It’s always troubled me when businesses with just as much or more traffic to their IVR than their website clearly put more effort into their web presence than their phone or “Voice” presence. Perhaps the “out of sight, out of mind” adage is a reason why the emphasis on voice isn’t as important. It could be that there are just not that many voice experts out there. It could also be that tools like “Google Analytics” for the phone are not prevalent, economical, easy to use, nor produce easily comprehended data.
Where would web designers and marketers be without Web analytics? They would be completely in the dark – making design decisions based on speculation and the feedback of a handful of users.
Where are voice user interface (VUI) designers without phone analytics? They’re pretty much in the same boat as their web counterparts. Sure, there are known best practices for VUI design that can be taken into consideration, but you may never really know the type of people that will be calling your application and the types of issues they’re having trying to get done what they want done. Until you can take a bunch of calls over a period of time and identify the metrics that tell you where the users are having issues, or where they’re being successful, chances are that your callers will have a poor experience.
Where does one start with phone analytics? Fortunately, there are many parallels to web analytics and should feel familiar. On Angel’s platform, where a functional node of the IVR is referred to as a Voice Page and the collection of those pages is a Voice Site, it makes things a little easier to relate.
For the uninitiated, here’s a few of the metrics I find to be the most useful and examples of how the web and phone metrics relate.
1. Measuring the customers who just give up – Exit and Hang Up Rate:
Web: The exit rate denotes the percentage of visitors who exited a site from a specific page, rather than, say, continuing to fill out a contact form, however, some exit points may indicate that people had trouble finding what they needed.
Phone: If the section of the application the caller hung up in is not a designated section where a caller should hang up, for example after a confirmation, there’s a relatively high probability that the caller was having an issue in the particular section where they hung up.
2. Hitting the hot spots – Web Page Views and Voice Page Hits:
Web: Page Views tell us the how frequently a web page is visited, which tells marketers that the web page is a popular spot or it could also mean that you’re sending users to a place unintentionally.
Phone: Voice Page Hits tell us the sections of the IVR that are the most popular. It could also reveal issues in the application, especially if it’s a section of the application that’s not supposed to be hit often or only in error.
3. Time after time – Average Time on (Web) page and Average Time on (Voice) page:
Web: Depending on the content, the average time spent on a Web page tells us if the user is interested in what’s on the page, like if there is something to read. It can also tell us if the page is confusing or malfunctioning if the purpose of that page is to perform a quick operation and continue on to another page.
Phone: If the purpose of the phone call is to get something done or to make a selection to get to a place to get something done, that shouldn’t take a lot of time. If the duration seems longer than it should, there’s likely an issue.
4. Getting things done – Goals and Task Analysis:
Web: In web analytics and specifically, Google Analytics, goals can be set for measuring a process, like completing a sale or a subscription process.
Phone: On the phone, especially if the purpose of the application is to automate a task that would otherwise be handled by a live agent, it’s crucial to identify those tasks and measure the completion rates. For those tasks that were not successful, it is also important to identify where in the process callers were having the most trouble.
Here are a few more examples:
Hopefully these examples brought a few things to light when it comes to the types of metrics used for analyzing a phone application. Taking a little time to analyze IVR metrics and making the appropriate changes to IVR and continually repeating that process will delight your customers and help you retain them. It can also lead to a lot of cost savings, especially for large volume applications