How companies communicate and care for their customers has changed over the years. From the early days of assisting clients via help desks and snail mail, business-to-customer connections now revolve around call centers and chat support teams. Call centers require constant improvement and innovation to keep up with ever-changing industry trends.
No matter how convenient it is to centralize communications using modern technology, setting the groundwork is crucial in establishing any brand. The idea of creating a uniform and effective customer service platform was the driving force behind updates to this process, specifically implementing interactive voice response (IVR) phone systems to maximize the customer experience.
As modern technology evolves, many businesses are converting to digital-first and self-service solutions such as automation, AI-powered technology, and webchat. Cision PR Newswire estimates that the global revenue for IVR phone systems is expected to reach $6.7 billion by 2026, with 40% of that growth coming from North America. In the post-pandemic world, businesses need to know their way around IVR phone systems.
What is an IVR Phone System?
IVR phone systems are automated phone systems that use text-to-speech and pre-recorded messages to route calls. For instance, when you call your pharmacy to refill a prescription and reach a menu of call options, this menu is the IVR.
When done well, an IVR phone system can help lower call abandonment rates, cut costs, and get customers answers to their questions quickly. But too often, IVRs aren’t optimized. Sometimes they’re too long. Other times, too short. Navigation may be confusing, and a lack of integration with other channels can cause serious customer frustration.
To help combat this frustration, service leaders like you need to test IVR scripts.
What is an IVR Script?
An IVR script is an auto-attendant greeting or message that customers hear when they call your business. This sets the tone for the entire interaction, so it’s essential to implement it well and make sure it is written strategically for your business.
Think of an IVR script as an audio version of a storefront door. A well-written script can amplify your sales and strengthen your external relations, especially if customers never leave with unresolved complaints.
A poorly written IVR script, however, leaves a sour first impression and may increase customer frustration. In extreme cases, bad IVR scripts can generate long-term losses, damage the public’s impression of the brand, and cost you future sales. Research from Vonage found that 61% of customers think IVRs offer a poor customer experience, leading more than half of customers to stop doing business with the company.
Examples of IVR Phone System Scripts
Customers have high standards when looking for a new product or service. Aside from quality, they look for a company they can trust and one who cares about their needs and preferences. To meet these demands, you need an IVR script that is simple and accessible with a human touch.
Here are a few IVR script examples to help you maximize your customer experience.
- “You have reached [Company]. This call may be monitored and recorded for training or quality assurance purposes. You’ll be connected to the next available agent as soon as possible. Your current hold time is approximately [number] minutes.”
- “Hello. Thank you for calling [Company]. All our lines are currently busy. We ask for your patience. The next available agent will answer your call. Your estimated hold time is less than [number] minutes.”
- “Hello. Thank you for calling [Company]. If you know the extension of the person you wish to reach, please enter it now. Otherwise, please choose from the following menu options:
- To speak with the operator, press 0 at any time.
- For Sales, press 1.
- For Technical Support, press 2.
- For Billing or account information, press 3.
- To return to the main menu, press 7.
- To repeat this message, press 9.”
- “All our agents are currently assisting other callers. To leave a message, press 1. To have an agent call you back, press 2. Otherwise, please stay on the line, and your call will be answered in the order it was received.”
Queue Callback Messages
- “You have requested to have the next available agent call you back. You may now hang up and wait for our call. Goodbye.”
IVR Phone System Best Practices
Choosing the most compatible and effective script for your call center isn’t easy. That’s why it’s important to establish criteria for choosing an IVR phone system that fits your call center. Here are some best practices to keep in mind.
- Keep it Simple
Your IVR phone system should be simple, appropriate, and easy to understand. Save the jargon for your friends and limit questions.
Although hosted IVR phone systems allow multiple levels, offering too many options might do more harm than good as it makes the process more complicated. Prioritize the important options first, and keep in mind that the goal is to lay out an exceptional customer experience.
- Make it User-Friendly
Not everyone knows their way around your IVR phone system. It’s important to have an option so users can easily navigate back and forth through your options. Include a way for callers to return to the previous menu or repeat the options. It’s a small effort that has a huge impact on your overall experience.
- Connect with Your Customers
Nothing beats human connection, and many still prefer communicating in real-time with representatives, especially for complex situations. Because of this, an IVR phone system should include an option that allows customers to speak with an agent at any time during the call.
- Stay Updated
Remember, providing accurate information is the most important factor to consider when implementing an IVR phone system. Regularly update your IVR menu to ensure high-quality customer service.
Are you looking for a virtual call center with advanced features designed to maximize your CX? Broadvoice has you covered. Book a demo with one of our team members to learn more.