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The 5 Influencing Factors: Get Better Results From Your Existing IVR

IVRs surely face more accusations of failure and poor performance than any other customer touchpoint. It seems every company aspires to a “good” IVR – and yet systems route callers to the wrong place, drive them to abandon mid-journey and leave agents transferring customers who simply chose the wrong options.

Adexchange have been fixing these problems since 1997, applying specialist design techniques to squeeze better performance out of our client’s existing IVRs. With attention to the 5 key influencing factors, we’re able to route more callers to the right place first time and remove a workload from agents: 

The 5 factors are simply: Structure, Language, Duration, Agility and Voice.

5 influencing factors 1

Getting any one of these 5 components wrong will result in high transfer rates, high caller abandonment and poor customer satisfaction. However, in this article we focus on the 2 factors that perhaps exert the greatest influence: Structure and Language

1. Structure

1. Structure

When designing IVRs we always assume:

  • The caller isn’t paying attention
  • English may be their second language
  • Mobile reception may be poor
  • Hearing may not be perfect
  • The caller is probably multi-tasking

With these hurdles in mind, we apply our 3-step design process to create simple, uncluttered IVRs that measurably deliver more callers to the right place first time.



Perhaps the most under-rated feature in IVR design, the terminology and phrasing used in each menu can go a significant way to determining the success of your IVR. Use the wrong words, in the wrong order, and callers will simply hit the wrong button (or no buttons at all). Words exert a powerful influence on caller behaviour and thus IVR success: For example we helped a UK Theme Park treble advance ticket sales from 16% to 47% by simply crafting one new sentence.

It’s important to keep our words short, simple and to the point. Every word we use has the power to attract or repel customers.

A Final Thought

While Structure and Language exert a significant influence on IVR performance – we mustn’t forget Agility, Voice and Duration – these factors too need careful attention.

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About the Author
Nick Herbert
Author: Nick Herbert
Managing Director

Nick has been our Managing Director for over 15 years, but before joining Adexchange was a BBC journalist and radio presenter; both of which rely on clarity of communication, detail and efficiency.

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Adexchange Media Limited
Company number: 04344957

The Old Garage, Great Milton, Oxfordshire, OX44 7NP