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Usability and Internal Marketing

As with any self-service technology, usability and marketing are key to success. Users must be made aware of the IVR system's new features, and should have an incentive to use it rather than accessing manual service.


The IVR system must be easy to use. This means:

  • It must be easy to access password reset, token management or registration from a frequently-accessed and well-known IVR system's menu.

  • The process by which users identify themselves must be clear and easy to follow.

  • The process by which users authenticate (prove their identity) must be clear and easy to follow.

  • In the case of a password reset, it is preferable to have the system generate a random password, rather than asking the user to (awkwardly) enter it using a telephone.

  • In the case of a password reset, it is preferable to reset all of the user's passwords, and clear any intruder lockouts, rather than having the user navigate a slow, sequential system- and function-selection process.


Users must be made aware of the telephony integration. This means:

  • The availability of the system should be advertised on multiple media. Examples include mass e-mails, distributed mouse-pads, text on workstation screen savers, text on workstation acceptable-use messages, etc.

  • Users should be given the option of self-service problem resolution before they get the option of speaking to a human support analyst.

  • Users should have a reasonable expectation of receiving better service from the system than from human support analysts. For example, the IVR system may notify users of the expected wait for human assistance, and continue to offer self-service even to users who elect to wait for a support analyst.

  • In cases where registration is required or appropriate, users should be motivated to register -- e.g., by prize draws.


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