Many people find interactive voice response (IVR) systems frustrating to use. Do you believe that their benefits outweigh their drawbacks, or vice versa?

Expert Answers
astrocourt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If the IVR menu is short, and the transaction simple or routine, then IVR systems are accepted by most consumers.

Simply put, IVR systems do the job of approximately five employees. Furthermore, the system provides error-free, 24/7, 365-days-a-year access to your company. While a human isn't seeing to the needs of a consumer, the consumers are still being served—IVR systems are better than time spent "on hold." Incorporating IVR systems into a business may also make it seem like a larger enterprise.

However, especially for complex transactions, or consumers in need of customized advice, the IVR system is inadequate. In these instances, a human operator is often more efficient, and can provide a personalized service.

As with any communication system, IVR should be tried and tested before implementation. For example, the Birmingham City Council installed an IVR system (at the cost of 11 million pounds) only to have it be confused by the local accent.