Call Center On Demand Featured Articles

How Not To Lose Your Customers to the Menu

May 23, 2013

By Michelle Amodio,
TMCnet Contributor

Call center menus, from the caller’s perspective, are about as fun as sitting through a root canal. Often times, menus are quite lengthy, so much so that callers in many cases don’t even bother going through the process and just hang up. Some customers just press “0” until the system finally routes them to an agent, and if they’re particularly lucky, their hold time will only be a short twenty minutes. It is these frustrations that spurred, an ongoing project from one man who simply hated call center menus. lists the precise menus sequences of specific call centers. Nigel Clarke, the man who started it all, found out through his own personal research that many automated menus have upwards of 80 options. What Clarke did was use Skype (News - Alert) to make, quite literally, thousands of calls and compiled a series of shortcuts for popular numbers, so that customers didn’t have to wade through the menu maze all on their own.

His inspiration? Bad design.

Menu design is extremely important for call centers to pay attention to, as it marks a common problem for irritable customers. The last thing a customer wants to do, particularly if they’re in need of assistance with a product or need information regarding a service, is dial a series of numbers, only to have to spend more time waiting in addition to the time already wasted pressing buttons.

How a company designs its menus to reach an agent can make or break their reputation. Fortunately, companies like Five9 (News - Alert) can help.

Five9 provides call center on demand technology that can mitigate these frustrations for customers with its IVR solution. What it does is provide efficient self-service options for callers that lead to increased satisfaction.

Using Web services, managers can retrieve data from external systems and databases, while IVR applications provide more data to callers, gather pertinent information about the callers to make routing decisions, and even update external systems with call-related data.

While callers may run to to find out how to bypass complicated call center menus, perhaps its best for companies to heed this as a signal to invest in a better IVR system. Exploring options and solutions, like that offered by Five9, are a step in the right direction toward helping consumers avoid being trapped in the menu abyss.

Edited by Blaise McNamee