Understanding IVRs – a quick primer

For those who were wondering, IVR isn’t some new form of birth control, it stands for “Interactive voice response”, which Wikipedia defines as “a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via keypad.”

You and I know it as a device that is designed to keep the customers away from real people. I also call it “The Runaround”.

Here are are few of the commoner phrases that you may hear, along with their translations. Enjoy the show:

  • “Our Menu Options have Changed” – Last week, someone got through to a real person. We have taken steps to make sure that this does not happen again.
  • “Due to unexpectedly high call volumes…” we didn’t hire enough people.
  • “…all of our representatives/associates are currently serving other customers/guests.” – we didn’t hire enough people.
  • “For a better experience, please check out our website”– we didn’t hire enough people.

Now you know

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