Here are a few guidelines to follow when you are developing prompts for your speech recognition system:
- Never disguise the system as being a real person.
- Ensure that prompts elicit a predictable response.
- Offer the needed information at the right time, and try not to frontload the application with too much information.
- Never use "Press or Say One" style prompts.
- List options from specific to general — so that users do not choose a general category when a more specific one will be offered later.
- Allow more time for difficult tasks: the pace of the recorded prompts dictates the pace at which the callers will respond.
- Keep the caller in the transaction by saying "first...next...finally" or similar transition words, in the appropriate places.
- Insert pauses in your prompts to allow experienced callers a turn–taking option to interrupt and move forward in the application.
- Provide audio "rewards" at the completion of difficult transactions, such as "great, wonderful, excellent..."