The Please Press 1 ‘Phone Rage Index’ – the answer to how big your IVR should be?

With his famous ‘Phone Rage Index’ consumer champion Nigel Clarke, at Please Press 1, is a well known and outspoken critic of bad IVRs. In his quest to rid callers of the misery that is time-consuming phone automated service he’s also meticulously catalogued the levels, options and lengths of voice prompts in IVRs belonging to over 350 of the UK's largest organisations.
I’m really pleased to be able to say that, because Nigel wants to help UK businesses to improve their IVRs, he’s kindly agreed to allow us to use the extensive data he’s collected. 
Using this information I think you’ll be able to have a better informed discussion about the difficult question of how big your IVR should be. And, make a better decision.

Size isn’t everything
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that size is everything. Far from it. But, the size of your IVR is something that is likely to affect both your operational costs and service scores (whether these be CSat, NPS or Customer Effort). Unfortunately they’re unlikely to both improve at the same time. So, striking a balance is what’s called for.

Size, cost and service
It’s easy to see how IVR size affects cost. The greater the range of transaction types or routing options covered, the bigger the IVR, the fewer agents are needed. And, the lower your costs will be.
How size affects service scores is more complicated. You’ll find lots of guides that say IVRs should be ‘x’ wide by ‘y’ deep. But, I think that a rigid formula is likely to be inaccurate and you’ll also need to better understand your customers’ expectations. These will be based on how they see you in a cost / quality sense. And, their previous experiences of your competitors’ IVRs and those at other businesses they use. This is where Please Press 1’s data on IVR sizes will be useful.

Free size benchmark
You may find yourself at the top of the IVR size pile, or propping it up. But, I think that the answer to 'why' your IVR is the size that it is, is something that every service organisation needs to have thought through carefully. 
If you'd like to understand how your IVRs compare with those of your competitors, and the UK as a whole, just drop me an email. We'll crunch the numbers for you and get back to you with a free benchmark report for discussion.
by Fran. April 2014.
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