10 Rules of Automated Attendants (Part 4 of 10)

When it comes to writing for Aut0-Attendants, there’s a lot that can be learned from rules of writing in general. Rules of good writing shouldn’t be simply thrown out the door just because the application is to fit inside the constrains of a phone system.

Melanie Polkosky recast Elmore Leonard’s 10 Tips for Writing advice for her article for Speech Technology Magazine. Here is Melanie’s 4th point(From “The Hooptedoodle of Phone“):

4. Never use multiple words and phrases when fewer will suffice: As Leonard suggests, overly verbose language usage is the designer “now exposing himself in earnest.” When a designer excessively sprinkles his words, he risks being invasive, overbearing, and full of himself. The only people who think an IVR should say much of anything at all are the people behind it; the extent to which they lack self-control determines whether they will be the only ones willing to participate in the exchange.

It’s always harder to communicate what you want to tell your callers, in the least amount of words that will still be effective.

Anyone can ramble on, but to be able to choose each word carefully, for the power it will bring, and the clarity it will add, takes a lot of skill, focus, and understanding of the telephone medium.

The Aut0-Attendant should be almost invisible to the caller…so they don’t even have to think about it. It just offers them what they need, in a way they can use it, so they can accomplish what they want to in the easiest way possible.

And, in the interest of fewer words, I’ll leave you with that!

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