Quick and Easy Guide for your IVR

IVR is often the first interaction between a customer and an organisation. It can strongly influence the caller’s perception of a company through its personality and ease of use, delivering great benefits to both sides. Conversely, getting it wrong through poor implementation can be a real turn off for the caller, so getting it right is important. A good IVR should help a customer meet their needs by getting them to where they want to go. Here are some tips to make your IVR great

  1. Voice Selection:

This is highly dependant on what your organisation does. Things such as industry, location, whether they have a regional, national or global client base, whether your outlook is corporate or quite informal. Once that’s established and you are ready to create a good first impression, the next thing is know your clients and what their needs are. A funny example is a lingerie company with an IVR done by a mature man. This is not good marketing. Other considerations are

National accent vs regional accent – A local company operating in only one area will often want to reflect that in its on-hold messages. A local voice will therefore be the best match.

Male vs female – For example, police phone lines may use male voice messages because victims of crime find a male voice more reassuring when reporting an incident. In contrast, female voices may be more effective for customer-service IVR

Professional voice artist vs an employee – The employee is a cost saving option, however looking at it in the long run, giving your customers the best and most professional service will outweigh the saving.

2. Keep it simple.

One of the main issues customers have with IVR is the host of options it throws up, with some main menus running to seven or eight different points.  Utilising current voice technologies can simplify complex menus into a single spoken response to the question. Rather limit to 4/5 options at most,

3. Use my language

It is usually best to use the universal language first which is English, then the second language as a translation if you are in a country like South Africa. The second language speaker usually already have a fair understanding of English so it will not be as much of an inconvenience for them as it would be vice versa.

4. Listen to your own messages.

Call your own organisation. Have the customer experience. Play all the options, remove the dumb stuff, stop any loops, duplications or dead ends.

5. Does it cater for everyone?

Most IVR’s only cater for clients calling in. Sometimes a delivery man is trying to gain access to your premise and decides to call reception for someone to open the gate but they are only being directed to queues for customer service with endless questions and re-routing.

6. Don’t block the exit. 

Never prevent the caller from reaching an agent if they want to.  This will only frustrate them making the interaction more difficult for the agent when they do reach them, if they reach them.

7. Make use of an IVR survey. 

Think about using an IVR survey to measure customer satisfaction with your automated applications; it will be very interesting to hear what your customers actually think about the application rather than relying on one-sided anecdotal comments passed on to agents. Comments received in this way are always going to be one-sided of course because customers who have completed their business in the application and had a successful experience will not be put through to an agent to tell them how great it was.

8. Design it from the caller’s perspective, not your internal process.

Don’t ask for information that you are not going to use and ensure that any information you do collect gets presented to the agent handling the call along with the call. Time is money, these calls are costing the client money therefore the IVR should be short and to the point valuing their time over your internal processes.

9. Measure the drop-outs. 

KPIs include where drop-outs are occurring because they are an indication of where customers are having problems, log the number of callers who follow each path within the IVR to help you in future designs.

10. Use a specialist company.

Use a specialist company to design the IVR application or to evaluate an existing application which may not be performing as successfully as it could be.




Things Call Centre Agents should avoid saying during sales calls

Sales pitches should be about the consumer’s needs and how you can meet them. Before mentioning anything, think if the phrase you’re going to use might damage anyone or anything. There are certain things that can help you get closer to a sale, and there are many things you can say that can end up in rejection. What people are really looking for is an individual who is actually interested in helping them. So the next time you’re about to pitch to a prospect, remember to review this list so you can increase the chances of them sticking around through to your closing statement.

A call centre Supervisor can use some of these tips and badge in to calls with agents. Pulling the call recordings at the end of the to use for training can be a great tool to ensure that call centre agents are getting these points right

Here are 10 things to avoid saying during sales call

  1. “How are you today?”

This is an ingenuine question as you are not really interested in how the person is doing. This phrase is also regarded as time wasting. Best way to start of is by saying who you are and why you are calling.

2. Wrong pronunciation of the customer’s name if you are reading off a database

This is a deal breaker in most cases. Its better to take a minute and ask someone else how the name of the person you are about to call is pronounced. Most people catch out that this is a call centre script by the way you say their name and even worse when you add a middle name and surname

3. “This won’t take long”

This is a red flag in most cases. Some think it’s a way to reassure the client that you know his/her time is valuable but what it is, is that you are actually taking up the customer’s time by saying “take long”. This is a topic that it is better to avoid.

