Saturday, February 9, 2008

Is your IVR persona Devo?

Distinctiveness and originality count for much when establishing a brand. Brand managers often push designers to create unique, memorable products, which designers are usually happy to do. A speech IVRs persona, the image created in the mind of the customer by the system's voice, vocabulary, and interaction style, is a tempting target for marketers who want to create a differentiated experience for callers.

When distinctivess and originality are pushed far enough, as in this fine video, the audience may be left puzzled, confused, even outraged. I call highly idiosyncratic, over-the-top IVR personas Devo IVRs, in honor of the band's memorably distinctive songs and videos.

Nearly all IVRs are intended to help callers accomplish a work goal. Highly idiosyncratic personas rarely help callers achieve goals, and may even hurt if the presentation is distracting enough. Sometimes this is a hard message for branding experts and marketers to hear.

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