Vonage research reveals IVR horror costs businesses $262 per customer each year

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61 percent of consumers believe that reaching an IVR menu when calling a business makes for a poor customer experience, leading more than half to abandon the company altogether

HOLMDEL, September 25, 2019 – Vonage (NYSE:VG), a global business cloud communications leader, today published new research which reveals that more than half (51%) of consumers have abandoned a business altogether because they’ve reached an automated menu of options, known as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – losing that company $262 per customer every year. 

The 2019 Vonage IVR survey, which was based on independent research among 2,010 survey respondents from the United States¹, found that of those customers who ditched a business as a result of reaching an IVR menu, 89 percent of the money they would have spent, was then spent with a competitor.

Per the survey, sixty-one percent of consumers feel that IVR technology makes for a poor customer experience, while just 13 percent believe it makes for a positive one. And on average, consumers abandoned more than a quarter (27 percent) of calls they made to businesses in the last year because they reached an IVR, with 85 percent terminating at least one call.



The 2019 IVR survey findings are consistent with Vonage’s 2018 Serial Switchers’ study, which revealed that U.S. companies providing poor customer service were letting an estimated $75 billion slip into the pockets of their competitors.

Many businesses use an IVR to connect with callers, yet 64 percent of respondents described having negative feelings such as frustration (47 percent), stress (7 percent) and anger (6 percent), when presented with one. Seventeen percent reported ‘no particular emotion’, with only a small percentage feeling hopeful and positive (8 and 4 percent respectfully).

According to the survey, top things customers disliked include: the reason for calling might not be listed (65 percent), being forced to listen to irrelevant options (63 percent), IVR keeps callers from reaching a live person (54 percent) and the menus are usually too long (46 percent).

Having navigated an IVR and reached a customer service agent, consumers reported feeling more relieved (27 percent), less frustrated (26 percent), more hopeful (25 percent) and less angry (24 percent) than when they first initiated the call. 

“Technology is important, of course – but to connect people, not to keep them apart,” comments Ken McMahon, Senior Vice President, Customer Success. “Customer experience is the one area companies can differentiate and compete in an increasingly commoditized world, and with solutions like Dynamic Routing, which enables customers to reach the most appropriate agent for their call, every time, there’s a path to great CX that’s waiting for smart companies to take.”

For more information, download Vonage’s free guide: ‘How to end IVR horrors – 3 strategies to deliver a connected customer experience.’

¹Vonage’s 2019 IVR study was administered by the Opinion Matters research agency. The anonymous survey involved a representative sample of male and female US adults (16+- 55+ years of age). Survey respondents received a non-monetary incentive for their participation in the survey.

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About Vonage 



Vonage (NYSE:VG) is redefining business communications, helping enterprises use fully-integrated unified communications, contact center, and programmable communications solutions via Nexmo, the Vonage API Platform, to improve how business gets done. True to our roots as a technology disruptor, we’ve embraced technology to transform how companies connect, collaborate and communicate to create better business outcomes. Vonage’s fully-integrated cloud communications platform built on a microservices-based architecture enables businesses to collaborate more productively and engage their customers more effectively using intelligent interactions across all channels, including messaging, chat, social media, video and voice.

Vonage’s NewVoiceMedia solution provides contact center and inside sales technology that enables businesses to create exceptional, emotive customer experiences to serve better and sell more. Built from a true cloud environment, the award-winning solution integrates all communications channels without expensive, disruptive hardware changes and plugs straight into your CRM for full access to hard-won data. 

Vonage is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey, with offices throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Vonage can be found on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Vonage’s NewVoiceMedia can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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