What’s an Acceptable IVR Drop Out Rate?

What’s worse, getting an immediate answer by an IVR then having to select the closest option to what you want to do, or waiting a few rings before a human pick-up, explaining yourself only for them to say, “hold on, I’ll put you through to XYZ”, then having to say it all over again?

IVRs or Interactive Voice Response systems are easier to set-up now because of VOIP, internet based telephony systems giving businesses the power of choice. In the past you needed lots of hardware, but now you can click a few options in your VOIP account and it’s done.

Neither is ideal. What about if a human caller picked up the call like an IVR, would this be the best of both worlds?

“Hello, my name is Tom from Widget Bang, how are you today and how can I best connect your call?”

Wouldn’t that be best? The caller is answered promptly and then either connected with a real person, or is at least connected to the relevant and correct IVR to have their call correctly handled. This way you also keep the IVR relevant, tested and up to date with changing marketing campaigns, products, services, staff availability and customer service issues. What about if the human IVR always takes a name and contact details (where the caller is happy to give it) and sticks with the call to ensures it gets connected correctly? Ok, then to kick the ball clean out the park, the IVR agent calls the caller later that day to check all was managed correctly? And by asking them how they are first, it’s friendly and but also gives you a little ‘mood music’ feedback about your company or your market.

IVR drop rates will vary greatly from industry to industry and will be dependent on where in the buying cycle the caller is or the nature of their customer service call. We see about a 2% drop out rate in an industry where people are very motivated to buy and are towards the end their buying cycle.

For less motivated callers the drop-out rates will be higher. One issue we see is where callers select an option that goes through to a voicemail, of course, they hang-up and nobody is the wiser. The enquiry or customer service call is lost. What was the true cost to that company in the short and long term? Don’t fall for the false economy that is to cut corners on sales and customer service call management.