How To Develop An IVR Script That Works

What an interactive voice responses system says—and how it says it—can make or break and application. Since the IVR script is so critically important to “end user acceptance” and overall system success, careful attention needs to be given to how the dialogue is designed, structured and recorded.  Your goal—a script that is clear, concise and yet conversational at the same time.

Here are some great tips to keep in mind:

  1. Short and Sweet: Some IVR applications are used as frequently by callers as often as several times daily, while others are used by callers less frequently. To be well-accepted by experienced and novice callers alike, scripts should offer brief, succinct prompts, with a supplementary help mechanism that gives more detailed instructions.
  2. Frequent Flyers: It is also important to build into the scripts, mechanisms that give frequent users the ability to bypass prompts, since familiarity often makes even minimal instruction unnecessary. Similarly, the phrasing of the voice prompts and the information provided should be carefully structured for maximum user acceptance.
  3. The Voice Within: Finally, make sure that the recorded voice and the recording techniques are appropriate to the application and acceptable to the expected callers. When selecting a voice to be used for your system, consider regional accents (none should be present if the application is for nationwide callers), availability of the speaker in the future for editing and add-ons, and speaking style, including volume, pitch and cadence. Particular attention should be given to vocal inflection, which is the raising and lowering of the vocal pitch at the end of any given word or phrase. Inflections provide intuitive transitional cues to callers that signify either the beginning or end of a thought.

To make sure your IVR system script is effective, keep it simple and short, and thoroughly test all aspects of the application before going live. Remember; be clear, conversational and concise. To do anything less is to experiment with your customers and risk delivering a less-than-quality service.

Ready to dive deeper? Check out our other articles on developing a script:
The Power of the Ideal IVR Scripting Team

Application Diagram — Teleprompt Mapping!

Error Messages, without Errors!

  • Wordplay is No Game in IVR Scripting

Testing! Testing! When and How...

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