This One Action Guarantees an IVR Call Flow Customers Love

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Imagine the ease your callers would feel if they were ushered down a clear, easy-to-understand path to answer their query instead of interacting with a maze of impersonal menu options. This isn’t a far-off reality—it’s the potential a well-optimized IVR call flow offers.

A lot of businesses attempt to improve their IVR call flows by overhauling them entirely, but one straightforward strategy can lead to real improvements: understanding customer data.

By meticulously analyzing call patterns and behaviors, you can turn an average IVR system into one your customers will actually love interacting with. 

Ready to curate a simplified IVR navigation menu for more engaged conversations? Let’s explore using customer data to optimize your IVR call flow and create an exceptional customer experience.

How to Use Call Data and Customer Behavior Patterns to Create an IVR Call Flow They Love

These three key steps will help you build an IVR call flow that addresses common customer frustrations and exceeds their expectations.

Locate Reliable, Accurate Data Sources

When refining your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system for peak efficiency and customer satisfaction, the first step is to tap into reliable and accurate data sources, starting with your IVR system’s backend.

This database contains all your user interactions. This allows for a granular view of the options that resonate with your customers. Pay special attention to which options are selected most and least frequently.

By analyzing these choices, you can map out each caller’s journey through your IVR, gaining insights into their preferences, pain points, and where they might disengage or opt to speak with a live agent.

When assessing your current IVR call flow, especially pay attention to:

  • When a call drops off
  • Requests for agent assistance
  • The duration of hold times

They highlight areas for improvement, whether streamlining complex IVR menu paths or enhancing the clarity of prompts to reduce caller frustration and abandonment.

Enlist Your CRM Data

Beyond the mechanics of IVR navigation, understanding your customer base on a deeper level is essential. You can integrate valuable insights from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to further deepen customer research.

CRM data can provide a fuller picture of who your callers are, detailing:

  • Demographics
  • Purchase history
  • Customer service interactions

This helps organizations shape call flow options around caller personas that resonate in a more genuine way.

Gather Website Data

Leveraging analytics from your website through tools like Google Analytics can extract even more helpful information that will inform the structure of your call flow.

This external data source complements your IVR and CRM insights by highlighting broader customer behavior patterns and preferences, which can guide you in crafting more intuitive and engaging IVR menus.

Review Call Recordings and Feedback

Real-time call recordings offer another layer of insight, particularly for capturing the nuances of customer inquiries and their specific challenges with your IVR system.

Feedback from frustrated customers, in particular, can be especially helpful, showing exactly where your IVR falls short and providing direct guidance on adjusting your call flows for better usability.

While reviewing calls may take quite a bit of time, it allows you to dive deeper into the nuances of your customer’s needs. You may even hear comments related directly to the current call flow, letting you know exactly how they feel about the process.

Weave the Data Together

By combining different data sources—like your IVR’s detailed logs, customer info from your CRM, behavior patterns from website analytics, and direct feedback from call recordings—you can get a full picture of how and why your customers interact with your IVR.

This complete understanding is key to improving your IVR call flows, making them efficient and focused on truly meeting your customers’ needs every step of the way.

Ask The Right Questions to Track Data and Behavior Patterns That Really Matter for Your IVR Call Flow

To create a self-service IVR flow that truly benefits your callers, you need to collect data with utmost precision. A scattered approach leads to an overwhelming amount of information, and you may find yourself looking at information that isn’t relevant to your goals.

Start by asking helpful questions that will help you navigate and pinpoint the most important data points. These questions should address both technical and user-experience angles. Dive into the customer’s journey, needs, and frustrations.

By embracing a laser focus on your callers’ needs, you can shape an IVR system that is functional and a seamless extension of your customer service ethos.

