Thread Subject: GetHuman standard 1.0
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From: Jim Tobias
Date: Fri, Apr 13 2007 6:35 AM
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Regarding IVRs, you may be interested in an organization called GetHuman
(http://www.gethuman.com), which describes itself as "a consumer movement
to improve the quality of phone support in the US." As the name implies,
its principal focus is the ability to reach a "live attendant" when your
call connects with an IVR system, but that's not the only issue on the
Here is their v1.0 standard ("GH 1.0"); we may want to discuss this as we
recommendations for IVRs. Below are GH 1.0 items that have clear
implications, and where those correspond to items in our current draft of
GH 1.0 1194.23c
10 (not really IVR) -
1. The caller must always be able to dial 0 or to say "operator" to queue
for a human.
2. An accurate estimated wait-time, based on call traffic statistics at the
time of the call, should always be given when the caller arrives in the
queue. A revised update should be provided periodically during hold time.
3. Callers should never be asked to repeat any information (name, full
account number, description of issue, etc.) provided to a human or an
automated system during a call.
4. When a human is not available, callers should be offered the option to be
called back. If 24 hour service is not available, the caller should be able
to leave a message, including a request for a call back the following
business day. Gold Standard: Call back the caller at a time that they have
5. Speech applications should provide touch-tone (DTMF) fall-back.
6. Callers should not be forced to listen to long/verbose prompts.
7. Callers should be able to interrupt prompts (via dial-through for DTMF
applications and/or via barge-in for speech applications) whenever doing so
will enable the user to complete his task more efficiently.
8. Do not disconnect for user errors, including when there are no perceived
key presses (as the caller might be on a rotary phone); instead queue for a
human operator and/or offer the choice for call-back.
9. Default language should be based on consumer demographics for each
organization. Primary language should be assumed with the option for the
caller to change language. (i.e. English should generally be assumed for the
US, with a specified key for Spanish.) Gold Standard: Remember the caller's
language preference for future calls. Gold Standard: Organizations should
ideally support separate toll-free numbers for each individual language.
10. All operators/representatives of the organization should be able to
communicate clearly with the caller (i.e. accents should not hinder
communication; representatives should have excellent diction and
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