Reports in the popular press suggest much consumer frustration with interactive voice response (IVR) self‐service. The present study aims to conceptualize why frustration might occur and measures attitudes toward IVR.
Questionnaire responses were obtained from a quota sample approximately equally divided among men and women and three age groups (18‐28, 29‐48, 49 and older).
Compared to a human operator, consumers perceive that transactions conducted through IVR take longer and are less customizable. Respondents strongly prefer a human operator, believe that IVR was implemented to benefit the company more than customers, and are bothered by not having an initial choice of a human operator versus IVR. Despite these negative views, satisfaction with IVR was primarily driven by transaction speed rather than concerns with these other issues. Compared to younger consumers, older respondents held a more cynical view of IVR and the companies that employ the technology.
Only inbound (and not outbound) IVR calls were studied and only customers (and not employees) were surveyed.
Frustration with IVR resulted in a “spillover” effect, lowering overall regard for the firm. Five managerial recommendations are suggested that may help recapture lost goodwill.
This is believed to be the first study to offer a theoretic explanation for consumer frustration with IVR. Also, the comparison of age groups on attitudes toward IVR in the present study may be novel.
Dean, D. (2008), "What's wrong with IVR self‐service", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 594-609. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604520810920086Download as .RIS
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