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The Benefits of Dummy-Proof IVR Scripting

September 24, 2012
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

We’ve all been there. If you’re on-premise and ever tried to make a simple change to your interactive voice response system (IVR), you know how hard it can be to get those changes implemented in a timely fashion.

“In a previous contact center job, I made a request to split our billing and ordering queues up,” wrote inContact customer success manager Stephen Heath in a recent blog post. “Within the IVR itself was already built an option to select either billing or ordering; however, in the ACD routing, there was no differentiation between the two. This change, to me, seemed to be something that should take a few minutes at most.”

Heath was told by his IT department that the request would take a minimum of two weeks to complete, however.

“This is obviously completely unacceptable, and yet it’s the reality at many old premise based centers,” he noted. “Having to have a resource in IT do the work for you means that you’re on their timeframe, not your own.”

All defenses from IT staff aside, there’s a fundamental efficiency issue when in-house IT must be called upon to make simple IVR changes. In this day and age, modifying an IVR script should not be something that requires high-level technical knowledge.

That’s one of the things that impressed Heath most when he began working for inContact, a firm that provides cloud-based call center services such as call routing, self service and agent optimization solutions.

“One of the first things that truly impressed me at inContact when I started was the Studio application,” he wrote. “This tool turns IVR management into what it should be – something accessible to contact center managers, not just IT.”

inContact’s Studio is scripting software that lets contact center managers interface with and create complex coding scripts for their IVR. Users are not required to be a programmer or have lots of technical skills to make and change scripts, according to the software’s user manual.

“In the example above, the change I needed made that took IT two weeks would take someone with even rudimentary Studio knowledge two minutes,” Heath wrote. “Even the most un-tech savvy can, with training, quickly learn to make modifications to their IVR.”

Tim Harris, the senior director of ecosystem for inContact, couldn’t agree more.

“inContact Studio,” he wrote in an earlier blog post for the company, “has a drag and drop feature that even my wife could use (seriously, I tested her). This simple feature has call center managers manipulating their call flows without a ‘developer’ in sight.”

So, when selecting or upgrading an IVR, don’t forget to keep details like ease of update in mind. It can make a huge if subtle difference.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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