21 IVR Scripts You Can Steal (and How to Use Them)

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Nobody likes jumping through hoops just to solve a simple problem, but IVR scripts—aka those auto-recorded phone messages and navigation menu options you hear when you call certain businesses—are necessary for many call centers to operate. 

Of course, it would be great if every call center in the world had enough human agents to answer every single phone call, but that’s simply too cost-prohibitive and unrealistic for most businesses. 

The good news, however, is that when IVR scripts are used intentionally and strategically, they can be just as effective at helping customers reach certain resolutions—and even when they can’t solve the problem, they can at least speed up the process of directing the caller to the right department or representative who can. This saves time for both customers and agents while also reducing call abandonment rates and saving you money in the long term. 

21 Scripts You Can Steal

The best IVR scripts are clear, easy to navigate, and appropriate for a given scenario. They also have the customer in mind and they get the job done quickly without any surprises. 

Greeting IVR Scripts

General Greeting

Welcome to [Your Business Name]! We’re happy to help. Please choose from the following options, or press 0 to speak with a customer support specialist.

Promotional Greeting

Welcome to [Your Business Name], where [insert your tagline here]. Press 1 to learn more about [the promotion currently being offered] or choose from the following options.

Customer Service Greeting

We’re sorry you’re experiencing difficulties with our product. Our team is here to make it right. Please choose from the following options, or press 0 at any time to speak with a representative.

Menu Options IVR Scripts

General Menu Script

Welcome to [Your Business Name].

Press 1 for information about our products and services. 

Press 2 for billing and payment inquiries. 

Press 3 for technical support. 

Press 4 to speak with a member of our sales team. 

Press 5 for business hours and location information.

Press 0 to speak with a representative.

Promotion Menu Script

Welcome to [Your Business Name]! We’re excited to offer [promotion] throughout the month of [month]. 

Press 1 to take advantage of this promotion. 

Press 2 to learn about new products. 

Press 3 to inquire about discounts and offers. 

Press 4 for assistance with placing an order. 

Press 5 to speak with a sales representative.

Customer Feedback Menu Script

Thank you for calling [Your Business Name]. We value your business and appreciate your feedback.

Press 1 to participate in a customer satisfaction survey. 

Press 2 to provide feedback on your recent experience. 

Press 3 to leave a testimonial. 

Press 4 for general inquiries. 

Press 5 to speak with a customer feedback representative.

On Hold/Wait Time IVR Scripts

General On Hold Script

Thank you for choosing [Your Business Name]. 

Your call is important to us, we look forward to being able to assist you shortly. Please stay on the line to speak to a representative. You can also say, “Call me back” to schedule a call back from our next available agent. You will not lose your place in line.

Estimated Wait Time Script

At [Your Business Name], we understand your time is valuable. 

The current estimated wait time is approximately [X] minutes. 

We appreciate your patience. In the meantime, consider asking our system for help with simple inquiries. You can say things like, “Make an appointment,” “Check my balance,” or “What are your opening hours?”

Promo Script

Thank you for holding. To show our appreciation, we’re offering you [details about the promotion]. Press 1 to claim this offer, or mention it to our customer service representative after connecting. We’ll be with you shortly.

Afterhours IVR Scripts

General Afterhours Script

Thank you for calling [Your Business]. We are currently closed. Our regular business hours are [mention business hours]. If you’d like to leave a message, please press 1 to record a voicemail. A representative will return your call when we reopen. Thank you!

Sales Enquiries Afterhours Script

Thank you for calling [Your Business]. You’ve reached the Sales Department, but we’re currently closed. Please press 1 to leave your contact information and a representative will get in touch with you as soon as possible during the next business day. Thank you!

Emergency Afterhours Script

Thank you for calling the emergency support line for [Your Business]. If you are experiencing a critical issue that requires immediate attention, please press 1 to be connected to our on-call support team. For non-urgent matters, please call back during regular business hours. Thank you.

Maximum Wait Time IVR Scripts

General Script

Thank you for calling [Your Business Name]. Your call is important to us. Our current maximum wait time is approximately [X] minutes. We appreciate your patience, and the next available representative will be with you shortly. Don’t want to hold? Press 1 to schedule a callback. You will not lose your place in line.

Alternative Options Script

Thank you for choosing [Your Business Name]. Our maximum wait time is currently [X] minutes. If you prefer not to wait, you can reach us via email at [email address]. You can also visit our website at [website URL] for assistance, or press 1 to schedule a callback.

Customer Prep Script

At [Your Business Name], your time is important to us. Your estimated wait time is a maximum of [X] minutes. To help us serve you as fast as possible, please have your account information ready, including [XYZ]. Thank you!

