Say or Press 1 – A happy hybrid or a problematic pairing?


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Common Sense Tip of the Day:

It seems simple to blend speech and DTMF functionality in your contact center applications, but from a caller’s perspective, using “say or press” usually raises more problems than it solves. While flexible navigation and mobile phones make speech more constructive and quite enticing, accuracy and security make DTMF more acceptable to many audiences.

Start by considering your applications, and make the choice to include speech only where it truly makes sense. Where DTMF is preferred or more acceptable to your callers, stick with it. Security codes, pins, and account number are things we all like to keep private, rather than being forced to call them out on the commuter train headed home.

When using speech you should convey a concept. Speaking a digit that represents your concept can be a difficult association for a caller. For example, in a speech only menu, you should avoid prompts like “To hear your account balance, say 3.” Callers will want to say “balance” and are perfectly willing to press 3. Mixing the two up makes for an application that’s not terribly intuitive.

If you make the choice to use “say or press”, consider its impact on longer menus. If you’re faced with several “say or press” numerical options, you might begin truncating the menu. For example:

For checking, say or press 1.
For savings, say or press 2.
For funds transfers, 3.
Investments, 4.
If you’d like to speak with an operator, say or press 0.

Doing so allows the prompt to feel less repetitious and tedious to the caller, and does expedite them through the system.

If you’re considering using “say or press”, please consider Walsh Media’s consulting services. We’d love to work with you on script that helps create an appropriate, efficient and user-friendly environment! Contact us for more information at or 1-800-454-6453.

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