Optimizing Conversational User Interface Design
for IVR, Chatbots, and Virtual Assistants

3 half-day virtual training, $1,895

Experience how over 3,000 professionals have learned to improve automated customer engagements with essential dialogue design best practices for conversational IVRs, speech reconition, natural language, intelligent virtual assistants, and chatbots. This workshop takes you past the hype of artificial intelligence and into the reality of designing conversational interfaces for today's customers.

Course Highlights

  • Design a customer focused voice user interface that really works
  • Effectively mix simple touch-tone menus with natural language and directed dialogue speech recognition for maximum coverage and minimum errors
  • Evolve traditional IVR self-service to accommodate smartphones, chat, Siri, Alexa, and other intelligent assistants
  • Take advantage of artificial intelligence to design more predictive user experiences


This course offers in-depth training on how to plan, design and test conversational interactions that will engage your customers. You will explore key trends and discuss the opportunities (and limitations) of conversational technologies that may impact customer care channels. On completion, you will be empowered with real user interface skills that you can apply to designing Chatbots, Voice Assistants (Alexa, Google), Natural Language solutions, as well as touch-tone and speech recognition IVR. The course provides practical hands-on guidance for designing the best customer-focused Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system for your business. You will learn scientifically-proven techniques that increase throughput and IVR containment while reducing errors.

You will get the answers you need to questions about state-of-the-art conversational technologies:

  • Is IVR self-service going away? What can be done to make it better?
  • How can natural language increase first-call resolution?
  • Are IVA and omni-channel customer service gimmicks or useful improvements?
  • How will customer contact change with the use of chat, Siri, Alexa, and other intelligent assistants?

Learn specific and detailed techniques through numerous examples, case studies, research studies and get a chance to evaluate your current IVR's quality. The course has been updated recently to reflect the latest trends and research.

You will learn how to:

  • Use specialized IVR terms and abbreviations
  • Design a customer-focused IVR
  • Apply principles from human psychology
  • Structure menus that are easy to navigate
  • Use natural language that helps
  • Evaluate current IVR's quality
  • Create scripts that communicate your brand and make sense to the customer
  • Migrate to speech recognition (if that is appropriate for your application)
  • Implement your design successfully with thorough planning and testing
  • Make the IVR business case

Who Should Participate

Anyone responsible for customer contact applications, novice or expert, will benefit from this course:

  • Customer services, sales, technical support teams
  • Call center directors and managers
  • IVR specialists
  • Software developers responsible for IVR and customer contact applications
  • Technical and non-technical attendees



  • Introductions and overview of the course
  • Class goals and learning objectives

How Customer Service is Changing

  • Why telephone self-service is not going away
  • How to squeeze more cost savings out of the systems you have
  • Improving customer satisfaction with self-service (Yes!)
  • Why, how, and when you need speech recognition
  • Natural Language
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • New channels to the contact center
    • IVR
    • Speech
    • Natural Language
    • IVA
    • Alexa
    • Chat.
  • Conversational interfaces
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Predictive IVR

Human Factors, Ergonomics, & Usability Made Simple

  • The reasons callers hate IVR
  • Why speech recognition fails to gain any real traction
  • Why you should or should not to use avatars, personalities, male vs. female, and branding
  • How to create meaningful and relevant test cases

Directed Dialogue Design and Scripting Best Practices

  • The differences between "open" and "closed" dialogues
  • What you need to know about "natural language"
  • How to fall back on touch tone when your SLM doesn't work
  • Best practices for touch-tone menu design
  • How to design speech menus without sacrificing the touch-tone interface
  • The best balance between menu breadth and depth
  • Simple guidelines for writing menu prompts
  • Common pitfalls to avoid in menu scripting

Single and Multi-factor Authentication Speech Recognition

  • Closed grammers
  • Alphnumerics
  • Open grammers
  • Conversational scription best practices
  • Wizard of Oz testing

Group Exercise: Redesign with Wizard of Oz

Homework Assignment: Assess and redesign a portion of your IVR

Getting the Voice Right

  • Error Free Design
  • Progressive disclosure
  • ShadowPrompt Scripting
  • When and how to use hints and examples
  • Grounding
  • Turn-Taking
  • Confirmation
  • Yes-No and one-shot recovery dialogues
  • More natural dialogue designs
    • IVA
    • Chatbots
    • Alexa

Exercise: Building Conversational Dialogues

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Dates, Locations and Registration

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Registration Fees

The per student registration fee for this seminar is $1895 (plus applicable VAT/GST for international locations), and includes:

  • Comprehensive course manual

  • Handouts with exercises and answers

  • Certificate of Completion.

Virtual training is delivered interactively by an experienced conversational design practitioner. Students attend three half-day online sessions via Microsoft Teams ™. The training is delivered in small groups and is fully participatory involving group and individual exercises, group discussion, and opportunities to have our practitioner trainers critique your own conversational solutions

Register securely online with confidence or please call (708) 246-0320.

Seminar Schedule
Sep 20-22, 2022 11:00-3:30 ET Virtual Classroom

For more training course options, see the entire Contact Center Training Calendar of dates and locations.

For more IT, technical and field support training course options, see the Help Desk, ITIL, and Support Center Calendar.

Seminar provider is not responsible for losses due to cancellation. In all circumstances, seminar provider's liability shall be limited to fees received.

Seminar agenda and assigned instructors are subject to change.

Public Training Terms & Conditions

Payment is due prior to the seminar.

Public seminar cancellation policy.  Registrants may cancel up to fourteen days in advance of the seminar start date for a full refund.  Cancellations within fourteen days of the seminar start date will be subject to an administrative fee of $300.  Registrations may be transferred to another member of your organization at no additional charge.  As seminars can be cancelled for under-enrollment from time to time, we strongly recommend that registrants traveling by air purchase only refundable tickets.

In the unlikely event that a seminar must be cancelled by seminar provider due to unavoidable circumstances, you will be notified at least two weeks prior to the seminar date, and your payment will be refunded.  Seminar provider is not responsible for losses due to cancellation including losses on advanced purchase airfares.  We strongly recommend that attendees traveling by air to attend the seminar purchase only refundable tickets.
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