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Best Practices For IVR, Voice Prompts, and Auto Attendant


As a business owner, you are likely interested in providing superior quality at every customer touch point for your business. One of the first things a customer may encounter is your telephony technology, be it IVR, voice prompts, or an Auto Attendant. What can you do to ensure that your company shines with this type of technology?

Here are some best practices for IVR, voice prompts, and auto attendant systems:

  1. Use language that can be clearly understood. There are few things more frustrating to a consumer than having to listen to your voice prompts twice for the sake of clarity.
  2. Provide callers with no more than four or five options per menu. Research indicates that using more than five options creates confusion and anxiety in your callers.
  3. Prioritize your menus so that the most frequently selected options are first on the list. The fewer options your customers must listen to, the better. Many customers still prefer speaking with a live attendant, so making navigation through your menus quick and easy creates a better customer experience.
  4. Keep it simple. Your menu messages should be concise and to the point. Remember that your customer does not have your written script in front of him/her, so be sure to make the message stand out with simple, short direction.
  5. Give extension numbers at the end of sentences. By moving the extension number to the end of your sentence, you allow time for your customer to process key information first. This reduces the likelihood that the customer will have to have the menu repeated before making a selection.
  6. Avoid needless repetitionFor instance, it is not necessary to repeat the word “please” or “dial”. Your customer is aware that dialing is required, and a general “please” at the beginning of customer navigation is sufficient.
  7. State extension numbers as separate digits. For the sake of consistency throughout your IVR, state numbers separately. This leads to ease of navigation, and reduces the potential of customer selection errors. As an additional note, avoid using unnecessary symbols in your script, as this slows customer navigation.
  8. When listing times in your message, include time zone information. It is important to realize that customers call your company from many different locations. A simple time zone reminder will be of benefit to callers.
  9. Use one voice for all menu prompts. This makes your customers comfortable. Familiarity with one voice allows your customers to concentrate on the message rather than the messenger. And it provides a cohesive brand message throughout your telephony.
  10. Make keypad presses consistent throughout your IVR. This promotes ease of use for your customer. Since customer satisfaction is your goal, consistency is key.

If you remember these simple and effective strategies, your customer satisfaction rates will improve, and the quality of all your interactions with clients will meet the standards you have set for your entire enterprise. If you would like more information about IVR, voice prompt, or auto attendant best practices, please contact us today for a consultation.



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