Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wordsmithing: putting band-aids on gunshot wounds

I get this request frequently. "This prompt is giving us trouble. Can you wordsmith it?" It often comes up when a call flow is out of order in some fundamental way, but the client company doesn't want to redesign it. The wordsmithed prompt is supposed to alert the caller that something strange is going to happen and to prepare them for it.

IVRs have to work really well to work at all. Customers' tolerance for ambiguity and confusion in an IVR is far less than for a web form with similar functionality. Wordsmithing a broken call flow is about as helpful as treating gunshot wounds with band-aids.

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