Improving Usability of IVR & Customer Care

In the article “GoodCustomer Care is must for better CX” we have seen why it is really important to improve better & usable Customer care services. IVR system is key aspect of ‘Customer care’ because most of the companies are using IVR system for providing customer support.

What is IVR?

Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via keypad.

Enhancing CX by improving IVR Usability

1. Make easy Talk to representatives: Provide easy option or quick help by providing ‘Talk to our representatives’ upfront & available. In most of the cases people get frustrated because they do not able to talk to customer care representatives while selecting appropriate options.

2. Limit your menus options: Always keep menu of IVR system short because human short term memory may not be able to store more information. Keep menu options less than or up to 7.  

3. Usable Information architecture: Prepare information architecture of options in IVR with User Centered Design to improve mapping. Companies prepare option groupings with respect to business point of view. It creates problem for an end user in finding appropriate option.

4. Most frequent problems: Analyze most frequent problems of users and provide upfront so that user will not have to dig into menu to find their issues. This will also save time of user in finding appropriate option.

5. Minimize ‘Hold’ & ‘Hold time’: Most of the time Customer care asks people to put on ‘Hold’. Due to uncertain ‘Hold’ & irritating music people most of the people get frustrated. Try to minimize these uncertain holds.

6. Better Empathy: It is the most important point, Companies should understand why any customer has called ‘Customer care’ because they are in trouble and finding solutions. Customer care representatives should not only find the problem of customer but also try to understand empathy & emotions of users.

7. Clear Communication: Representatives should be clear & audible in call. Communication should be in satisfactory speech count (words per minute).

8. Complaint Numbers: Always provide ‘Complaint numbers, reference numbers etc.’ in text message to user not on call. Because customer may not be able to write fuzzy numbers while talking on call or while travelling.

9. Call forwarding & flexibility: Sometimes when level 1 customer care associates cannot solve issue they forward customer’s call to next level or when customer has issue which is not part of their department. In these cases either representatives forward their call to next level or they asked customers to call on different numbers. For better customer experience companies should forward call directly and this flexibility will delight customers. 


Going beyond in user experience is ‘Customer Experience’. For better CX mission should be making every touch point of customers in better experience. IVR & customer care facilitates are really important are in customer experience. For delighting customers make them tension free after each IVR call.

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Abhishek Jain


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