How to Write the Best IVR Messages

Call Centre Helper

A version of this article was first published on the Call Centre Helper blog


Set Expectations in the Customer Greeting

Before the customer enters the call queue, it is good to have a system that tells them of the average wait time, according to Steve Hindley the Creative Director at iNarratorOnHold.

This initial IVR message will go along the lines of: “At the moment our average wait time is X minutes. If you wish to wait that’s great, but – if not – press 1 and we’ll give you a call-back and hold your place in the queue.”


Present IVR Messages in Order of Importance

Call queues will vary in length, so the customer is unlikely to hear every message that you create, which is why it’s critical that you order them in terms of importance.


Include a “Call to Action” in the IVR Messages

The idea of a call-to-action message is to give the customer a little bit of information and something they can act on, to boost your revenues and their satisfaction.

As Steve says: “Hold messages can be great to sow the seed of an idea in the customer’s mind. Think of this type of message as a mini-radio commercial, in the sense that you sell the idea and then ask people to take action on the back on it.”

An example of such a message would be: “We now have a discount on our product that is great for X. Speak to an advisor to find out more.”


Avoid Repeating the Same IVR Message

Don’t replay the same IVR message every 20 seconds as that’s a sure-fire way to irritate the customer before they even have the chance to speak to an advisor.


Get the Right Music to Message Ratio

The general rule here is that for every two seconds of message, three seconds of music should come afterwards, with more music if the wait time exceeds five minutes.

As Steve says: “We would have a message that lasts for no more than 20 seconds and then a music interlude in between that lasts for 30 seconds, so it feels like there’s more music than message.”

“That’s the ratio that we aim for, but if there is an unexpected peak in demand for the contact centre that causes contact volumes to rise to a point where customers are waiting for five or ten minutes, increase the musical gap between each message.”


Read the full article here

Call Centre Helper


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