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6 best practices for IVR scripting

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  • An IVR solution is a key inflection point for customer interactions.
  • Businesses need to think of their customers’ desires first to create effective IVR scripts.
  • Quick and easy access to an agent helps to ensure a satisfying client experience.
  • IVR scripts should be regularly updated.


The company Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution is often the first gateway that customers encounter when interacting with your firm. It’s imperative to make that experience as user-friendly, helpful and streamlined as possible. To meet that goal, IVR scripts must be simple, offer a quick way to reach an agent, and be regularly updated.

Recently, corporations extended the number of ways that customers can contact them, supplementing traditional voice calls with digital options, like email, online chat, and social media. Despite the new options, IVR investments continue to rise: the worldwide market was valued at $3.72 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $7.17 billion in 2027, a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 6.79%.


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How RingCentral helped these 6 companies better serve their customers

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So, what steps can organizations take to ensure that their IVR scripts (the steps the devices follow to collect customer information and answer their inquiries) work as efficiently as possible?

  • Include a call-back option
  • Avoid offering too many options
  • Provide customers with the ability to speak to a person
  • Avoid jargon
  • Test the system
  • Be ready to monitor and change IVR scripts on an ongoing basis


1. Include a call-back option

No one wants to wait on hold indefinitely, so an IVR solution should tell consumers approximately how long their wait times will be. Giving consumers the option of having the system call them back instead of keeping them on the line enables them to go about their business, reduces the frustration often felt when waiting, and improves customer satisfaction.


2. Avoid offering too many options

When customers call, they may not have paper and pen ready to take notes. They can’t accurately track more than a few IVR menu options, which often come in rapid fire. If they feel overwhelmed by the number of choices, clients press 0 to speak with someone, use the most general option, or hang up.

The longer the option lists, the larger the number of abandoned calls, and the less fulfilled the customer feels. Instead of annoying clients, break IVR options into very small, manageable chunks. Rather than present eight options, present them with two, each with four options. Everyone benefits.


3. Provide customers with the ability to speak to a person

Here, organizations need to put customer priorities ahead of their own. To reduce costs, the business wants to offload as many calls as possible to the IVR. Consequently, sometimes, they make it challenging for clients to reach an agent.

Many customers become infuriated when they have to wade through a series of prompts to talk to an agent, so make it easy for them.


4. Avoid jargon

Many organizations become comfortable with industry terminology that is quite familiar to the staff. When IVR scripting, they need to view the interaction from the customer’s standpoint. If they are not familiar with a term, how can they get the help they need?


5. Test the system

Employees spend their time with the IVR system and often lose sight of how a first time or occasional user interacts with it. Once you have a draft script, test it with friends or family that are unfamiliar with your system and see how they navigate their way through it. Their experience should help you identify where prompts are confusing or cumbersome.


6. Be ready to monitor and change IVR scripts on an ongoing basis

IVR scripting is the first step rather than the last in providing a satisfying customer experience. Corporations need to allocate funding to periodically monitor system prompts’ usage and effectiveness.

The check may identify wrong or outdated information. For instance, your business hours or website address changed. It also helps to identify new bottlenecks and enable you to continually improve the system, which never reaches 100% efficiency.


Learn how the RingCentral IVR Improves your business

IVRs are a foundational building block in customer service. A RingCentral solution provides your company with many benefits.

Nowadays, customers expect service whenever it fits their schedule. An IVR is not dependent on humans’ typical 9 to 5 schedule and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

No matter how large or small your business is, you want to project a professional image. At one time, IVR solutions were expensive and available only to large enterprises. Today with the advent of cloud solutions, they have become so simple to install and inexpensive to use that any firm can easily justify their deployment.

Why not give your customers a better experience with an IVR solution? The IVR speeds problem resolution by providing callers with needed information and transferring calls to the right agent ASAP.

Contact us today for more information about RingCentral’s IVR solution.

Originally published Jan 20, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022

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