4. Am I speaking to the decision-maker?”

There are no wins in this phrase. If they aren’t the decision-maker, it’ll make them feel less important, and if they are the one with final say, they’ll feel insulted that you didn’t already know that. It’s like saying that their opinion regarding the sales pitch doesn’t matter if they’re not the person who makes the final decision.

5. “I’m not here to sell you anything…”

This is a sign that you are a liar and cannot be trusted. You’re bound to present a product or service that can help them. Don’t colour the truth; simply acknowledge that you’re there to provide an opportunity.

6. “I guarantee / promise that”

Never make a promise or guarantee. Customers do not forget these things and you put your company in a difficult position. Use alternative words that can allow a certain amount of room for error.

7. “There’s nothing I can do.”

Usually this happens when the organizations they work for put process over people. To combat this, it’s important to first surface this as a concern to the organisation, as the decision to remove or reduce restrictive policies typically falls in their court. Until that happens you can use phrase like “I’ve taken note of your concerns and will find out how else we can assist”

8.Do you have a budget for this?”

Just like with some other phrases, you could get yourself into serious trouble with this question. Asking a question that has a “yes” or “no” answer can be an easy way out for them. And, this question makes is sound as though you’re assuming that they’ll be buying or claiming your service, which may make them feel uneasy or pressured.

9. What do I have to do to get your business?”

It’s a little aggressive and desperate. Try using the phrase, “What’s holding you back?” as it opens up a dialogue for you to talk about what the prospect wants in order to close the deal.

 10. “XXX is useless”

Bad-mouthing your competitors is a bad idea especially if the client already has a relationship with the competitor. It reflects a great lack of integrity and also makes you sound petty.

World AIDS Day – 1 Dec 2017

Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships

The first two official AIDS deaths in South Africa were recorded in 1982 with the first case having being discovered in West Africa in 1930. For almost a century now, the world has worked tirelessly to defeat this epidemic and it seems we are getting closer to this victory.

The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 12,6% among the South African population. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 7,06 million in 2017. The South African National Aids Council (SANAC) says 681 434 people died of HIV/Aids in 2006. This number dropped to 150 375 in 2016. A definite drop by almost 78%

Not so long ago there was stigma and a lot of discrimination against people living with HIV in South Africa and globally. People cringed just from hearing the letters H-I-V. Those who were infected were too ashamed to come out and family members were equally quiet about the disease in their households. South Africa’s positive turnaround in HIV response was driven largely by the massive campaign to get South Africans to test for HIV.

The joint campaign driven by SANAC and the Department of Health held between April 2010 and June 2011 is considered by experts as the most successful HIV response in the whole of the Southern African region to date. By December 2010, 4.6 million South Africans had taken an HIV test since the launch of the campaign.

The campaign set a target of testing 15 million sexually active South Africans from age 15 and older in all nine provinces. The tests gave the government an idea of the number of people who needed to be put on treatment and thus save lives. Also the massive amount of people who came out to test proved that the decades’ long stigma surrounding HIV was no longer there.

South Africa today boasts the largest antiretroviral treatment programme globally and its efforts have been largely financed from own domestic resources, spending around R15 billion annually to run its HIV/Aids programmes

To even add more good news, a clinical trial called HVTN 100 has been launched in South Africa to study an investigational HIV vaccine regimen for safety and the immune responses it generates in study participants. The results of the HVTN 100 trial, expected in two years, will help determine whether or not this vaccine regimen will be tested for efficacy in a large future study in South Africa.

Do your part today and get tested or donate towards an HIV/AIDS related cause.

ScopTEL Hosted PBX and Connectivity Deal for Black Friday

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What you get!

Up to 10 ScopTEL Hosted PBX Users – Endless Feature list and functionality
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Non geographical number
Competitive voice call rates

T&C’s apply. Contact us for more details. sales@scopserv.co.za or 011 700 3800

ScopServ Administrator Training

ScopServ offers its resellers and clients various basic and advanced training programs. The goal is to provide ScopServ partners with appropriate knowledge and superior technical skills on ScopServ products so they can service their customers. Pre-scheduled training is available every quarter or more depending on volumes.

Such training courses can also be available upon request. If necessary, a specialized instructor may be sent to another area but all relevant travelling expenses would be chargeable. 