Payment Scripts

General Payment Script

Welcome to [Your Business Name]. To make a payment, please choose from the following options:

1. Press 1 to pay your bill using a credit or debit card.

2. Press 2 for information on setting up automatic payments.

3. Press 3 to learn about alternative payment methods.

4. Press 4 to speak with the billing department.

Payment Troubleshooting Script

We’re sorry you’re having issues with your payment. We’re here to help.

1. Press 1 if your payment was declined.

2. Press 2 if you need to cancel a payment.

3. Press 3 for assistance with payment errors.

4. Press 4 to speak directly with a billing representative.

Balance Confirmation Script

Thank you for calling [Your Business Name]. You have no outstanding balance at this time.

1. Press 1 to receive a payment confirmation.

2. Press 2 to update your contact information.

3. Press 3 to explore other services or learn about our current promotions.

4. Press 4 to speak with a customer service representative.

IVR Survey Scripts

General Survey Script

​​Thank you for choosing [Your Business Name]. Your feedback is vital for us to improve our services. Please take a moment to participate in our customer satisfaction survey.

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with our [product(s) or services]?

2. Press 2 if you would like to provide additional comments.

3. Press 3 if you prefer not to participate.

Service Interaction Survey

Thanks for choosing [Your Business Name] for your recent [service]. We’d like to hear about your recent interaction with [agent name]. Please rate the interaction using the following options:

1. Press 1 if you were satisfied with the agent’s assistance.

2. Press 2 if you experienced an issue during your interaction.

3. Press 3 to provide detailed feedback.

4. Press 4 if you prefer not to participate.

Thank you for helping us improve our service quality!

Product Experience Survey

Thank you for choosing [Your Business Name] for your [type of products] needs. Please share your thoughts on our products.

1. Press 1 if you are satisfied with the quality of our products.

2. Press 2 if there are specific features you would like to see improved.

3. Press 3 to provide additional comments.

4. Press 4 if you prefer not to participate. 

What to Do (and Not to Do) With Your IVR Scripts

  • Do: Keep your menu to two levels, maximum. Nobody wants to sit on the phone punching buttons for 15 minutes just to get something done.
  • Do: Keep your pre-recorded messages short, and use them sparingly. Long pre-recorded messages feel dismissive and frustrating. Keep your messages to ten seconds or fewer if possible, and only use them when necessary.
  • Don’t: Overcomplicate your menu. If a five-year-old can’t navigate it with ease, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Don’t: Prevent people from interrupting your menu. There’s nothing more infuriating than having to sit through ten menu options when all you need is number three. It’s always better to allow barge-ins rather than forcing callers to wait. Most VoIP phone services allow this feature, so all you have to do is enable it.
  • Do: Make it easy to get to a human. Sometimes people don’t know what they need or they don’t want to speak to a machine. You need to make sure they can get in touch with an operator at any time during the call.

Poor IVR Script Examples and How to Fix Them

Sometimes a bad script can be far easier to identify than a good one. Make sure your scripts don’t commit the following faux pas. 

Example 1 – Too Long and Complex

Welcome to [Your Company]. We appreciate your call. Please listen carefully to the following options:

For customer support, press 1.

For billing inquiries, press 2.

To check your account balance, press 3.

If you wish to speak with a representative, press 4.

For technical assistance, press 5.

To access information about our company history, press 6.

If you’d like to hear our office hours, press 7.

To leave a general comment, press 8.

For marketing promotions, press 9.

If you have a specific inquiry related to our products or services, press 10 and then press the pound key followed by your account number, followed by the star key, and finally, your birthdate in MM/DD/YYYY format. Also, what’s your favorite color? What’s your credit card number? Do you like trains? How’s your fantasy football team doing?

Ignoring the obvious jokes at the end there, this menu is way too long and it includes many things that are unnecessary, such as the company history option. 

Example 2 – No Direction

Thank you for calling [Your Company]. Please hold.

[Extended periods of silence followed by the occasional message that says, “Your call is important to us.”]

Or

[Music that abruptly stops when an IVR interrupts to say, “We’re sorry, all our representatives are busy. Please continue to hold.” This continues indefinitely.]

These scripts are recipes for frustration. They don’t give customers any helpful information or ways to do anything other than hold. This can make people irritated and feel like you’re wasting their time.

Example 3 – Inconsistent Messaging

It’s a fantastic day at [Your Company]! We hope you’re having a great day too! Your call is important to us, but we’re currently experiencing higher-than-usual call volumes. Please continue to hold, and we’ll be with you shortly. Our team is happy to assist everyone. You can also visit our website for more information. Thank you for your patience.

[Background music plays, followed by periods of silence.]

[In a different voice: “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”]

[After a period of silence: “We appreciate your patience, and we’re working hard to answer your call.]

This is also frustrating since it doesn’t let the customer do anything, and the messaging feels inconsistent. The change in tone as well as the change in voice feels off putting and looks unprofessional.

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