As a business operator, you will agree that interactive voice response or IVR plays a crucial role in providing a personalised customer experience. Consider it as a front door of your business; It is an Automated Phone Response System, which is the first thing that people see, hear and depending on this a customer generally forms an impression about your business.
Your IVR menu when coupled with a well-written and easily understandable voice prompts enables a customer to seek his way through your phone system. Most of the times, IVR gets a bad rap because of poorly constructed IVR message, inaudible IVR recording, and too much jargon in the script. This leads to caller frustration and a lost business opportunity.
To help you out, we have compiled some globally acceptable IVR messages to help you understand how a clear and concise IVR script can do wonders for your business.
Welcome greeting is the first message that callers hear when they call your company. Having a clearly articulated welcome message for your callers is essential for your business.
This is an excellent example of Custom Dynamic IVR, where an existing customer’s phone number is matched to their details from the CRM database, and the IVR script is read out accordingly. Dynamic IVR is not only efficient for the organization, it is also proven to boost customer satisfaction.
COVID-19 has created fundamental changes to the way businesses are operating. Many are working reduced hours. Others are working from home. The simplest way to let your customers know of the changes is through the IVR. Here are some samples.
– For hospitals:
Thank you for calling [hospital name]. To redirect your call to the right place, please listen to the following options carefully.
– For other businesses:
Thank you for calling [company name]. Due to the pandemic and lockdowns, we are working under reduced capacity. Our new business hours are [start time to end time].
Your call is important to us. All our agents are speaking to other customers at the moment. Your expected wait time is [wait time]. You may stay on the line. Or to request a call back later, press 0.
An Interactive Voice Response generally allows the caller to enter commands on the keypad and choose where they would like the call to be directed. This can be a first-time caller who happened to be sitting in front of your website, or an old customer with an enquiry.
Call Center Departments
“Hello. Thank you for calling, ABC,[Company Name], where [company slogan].
You can also begin the IVR by offering to speak with the agent first as depicted in the example below:
This is especially useful for industries such as healthcare, where time is of the essence.
Hello, you have reached ABC [Company Name]. To continue in English, press 1. For Hindi, press 2.
Depending on the customer’s input, the language for the remaining IVR prompts will be decided.
Customer satisfaction (CSAT) score is a key customer experience metric for all kinds of organizations. You can make data collection for CSAT automated and convenient with IVR.
If your queries have been satisfactorily resolved, press 1.
If not, press 2.
Customer presses 1
Please rate your experience on a scale of 1 to 5. Press 1 if you’re highly dissatisfied to 5 if you’re extremely satisfied.
Customer presses 2
Thank you for your feedback. We’re sorry to hear that you’re dissatisfied. We strive to serve you better every single day. If you’d like to speak to an agent again about your query, press 1.
Your agents may be stocked up with back-to-back calls. It is essential to cater to the current caller but at the same time, you cannot lose a potential customer who is already on the line waiting to connect with an agent. An IVR recording can direct your customer with the next prompts.
What your callers hear when they enter the waiting queue-
What your caller hears every two minutes that they are in the waiting queue-
What the caller hears when the waiting queue is full.
What the caller hears when they have been exceeded maximum amount of time while waiting in the queue
People often forget their payments. However, a simple reminder about their upcoming dues can go a long way in keeping your cash flow healthy.
Hello. Greetings from [company name]. This is a payment reminder call for the account number [Account number] under the name [Name]. Your payment of [amount] is due on [date]. Please pay before the due date to avoid penalties.
An IVR script informing your customers of non-business hours is as important as a welcome greeting. Your customer is investing his/her valuable time to reach you but is not aware of your non-operational hours. You can inform the caller that your office is closed, state your business’ operating hours, and provide options to avoid losing a customer or a new business opportunity.
“Thanks for calling ABC [Company Name]. We regret to inform you that our office is currently closed. Our business hours are from Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM Indian Standard Time.”
Every caller is a new business opportunity, and putting your caller on hold for long can lead to bad publicity for your business. This is why companies now provide callers with an in/out of business hours voicemail option. A simple IVR message that greets the caller before transferring him to the designated voicemail during the applied operation times of the business.
Your caller might not be aware of your company holiday calendar. You can have a separate IVR recording which will take the caller to the next prompt.
After Pressing 2
“Thanks for calling ABC [Company Name]. For more information about our products, press 1”.
