Many VUI designers will at some point be asked to incorporate FAQ information into an IVR. From the your customer's business' perspective, this is a simple way to deflect calls from the call center, and it can mirror the information provided on the company's website. However, there are several problems with providing FAQ information over an IVR which do not apply to FAQs via the web.

First and foremost, aural FAQs cannot be searched the way visual (web-based) FAQs can. If callers want specific information, they need to listen to the entire message or even multiple messages. This can take a long time, and callers may still not find the information they seek. Second, the aural modality is not necessarily appropriate for long messages. It is hard to retain information given this way; since it is an aural medium, it is harder to grasp the content given over the phone. The aural modality of IVR is not really appropriate to long messages, and FAQs are by necessity often long.

In the earlier days of IVR, companies tended to offer so many FAQs that they had to group them by theme and callers would then enter sub-menu levels to choose the desired FAQ. Tuning has shown that these menus are infrequently accessed. One tuning performed by an AVIxD member of a large, tiered FAQ menu at a California state government agency showed that of a total of more than 31,000 calls, only 133 callers chose FAQs. Many of those callers ended up requesting a transfer to an agent anyway.
If your customer's FAQ requirement is firm, think carefully about the type of information to be offered to callers. Really consider whether the information is frequently asked, or whether it is information that the business thinks some people might like to hear. Be judicious in deciding what information is offered, and remember that FAQs over the phone are good for short pieces of information, such as business locations and hours of operation. Offer a callers a "repeat" option, and allow them to repeat the information as often as desired. Remember that end-users who seek this information over the phone are likely to be less technically savvy than other customers, who would probably seek the same information via the web.

A last note is that if FAQs are being offered in a speech app, the designer should think carefully about what the caller needs to say to the system in order to select the desired FAQ. A simple way to avoid callers having to say very long phrases, which may be difficult to remember once they have heard the whole menu, is to instruct them to say something like "topic one". For example, the prompt could say "To hear how to apply for membership, say 'topic one'. To hear about the requirements for taking the examination, say 'topic two'..." etc.