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More Script Tips for Telephone Voice Prompts

 Voice prompt script tips

Several weeks ago, our Content Consultants contributed script tips for writing proper pronunciation cues for voice prompts, which can be used for Message on hold programs or Interactive Voice Response [IVR] Announcements.I was perusing through several sample IVR announcement scripts and stumbled upon this template. Though not written for pronunciation, the script caught my eye as a prime example of what voice prompts should be:

Sample IVR Script:

{Main Menu}

"Hello and thank you for calling COMPANY X.  If you know the extension of the person you wish to reach, please enter it now."

"To speak with the operator, press 0 at any time."

"For Sales, press 1."

"For Technical Support, press 2."

"For Billing, press 3."

"For information about our company, press 4."

"To leave us a message, press 5."

"Or to repeat these options, press 6."

Click Here for More Examples of Voice Prompt Scripts

{Department Not Available}

"No one is available to take your call at the moment.  Please leave your name, telephone number, and a brief message, and we will return your call as soon as possible. Thank you."

{Company Information - if user presses 4}

"Our staff is here to serve you Monday through Friday 9 am and 6 pm, Eastern Time.  You can visit us on the Web at "w w w dot COMPANY X dot com".  If you would like to leave a message, please do so at the tone, and we will return your call as soon as possible.  Thank you."

Script Tips for Writing Voice Prompts.jpg

Lessons for your phone system from this Telephone Voice Prompt Script

As dry as these messages sound, they are carefully crafted and optimized to accomplish the goal of an IVR System – which is to convey necessary information in the shortest amount of time – like a telephony version of the Traveling Salesman quandary. These messages are successful because:

  • Callers are given the option to opt out of the menu as soon as possible - This tactic actually increases the likelihood of callers going through the IVR system (and not abandoning the call), since they could leave at any time – the callers are empowered.
  • The departments are listed before the corresponding number – if callers hear their department name first, then the following number holds significance, and will be remembered. Hearing a random number first holds no significance for the caller until they hear their corresponding department, and since their attention wasn’t directed, they have to wait through the system for option 6 – to repeat.
  • Name, Telephone Number, Message. That’s all you need.
  • Business Hours are on request – too many times companies list their business hours in their opening message, obstructing IVR flow. What if a caller wants to leave a message or wait for an extension – but must wait while a company lists unneeded information?
  • Company Information: By placing business hours, website, and all contact information under the clear title of "Company Information," the caller knows exactly what information will be presented to him or her.
  • After Hours: It is a good idea to include a playable "After Hours" selection, for example:

{After Hours}

"You have reached our office after hours.  No one is available to take your call at the moment.  We are open Monday through Friday 9 am and 6 pm, Eastern Time.  Please call us during those hours, or leave a message at the tone and we will be happy to return your call during our next business day."

A good way to test whether your voice prompts / IVR system is effective is to call in and try it out yourself; if the experience is enjoyable, congratulations! If you find yourself getting frustrated, then follow the above guidelines and in no time, you will have a smooth IVR experience.

Avoid These Blunders in Your Voice Prompts 


Tags: tips, script samples, phone menu prompts