ScopServ Basic training is a two-day training course to teach the fundamentals of ScopServ using theory and hands on training. The objective of this course is to familiarize students with ScopServ and the environment in which it operates.

Knowledge of Linux and Asterisk is a plus but is not mandatory. The emphasis is on the practical implementation and not the detailed understanding of each element of a ScopServ deployment or operating procedures of this technology.

Educational objectives of the training

At the end of the training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the purpose and primary functionality ScopTEL as PBX platform and application development
  • List of features associated with a ScopTEL PBX
  • Define operating system environments in which ScopTEL is developed and supported
  • Describe ScopTEL supported PSTN connections and identify digital or analog interface types required for these connections
  • Identify the Basic characteristics of Analog and ISDN connections and compare VoIP Interfaces
  • Install and launch ScopTEL
  • Configure ScopTEL to offer traditional telephony features such as call routing, voicemail and directory services


Switch to Fibre

Fibre communication systems can be used to transmit more information than copper cables and are well-suited for use with digital communications.

The most obvious advantage to Fibre optic cabling is bandwidth. Although copper continues to evolve to meet higher and higher speed and bandwidth standards, scaling necessarily requires the addition of more copper cables with tighter twists, increasing the weight and therefore costs.

Optical Fibres offer low power loss. Signals can be transmitted further. Compared to copper cables, Fibre-optic cables are immune to electromagnetic interference and produce no interference when operating.

Since Fibre is non-conductive, it does not need lightning protection, and in the event of a lightning strike or surge it will not carry the transient voltage to equipment that can be damaged by it. For this same reason, there are no ground loop issues between connected equipment. Finally, Fibre optic cabling is much lighter than copper, making it easier to transport and install, especially over distance

Because Fibre-optic cables are much lighter and smaller in diameter than copper wires, they also occupy less space with cables of the same information capacity and can be more easily produced and installed.

Most optical Fibres are made of silica or sand, raw material abundant compared with copper.

Finally, Fibre-optic wires are less expensive than copper cables, which can drastically reduce the cost of installing new wires or maintaining older ones.

Benefits of ScopServ in Customer Service

Great read from our Sales Development Consultant on how ScopServ can improve your Customer Service calls

  • More customer focused approach in handling queries, which will positively affect customer service & satisfaction.
  • Retention of and identification of the best floor agents relating to customer complaints/ claims/ compliments/ requests.
  • Increase customer retention by monitoring post-sale services and escalation of issues as they arise.
  • Identifying key problem areas and analysing customer complaints through a measurable; qualitative & quantitative reporting GUI.
  • Improve efficiency of staff in handling customer queries.
  • To Implement training & development processes for staff members to improve quality of service.
  • To reduce turn-around related to the QA of all agents by the QA management team, giving them more time to deal with other pressing matters.
  • The main benefit would be the retention of customers through a customer orientated approach.

Why Scopserv

We often wonder how to make a decision between the many PBX Solutions on the market. Its a tough decision as the VoIP world is growing and so are many more capable and competitive solutions. Thanks to one of our Sales Development Consultants, we can now have a brief indication of why an organisation would choose ScopServ.

  1. Scopserv can be configured onto your VM, eliminating the cost of hardware
  2. Scopserv PBX can integrate into your existing CRM and other hardware devices seamlessly
  3. It has a host of other well developed call-centre features that most IP PBX call-centre competitors have not as yet developed
  4. Scopserv’s client list boasts some of the biggest and most reputable companies’ as testimony to its integrity to deliver on promises
  5. Scopserv uses the most cost effective, least cost routing techniques to keep implementation costs at a minimum level
  6. Scopserv has superior knowledge of call-centre necessities due to the many years of trial & tribulation in the IP PBX call-centre industry
  7. Scopserv has reputable partners in the call-centre industries who assist the company to deliver the most beneficial solutions to its client geared for growth
  8. Scopserv has a 24/7 support desk and a well-established online ticketing system
  9. Scopserv is an OEM of the solution presented and uses API/ SDK technology to develop custom made solutions for maximum results
  10. Over the past 14 years, Scopserv has achieved a 95% retention rate due to their future orientated approach. (Testimonials & Client lists can be provided if required)

There’s plenty more to go on as we have more than 30 pages of features. Don’t be left behind in this evolving journey of VoIP.