Error Messages, without Errors! (IVR Scripting Series)

When designing an IVR Script, it is important to think about what things might go wrong during a call, either from the system OR the caller. Several error conditions can occur in an IVR session, and all such possibilities must be identified and dealt with during the script design phase to produce a quality result. Here are a few common errors you may encounter:

  1. Time-Out occurs when the system prompts a caller for input and the caller does not respond within a preset time. The script must include messages that remind the callers to complete the entry, repeat directions, and it might also offer help or further instructions.
  2. Invalid Input  is a menu selection that is outside of the range of choices offered, either spoken or pressed on the keypad by the caller.
  3. Human Error is common—the transposition of digits when entering an account or identification number.

Wherever possible, offer supplementary information in the error prompt to help the caller enter correct input the second time. For example, if an invalid menu selection is requested, re-prompt by saying “Five is not a valid choice. Valid menu choices are 1 through 4.” Don’t forget to prototype, test and retest!! See the example chart below for some inspiration and other specific error messages you may wish to include in your script!


Hungry for more? This is part of our IVR Scripting Series – Click for more!

Contact Us with any questions or inquiries.


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