It isn’t easy to build an interactive voice response (IVR) system that keeps customers happy. That’s one reason consumers don’t give contact centers very high marks. According to the Zendesk 2022 Customer Experience Trends Survey, only 20% of consumers rate contact resolution speeds as “extremely strong.” That leaves four fifths of callers waiting on the line—and probably getting frustrated.
A lot of that frustration comes from IVR scripts themselves. The Zendesk survey found that 88% of consumers would buy more from companies that don’t make them repeat themselves. Bad IVR scripts lead to lots of repetition, as callers get routed back and forth in a labyrinth of menus. So if you want to improve customer experiences at your call center, start with better menus—ones that don’t confuse or upset your customers. These IVR script examples can show you what that might look like.
First, though, a warning: An effective IVR script will be highly specific to your company and your customers. It must respond as directly as possible to the reasons people call. And it must be memorable (in a good way) so that customers don’t hesitate to call again. In short, it must be anything but generic. We’ll discuss how to accomplish these goals later in this article. But first, here are a few IVR script samples designed to spark your imagination. (While they’re designed specifically for IVR call centers, these scripts can also help with any type of automated VOIP system; learn more about VOIP trends here.)
8 IVR Recording Script Samples
Your IVR script will be organized as a decision tree, a branching series of script nodes that flow according to the caller’s choices. For example purposes, we’ll keep this tree simple. We’ll start with a greeting (including main menu options), proceed to a submenu, and end with a closing message. Finally, we’ll suggest some after-hours messages.
It’s crucial that your IVR script aligns with your brand identity, of course. If you sell energy drinks, you’ll probably use a more hyped tone than a financial institution. So we’ll provide IVR message samples in two tones: formal and hyped.
Greeting and Initial Menu IVR Recording Script Samples
The greeting is the most important element of any customer service call journey. It must align with your most common consumer needs, and quickly present the right path to filling those needs. A lot of IVR users divide their opening menu by department, or by listing common inquiries. However you construct it, keep the initial menu as short as possible (three or four options is a good limit). You can offer more choices later in each call path.
Greeting Script (Formal)
Thank you for calling [company name].
For customer service, please press 1.
For sales, please press 2.
For locations and hours, please press 3.
To speak to an agent at any time during this call, please press 0, or stay on the line.
Greeting Script (Hyped)
Thanks for calling [company name], your source for [product/service]. Let’s get your call to the right place.
For customer support, press 1.
For billing, press 2.
For locations and hours, press 3.
To talk to an actual person, press 0, or hold on the line.
Customer Service Submenu IVR Examples
Submenus narrow down your caller’s request, eventually routing them toward resolution. In general, more layers with fewer options are better than a single long menu; that allows each menu to address specific caller concerns, leading to faster, more targeted results. For this example, we’ll stick with a customer service department decision menu.
Customer Service Menu Script (Formal)
Please listen to the options and choose the one closest to your reason for calling.
To set up a new account, press 1.
To make changes to an existing account, press 2.
To close your account, press 3.
To reach a customer service specialist, press 0, or hold on the line.
Customer Service Menu Script (Hyped)
Help us route your call. Here are a few options. If you don’t hear what you’re looking for, make your best guess. We’ll get your call resolved regardless.
For new accounts, press 1.
For existing accounts, press 2.
To close an account, press 3.
To talk to someone, press 0, or just keep doing what you’re doing.
Closing Message IVR Examples
You don’t want your IVR system to simply hang up on customers when the call is completed. Not only is a closing message polite, it gives you a chance to invite customers to take a satisfaction survey, sign up for a return call, or return to the main menu to make another request.
Closing Message Script (Formal)
Thank you for calling.
If you have another request, return to the main menu by pressing 1.
If you’d like an agent to call you back, press 2.
If your call is complete, we would love to know how it went. Please stay on the line to take a short satisfaction survey.
Otherwise, hang up any time. We look forward to serving you again.
Closing Message Script Example (Hyped)
Hope that worked out! If not, you have a few options.
To return to the main menu, press 1.
If you’d like us to call you back, press 2.
If you want to tell us how we’re doing with a short survey, stay on the line.
If we’re all good here, go ahead and hang up. Can’t wait to talk again!
After-Hours IVR Sample Scripts
After-hours messages are a little different than everything that’s come before. They don’t provide options. They don’t give you the chance to speak to an agent. Instead, this message should do three key things:
- Identify your company.
- Provide resources for more information.
- Explain how to successfully make contact.
These examples do all three:
After-Hours Message Script (Formal)
Thank you for calling [company name]. Our offices are currently closed. For online services and more information, visit our website at [website URL]. To reach an agent, call us during business hours, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Or wait on the line to leave a message. Please include your name, phone number, and reason for calling, and we’ll call you back within two business days. You can also email us at [company email address]. We look forward to serving you.
After-Hours Message Script (Hyped)
Uh oh. We’re closed. Check out our website for online services and more information. Find it at [website URL]. We’re open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so call us back then. You can also wait on the line to leave a message. We’ll get back to you next time we’re open. Just be sure to leave your name, phone number, and reason for calling. Thanks!
You’ll want to tweak these examples to suit your company’s unique needs. Here are a few best practices for IVR script-writing that can help you generate something that works just for you.
5 Best Practices for Writing Customer-Centered IVR Scripts
1. Match tone to subject.
One caller may end up on a script that congratulates them for their new account. Another might have a discussion about a late bill payment. An upbeat tone matches the first message (“We’re so glad to have you as a customer!”) while the second requires a more empathetic feel (“So sorry you’re having trouble with your bill; let’s get you signed up for a payment plan that’ll get you back on track.”)
While your script sets the tone in one sense, there’s no substitution for the expression of your IVR’s speaking voice. Choose a text-to-speech (TTS) provider that offers a wide range of moods for their synthetic speakers. ReadSpeaker’s neural TTS allows a consistent voice to have multiple expressive styles, matching customer expectations across a wide variety of conversations.
2. Address your customers’ most common requests first.
The goal is to get every caller to resolution with as few steps as possible. Study existing call data and survey your customers to determine the top reasons they call. Then write scripts that address those needs immediately.
3. Keep each script node short and simple.
The longer a caller remains on the line without results, the more frustrated they get. Eliminate unnecessary language from your IVR scripts. Get to the options as quickly as you can while still providing enough information to guide callers effectively.
4. Always place call extensions at the ends of sentences.
“For customer service, press 1,” not “Press 1 for customer service.” Callers may only start paying attention when they hear the option they’re looking for, so list the option first, followed by the appropriate action.
5. Continually update your IVR script (and your voice audio files).
A good IVR script never stands still. You may find calls dropping at a certain point in your decision tree. You may add new services or new locations or even whole new departments. Each of those shifts requires a new script—and new audio voice files. That’s why TTS is such a powerful complement to all sorts of computer telephony integration (CTI) systems, including IVR.
Advanced machine speech allows you to make system-wide changes to your call center decision tree overnight, without tracking down voice actors or scheduling new recording sessions. Text-to-speech integration allows you to continually respond to changing consumer needs as quickly as possible, without the cost of new recordings.
If you want to reduce dropped calls, limit transfers to representatives and supervisors, and solve customer problems in the fewest steps possible, you need a flexible IVR system. Only TTS provides that flexibility. ReadSpeaker provides platform-agnostic TTS integration with best-in-class neural TTS voices for warm, lifelike interactions. Contact us today to learn how ReadSpeaker TTS provides a better customer experience with every call.