Here are a few helpful questions for data-driven IVR call flow refinement:

  • What are the most common reasons for calls? Identifying the primary reasons customers reach out can help prioritize which options to make more accessible in the IVR menu.
  • Which options are seldom used? This can signal areas that you can either simplify or eliminate altogether, streamlining the call flow.
  • When do callers request to speak with a live agent? Understanding this timing can highlight complex issues that might need a more direct human touch.
  • Are callers completing tasks through self-service? This insight can guide improvements in user interface design and troubleshoot areas causing confusion.
  • Which self-service features are underutilized or causing frustration? Pinpointing potential pain points can help refine those options or develop new ones.
  • How do my customers resonate with my IVR personality? This aspect is often overlooked but shouldn’t be—the tone and voice of your IVR can significantly impact customer satisfaction and brand perception.
  • When do most callers usually hang up? Knowing when callers hang up can help determine where the IVR fails to meet customers’ needs.

By asking these questions, you can put yourself in your caller’s shoes and better understand what solutions they may need for a better all-around experience.

Understanding IVR Personality

You may not think of your IVR system as having a personality. But it was built by humans, to be interacted with by humans, and it has the potential to impact customers’ feelings about your brand.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Is the IVR’s tone friendly and inviting?
  • Are my prompts robotic or natural in their script?
  • Does the IVR represent and align with the brand?

Armed with answers to these questions, you can move beyond a one-size-fits-all IVR solution to create a dynamic, engaging call flow.

Take your time with these questions and be sure to engage multiple members of your team in the process. By rushing this process, you may implement flow patterns that don’t reflect the whole story, only to need to rework them later.

Envision Common IVR Scenarios And Set Up Flows For Them

Now that you’ve sourced your IVR data and asked helpful questions to better understand it, you’re ready to start designing your IVR call flow.

The best way to do this is by mapping scenarios, and you can start with the most common scenarios your customers face. Some examples include:

  • Billing inquiries
  • Order statuses
  • Technical support
  • Account updates
  • General information requests

Begin by selecting the top five caller scenarios to get started with your design. The better you can prioritize your call flow design, the more quickly you can implement solutions that will help as many callers as possible.

Illustrate Your IVR Call Flow

Drawing out an IVR call flow requires little effort. You don’t even need a computer to get started.  You can use a pen or pencil to sketch it out on paper or use a digital platform like Canva. Let’s walk through an example so you have an idea of how to get started:

Let’s say your data reveals that 70% of your customers are calling for order status details. Since this is a majority of your calls, it’s a great menu option to focus on optimizing. You could re-order this option in the main menu so callers hear it first, which would save both them and your agents time by providing a solution upfront.

This visualization process helps identify potential issues or improvement areas in your call flows. It doesn’t need to be fancy or even pretty; just make sure it’s clear. To refine these scenarios further, collaborate with your team.

Step into Each Scenario Through Testing

To fully understand the impact of your call flow, make sure to thoroughly test each one. Walk through each one yourself and enlist other team members to try out the new menu as well. IVR testing is primarily about assessing the user experience, but also extends into:

  • Stress testing: Testing how the system performs under heavy call volumes.
  • Functional testing: Clicking through each option and feature to ensure they work as designed.
  • Regression testing: Repeating tests to ensure new updates haven’t unintentionally caused issues elsewhere.
  • Load testing: Testing the system’s performance with a simulated number of users.

By testing your call flows, you can make sure that each one functions correctly and meets its intended goals. Additionally, this process helps spot new improvement opportunities.

Level up your IVR Call Flow Optimization with Helpful Tools

While you can manually gather and implement IVR call flows, programs like Nextiva are designed for a simple and flexible setup. Nextiva’s advanced IVR system doesn’t require any coding knowledge, and the company has a sizable knowledge base for those new to IVR menu design.

Nextiva Advanced IVR for contact centers landing page

You can choose between pre-designed templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, making the setup process as smooth and straightforward as possible.

This kind of system allows for quick adjustments and IVR testing so your menu can evolve with the needs of your team and customers.

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