Improve your IVR to improve inclusivity for deaf customers

A number of Industries will naturally serve a larger number of older customers, which means that there will be a larger proportion of customers with hearing loss due to the demographic.

And if we take the headline statistics of 12 million people who are deaf or have hearing loss in the UK, this amounts to 1 in 6 of your customers.

So, it is inevitable that your contact centre will be serving customers with hearing loss.

Adding to this, the fact that the customers call will more likely be emotionally driven due to the Pandemic.

Here are 4 practical steps you can take to make your IVR much easier to navigate:

1.  How many options?


Tell the caller how many options there are at the start.  They then know how many choices they will have, which makes it easier to listen to the information.

Leaving slight pauses in between will also indicate that you are introducing the next option.

2. Listen to and time the length of the IVR options from start to finish


You really want this time to be as short as possible so your customers do not have to listen to and remember all of the options.

Do note – for a customer with hearing loss, it is likely that they will miss some of the options.

3. Listen again for clarity


Are there any words used that could be simplified?

  • Is the pace of verbal delivery steady?
  • Does the presenter have a tone of voice that is easy to listen to?  And does not have a strong localised accent?
  • Is the sound loud enough?

Answer these questions yourself and then ask three colleagues to do the same.  This will provide you with collective insights to improve your IVR.

4. Carefully consider the journey


It is important to be really clear about each individual journey path on your IVR

  • Is it obvious to a customer what the next steps are?

The IVR is there to help get your customers to the right place.  So you want the customer to feel confident in their choices, as this reduces anxiety.

Remember to take these steps through each option set, so you have created the smoothest possible journey.

And this will positively impact all of your customers!

Want to take discussions further?


If you would like to gain feedback about the approach you take for your IVR, or any other areas of your Customer Experience, we would love to help!

Click the button below to book your complimentary call with Victoria.