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Evaluating and documenting user experience of national customer-facing interactive voice recognition

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Fortune 100 Telecommunications Company


A leading Fortune 500 Telecommunications corporation undergoing a multi‐billion dollar merger selected NorthStar Solutions Group to evaluate and document the user experience of their national customer facing Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) application. In addition to providing an analysis of the user experience of the IVR, NorthStar provided specific recommendations and opportunities for improvement of the customer experience throughout all major paths throughout the IVR.


Encouraged by the recent merger, the client was interested in evaluating the IVR user experience from a third‐party perspective. The client wanted to gain insight into the aspects of the system that were intuitive and functioned well, and those that were more difficult for a user to interact with. The IVR system was implemented in the early 2000’s and was less user‐friendly and precise than some more current, recently built IVR systems. The client desired recommendations from a speech technology and platform agnostic point‐of‐view.


The IVR system did not always recognize utterances, and there were periods of uninterrupted silence when trying to perform certain calls. Additionally, there were pre‐set messages that appeared unnecessary based on the geographical region of the user entering the IVR system. Through years of natural growth, mergers, and acquisitions, certain branches were given less attention than others.

The NorthStar Solution

The call flows and corresponding user experience recommendations that NorthStar provided raised awareness within the organization responsible for the ownership, maintenance, and upgrades to the IVR system. NorthStar carried out the followings tasks to complete the project:

  • Developed and executed the project plan

  • Reviewed user interface specification and other call management documentation

  • Generated use cases and worked with the client to prioritize them based on business criticality

  • Cultivated a comprehensive backlog of use cases, including DTMF and natural language to enable further analysis and exploration

  • Captured call recordings and created standardized diagrams of different IVR branches

  • Tailored recommendations for system improvement at the use-case level

  • Provided overarching recommendations applicable to larger branches of the system


NorthStar provided comprehensive documentation that included 63 individual use cases that corresponded to defined branches of the IVR system. NorthStar identified opportunities to restructure menus, streamline messaging, integrate online or mobile phone functionality where possible, shorten call times, and reduce fall‐out into call centers.


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