Online healthcare aggregators are evolving as a one-stop destination for appointments, consultations, health records, insurance, and ordering medicines online. It is vital to provide a crisp and clear IVR prompt when it comes to healthcare.
When the customer presses 2
If customer pressed 1
IVR messages come in handy for cab aggregators when the customer needs some help or wants to report an issue with their trip.
Food ordering is easy and convenient today. But when it comes to booking a table, the whole process can get a little time consuming. This is where an IVR script can be time-saving and provide a personalised dining experience.
Is your company making the best first impression when property buyers and sellers call you? IVR scripts can help you in improving the customer experience by creating a unified brand image, guaranteeing each caller is attended and in boosting your customer engagement.
Logistics is one business that runs purely on communication. Whether you are connecting third-party vendors with customers or a customer with your support agents, you need to keep all the people, facilities, and vendors involved in constant communication. This is how IVR scripts can ease out the connection.
Not everyone who calls the bank needs to speak to an agent. IVRs can play a significant role in giving your customers the information they need, even while agents are busy talking to other customers.
Welcome to [Bank name]. To continue in English, press 1. For Hindi, press 2. For Tamil, press 3. For Marathi, press 4. (etc.)
If you are a [Bank name] customer, press 1. If not, press 2.
Customer presses 1
Customer presses 2
Based on customer’s choice
You cannot afford to mislead or provide half-baked information to people looking for new insurance schemes or renewal of old insurance.
Maintaining open communication with your customers is necessary. Regardless of delays, clients must be informed and kept up-to-date.
All Non-government organisations work for a specific cause and are primarily dependant on donations which means they have scores of clients either looking to donate or looking for events that they can participate. This is where IVR prompts can help NGOs in sorting through distinct callers.
This sector has been witnessing a significant growth owing to the boost in the economy. The distribution channel has slowly moved from catering to just Tier I and II cities to towns as well. A concise IVR script helps in keeping the customer in the loop and strengthens brand loyalty.
Surveys are a great way to evaluate your performance and understand customer needs better. The key to a good survey is keeping it short, simple and quick.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to this survey. It will only take 60 seconds of your time.
For what purpose do you use [product name]?
How many members of your household/business use [product name]?
Is [product name] the only product you use in the [category]?
on a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the quality of [product name]? Press 1 if you’re highly dissatisfied to 5 if you’re extremely satisfied.
On a scale of 1 to 5, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues? Press 1 if very unlikely to 5 if highly likely.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to the survey. We appreciate your patronage. Have a great day.
As a business owner, how many times throughout the year do your clients forget their appointments? How much backlog does your delivery staff have to suffer due to cancelled or unavailable deliveries. IVR appointment/delivery reminders is the best solution that help you with no shows’ efficiently.
“Welcome to[Company Name]. This is an appointment reminder call. Your appointment is scheduled for [Day] and [Time]”
Customer Presses 2
Customer Presses 3
Customer Presses 4
Customer Presses 1
Customer Presses 2
Customer Presses 3
IVR is not always about the greeting or transferring to the agents. It is a powerful tool that can be used to disseminate information to a large crowd at one go. For example, when cab aggregators advertise for driver openings, they usually ask them to give a missed call on a particular number to register. The drivers are then reached via automated IVR requesting them to visit the office on a particular date and time.
“Thank you for your interest to attach to [cab aggregator name]. Please visit our office at [branch location] on [date] at [time] with all the requisite documents including your driving license and vehicle ownership document.”
Write for the ear
Use language that your customers understand. Make sure it ‘sounds’ clear. Make all the options parallel and consistent. For instance, say:
Do not say:
Don’t give too many options
Keep your IVR script to 4-5 options. Research indicates that using more than five options leads to confusion and anxiety in your callers.
Don’t have too many layers
If the caller keeps hearing IVR every time they choose an option, they might get frustrated. Don’t have more than three levels of menus that the caller must go through before they get their answer.
Prioritize your IVR menus
Keep your most frequently selected options first on the list. The fewer options your customers need to listen to, the quicker your resolution.
Keep it simple
Avoid jargon, acronyms, abbreviations etc. Your menu messages should be concise, allowing the caller to navigate through the prompts easily.
Stress on the numbers
When you mention the numbers the customer needs to press, state them slowly and separately. This will help avoid selection errors.
Avoid needless repetition
Words like ‘please’ or ‘dial’ can be unnecessary. This goes for your brand name as well.
