production which is going to be as effective as possible. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy your fresh new look… I mean, on hold production!

– Sophie

Phone Phoneys

I recently made one of the biggest investments of my life: a high-end laptop worth over $2000. It took a significant bite out of my savings, but to this day, I don’t regret the decision one bit. It boots up in seconds, runs the latest software, has a stunning display, showcases beautiful design and is solidly built. It packs a premium price tag, but that’s okay, because it’s a premium product.

The company behind this piece of kit is famous for displaying this trend across their entire product line – leading-edge quality and stunning design. But I’m still a bit disappointed in them. Why? Because of their on hold production.

This company’s products are extremely popular, so there’s normally a build-up of callers on their phone lines, leading to pretty hefty wait times on hold. When I called their store in Perth, Western Australia, I was immediately greeted by a fuzzy, robotic voice with an American accent. “That’s okay,” I thought, as some generic, tinny music began to play. “I’ll get to the high-quality voice production promoting their innovative products next”.

Does your brand sound robotic on the phone?

Does your brand sound robotic on the phone?

The same voice killed my hope: “You are… ninth… in the queue”. It was a really unpleasant surprise that breaks the consistent branding that makes them unmistakeably who they are. Sure, outside of their on hold, they’re industry leaders and pioneers, but in terms of phone service, they’re stuck in the Dark Age. And that’s bad customer service.

It’s very disappointing when a company of this size, innovators that take pride being in pole position in the field of consumer electronics, neglect the quality of their phone service so dramatically. It’s even more shocking since there’s so much they could be promoting. Their latest phones and tablets, a groundbreaking new wireless storage device, or even the world’s thinnest desktop computer. Apparently, instead of generating more enquiries, reinforcing branding and cultivating potential add-on sales, this organisation wants a robot to point out to callers how much longer they’ll have to wait.

In other words, by taking the cheap option on hold, the company is missing out on opportunities every time someone is placed in the queue.

– Magnus

Choose Your Own Adventure

When I was a kid, I read RL Stine’s Give Yourself Goosebumps books. Anyone who was born in the mid 80’s will know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, these books fell into the ‘choose your own adventure’ category. Fast forward to present day and I’m reminded of these books every time I call my bank – I choose my own adventure and it often turns into a nightmare!

Don't let your IVR become a nightmare for callers.

Don’t let your IVR become a nightmare for callers.

So how do you ensure your phone system’s menu (or Interactive Voice Recording) doesn’t become a nightmare for unsuspecting callers? Keep reading to find out.

Problem #1

The biggest mistake companies make when recording their menu prompts is choosing a staff member to record them. Sure, this is quick and easy – but often times that’s how the recordings sound to incoming callers. What’s more, over time these get rerecorded by other team members and end up a mix-match of varying voices and quality.

Solution?

Have a professional Voice Artist recording your messages. This will ensure you have a consistent sound across all levels of your phone system. A professional Voice Artist will also deliver a pitch perfect, measured read which provides your callers with a clear easy-to-follow menu system.

Problem #2

When a client or potential lead enters your menu system, they’re most likely thinking about several things at once. “What’s for lunch?” “What I’m going to do when I get off the phone” “What time is that meeting?” So when you throw 5 to 7 menu options at them, they get flustered and forget what their options were in the first place! The result? They hang up. *click*

Solution?

Try keeping your menu levels to a maximum of 3 or 4. We also recommend placing the command (Press 4) at the end of the subject (For account payable…) as this helps the caller navigate your menu and reduces caller drop outs. Our copywriters are experts in this field.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg! If you’d like to discover more helpful hints on improving your IVR menus and avoiding IVR nightmares, check out our Call Flow Tips Infographic here.

– Lachy