IVR scripts are a key part of any contact center phone system: they direct callers to the right agent or department, prompt customers to provide vital information, and greatly influence customer experience. In fact, the first call resolution (FCR) rates for IVR self-service can go up to 74%. Therefore, you should not ignore the influence of IVR scripts on your business.
In this article, we will discuss what an IVR script is, essential information to include, and what to avoid.
We will also provide IVR script examples for a variety of common customer support scenarios.
What is an IVR Script?
An IVR script is an automated voice message that plays to customers when they call your business.
IVR scripts are roadmaps that use pre-recorded call menus, automatic call distribution (ACD), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to guide customers through a call flow path or resolve their issue without a live agent.
Businesses can create interactive voice response scripts using text-to-speech or by uploading an audio file to the interface. Some companies include hold music, custom greetings, or professional voice-over recordings in IVR menus.
Callers interact with IVR scripts in two ways: by entering in their responses via keypad (“Press 1 for sales”) or by speaking their responses into the phone (“Speak to an agent.”)
Based on a customer’s responses to auto attendant script prompts, the IVR system initiates a series of automations to direct the caller to the ideal:
- Live representative
- Ring group
- Voicemail box
- Additional business phone number
- IVR sub-menu (for multi-level IVR)
In many cases–especially for basic customer service support–IVR scripts can provide all the information needed to complete the entire interaction with a live agent.
Admins streamline and optimize call paths using a drag-and-drop call flow editor to configure custom business rules, call forwarding and call routing strategies, and the specific IVR message used.
IVR Script Examples
IVR scripts all start out with a greeting and then either present callers with options to choose from or transfer the call to another number or voicemail box.
Here are some templates of effective IVR scripts for various scenarios:
- After Hours
- Holiday Closure
- Order Status
- Delivery Confirmation
- Shipping Information
- Survey/Feedback Request
- Directing Phone Calls to Specific Team Members
- Directing Calls to Specific Departments
Hello! You have reached [Company]. Please visit our website at [website address] to learn more about our current offers. Our call center is currently closed. Our normal business hours are Monday through Saturday from 7 AM to 4 PM. Please leave a message with your name, phone number, and the reason for your call and someone will contact you by the following business day.
Thank you for calling [Company Name]. We are closed for Labor Day from September 1st until September 5th. We will reopen on September 5th at 8 AM. In case of emergency, please call the following number [telephone number] or email us at [email address]. Have a great weekend!
Please listen to the following options carefully and choose the one closest to your reason for calling.
To set up a new credit card account, press 1.
To make changes to an existing account, press 2.
To close your account, press 3.
To reach a support agent, press 0, or stay on the line.
Thank you for calling [Company Name]. Please let us know how we can assist you.
To check the status of your order, please press 1.
If there is an issue with your order and you would like to open a ticket, please press 2.
If you wish to speak to a customer service representative, please press 3.
To return a damaged or defective product, press 4.
To reach a sales representative, please press 5.
Hello! This is an automated reminder from [Company Name]. We would like to remind you that your delivery of [Item Name] is scheduled for 7 PM today, October 2nd.
To reschedule, please press 1.
To schedule self-pickup, please press 2.
To speak to an agent, please press 3.
Good afternoon! Please listen to the following options carefully.
To know the current location of your order, please press 1.
If you would like to get delivery shipment details, please press 2.
To speak to an agent, please press 3.
Hello and thank you for using [Company Name] for your construction needs. We hope you were satisfied with our service. Kindly take a moment to provide feedback about your experience as this helps us improve our service.
Please input a number from 0-5 to rate your experience, with 0 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Thank you for your time, we hope to serve you again soon.
Directing Phone Calls to Specific Team Members
To reach out to one of the members of our team, please select from the following options:
For Jane Smith, press 1.
For John Anderson, press 2.
For Jane Jones, press 3.
To reach the next available agent, press 4.
Thank you for choosing [Company Name].
Directing Calls to Specific Departments
Hello! If you know the extension number of the party you are trying to reach, you may enter it at any time. Please listen carefully to the following options so that we may direct your call to the right department.
For the sales department, please press 1.
For technical support, please press 2.
For the billing department, please press 3.
For our business hours and location, please press 4.
To speak with a customer service representative, please press 5.
Press 6 to repeat these options.
Thank you for calling [Company Name]
Best Practices for IVR Scripts
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating IVR scripts:
- Keep Scripts Concise: Long-winded menus are frustrating and confusing for callers–and increase costs per call. Keep IVR scripts short, clear, and free of jargon to save callers time
- Keep Menu Options Limited: IVR menus should be as short as possible, with the most frequently selected or crucial options at the beginning of the menu. Have no more than 4-6 options in a main menu or sub menu
- Offer Callers a ‘Repeat’ Option: Designate a key for callers to press to replay the IVR menu if needed, and always give callers a way to be transferred to a live agent at any time
- Regularly Update IVR Scripts and Call Flow Paths: IVR scripts should be monitored and updated according to customer and user feedback, changing business needs, call volumes, times of year (or day), and specific incidents like a service outage or product recall. Many IVR software solutions offer real-time call flow editing and built-in analytics regarding call menu interactions
- Consider Cultural Nuances: If your IVR serves an international audience, ensure scripts include languages other than English and are are sensitive to cultural differences in communication styles
- Announce Hold Times: Providing callers with an estimated wait time or current call queue position updates–as well as and offering a VoIP customer callback option– enhances the customer experience
- Personalization: Integrating your IVR with your CRM software provides instant access to repeat caller contact information, interaction history, personal notes, and account data–making it easy to personalize the customer and IVR experience
Why IVR Scripts Are Important
IVR scripts and call prompts are your business’s chance to make a good impression on consumers. As the first step of many customer service interactions, IVR script quality and efficiency determine whether these interactions will be positive or negative.
Clear, concise, and intuitive IVR scripts improve customer satisfaction rates and reduce call abandonment rates, customer hold times, and average handle time. These scripts also relieve pressure on agents and allow businesses to share their values and mission with customers.
By following the tips above, your IVR system will improve the customer experience and your company’s bottom line.