Make authentication simple
If you need to authenticate a user before giving them the answer to their query, make it simple. For instance, if they call from the registered mobile number, you can automatically authenticate them for specific tasks. Or you can verify using other personal information like address or date of birth.
Respect caller geography
Include the time zone in your message, especially in non-operational greetings. A customer can call your company irrespective of time and location. A simple time zone reminder will help the caller call back at the right time.
Use one voice for all menu prompts
Familiarity with one voice allows callers to focus on the message rather than the messenger. Also, it adds a cohesive value to your brand throughout your telephony.
The whole purpose of IVR is to cut down the time taken to provide solutions to your customers. Avoid complex or twisted messages, uncommon jargon or ambiguous abbreviations.
For instance, do not say: Press 0 for quick admin assistance. The meaning might not be instantly clear to the caller.
Inform your customer if you’re recording calls
Inform your caller right after the greeting that you’re recording the call. It is also best practice to mention why you’re recording — for quality or monitoring purposes, for instance. Make sure that the customer has heard the message loud and clear.
For non-urgent calls, enable voicemail. Invite the customer to leave a clear message about their query. Once they record the message, tell them clearly when they can expect a response from you.
Provide an option to repeat the menu
When there are more than 3-4 options, the customer might forget them by the time they’ve heard them all. Give them the option to listen to it again.
Allow your customers to connect with an agent directly
Regular callers might not want to go through the entire IVR before speaking to an agent. It is good practice to allow them to talk to an agent directly, right from the main menu.
Always keep your messages updated
Customers call contact centres for information. So, make sure it’s up-to-date. For instance, if you have changed your working hours on your website but not in your IVR menu, it can cause confusion.
Give the caller estimated wait times
Customers hate waiting endlessly. So, inform them in advance how long they might need to wait to speak to an agent. If they don’t wish to wait, offer them alternatives such as requesting a callback or recording a voicemail.
Include a call-back option
Allow your customers to request a callback if the query is not urgent. This will help reduce the number of abandoned calls and shorten call queues.
Choosing the right voice and the tone of the voice is imperative as it is reflective of your brand. It also depends to a great extent on the type of audience you expect to call in. Will they like an authoritative voice or a professional voice or a warm and friendly voice? You can set the tone of the call by utilising the tone of the IVR voice properly.
When conducting business in India, playing IVR prompts in the local language can help increase trust and confidence in your brand. You can achieve this by playing an uber menu with language choices.
If you aren’t in a mood to spend big bucks for the IVR prompts and still want to make it sound professional, you could use one of the below websites to create an IVR audio. Creating the audio would require the use of Chrome browser and using the Network Pane to download the resources that are loaded on your browser
(DISCLAIMER: Adhere to the TOS of the respective websites and do not create a lot of audio files in a short time and increase the load on their servers)
With Google Text-to-Speech you can add multiple male and female voices. This post explains how to use Google’s Text-to-speech.
Go to http://www.ispeech.org/text.to.speech and use the Chrome Network Panel method to download.
Listen to yourself singing in the bathroom 😀
You can follow the steps listed in our support center for recording an IVR audio using your phone itself
You can request for a voice over for your IVR or greeting from inside of Exotel Dashboard itself, by following the steps to create a voiceover recording in Exotel here
Edit the audio to suit telephones:
I use and recommend Audacity. Audacity is brilliant and is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Make sure you receive the audio in a lossless format like WAV as otherwise there will be further quality loss when you convert it on to formats like mp3.
Where ever you find any annoying background noise in any section of the audio, select that section using the Selection Tool, select Effect -> Noise Removal. Click on Get Noise Profile and then get rid of the noise.
Audio on telephone networks is sampled at 8kHz because years ago, someone decided that 180 Hz to 3.2 kHz range would be sufficient for speech intelligibility while allowing them to multiplex many calls over normal telephone wires. Do listen to your recording after downsampling.
Converting audio to 8kHz mono 16 bit PCM using Audacity:
After importing a wav audio file in Audacity, use the dropdown on the file name to:
Now you have a clear understanding of how to create a clear IVR prompts.
If you are interested in trying this for free, sign up for a free trial and use Exotel’s simple-to-use cloud telephony platform and create multi-level IVR prompts in 20 minutes.
Read how Automated Surveys through IVR can help your business improve customer experience and fetch newer leads.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]