IVR Voice Prompts

Is your IVR driving people away?

Have you ever taken 5 minutes out of your busy day to ring your own company and navigate through your IVR from the point of view of your customers?  Have you got any idea of how your calls are being handled by your phone system and agents?  If you answered ‘no’ to either or both of those questions then it’s time you put yourself in the position of one of your callers…

Make a coffee, sit down and go through your system to see how efficient (or not) it is.

We all know how quickly things can change within a company with staff turnover, different departments, different services, different contacts…but what about the IVR?

For many business owners, once the IVR is in place it gets taken for granted – sits there doing its job quite happily, but starts to feel a little stale and unloved after a while.  To give your valued customers the service they deserve, your IVR needs to be all-encompassing but not exhaustive, informative but not monotonous. 

And that’s exactly what we can help you with.

IVR Menus should be kept to a minimum of options, ideally no more than 4 or 5 per level; nobody likes sitting on the end of a phone listening to a list of menu options for 2-minutes or more– they glaze over and just press # or 0 to speak to a human.

Speak to your agents and ask them about the demeanour of callers once they’re speaking to them.  If your call handlers are regularly faced with disgruntled, fed up callers, is there something your IVR menu can do to improve their journey through your customer service?

Self-service options are brilliant – but are yours efficient, and, more importantly, accurate?  There’s nothing more frustrating than surviving an automated Spanish Inquisition to then hear, ‘I’m sorry, there has been a problem processing your information at this time, please call back’.  They most certainly will not want to call back…so don’t even go there!

Look at your call data and act on it – it will give you vital information about caller abandonment rates, such as at what stage in the system they hung up and how long they waited before they did so.  This will help to produce a tailor-made IVR system and stop mistakes being made either from the callers’ behalf, or from your end – nobody likes to admit it, but we all make mistakes occasionally.

Would you like a second opinion?

Request your Free IVR Review…

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Not got an IVR system in place, no worries we can help you design the perfect caller experience call us on 0161 850 3033.

Thinking of recording your own IVR Messages in-house?

Here are 5 points to consider before recording your IVR Messages in-house...

We get a lot of ‘how hard can it be to record our own messages…?’  Well, in truth, not only can it be hard in the sense of getting the right intonations and personality in your recordings, but it can also be hard on your company’s purse strings. Recording IVR messages in-house may seem like a good idea or a cheaper option, but like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!  You, or one of your valued employees, could have the best personality in the world, a first class drama degree, or just simply like the sound of their own voice, but we often find that once faced with the prospect of laying down audio in a recording studio, they don’t quite have what it takes to give the company the sound you’re looking for.

If you want to go down the route of using an employee to record your IVR messages here are five points to consider first:

1. Having a 'nice voice' is not enough; you have to know how to use it!

Professional voiceovers take years to hone their skill to enable them to know where inflections should be used in a script, while still sounding natural so the finished recording doesn’t sound forced. Unless the employee you’re considering using has this level of experience then the finished audio will not engage callers in the most positive way, so the finished messages are highly unlikely to be the same quality as using a professional voiceover.


2. How will the recording sound?

If you are going to use an employee to record your IVR Prompts, where, when and how will you do the recording? You could set up in a corner of the office or the boardroom but how much background noise is there? How long will it take to record every single prompt into the system then check over to ensure what has been recorded matches the script and is correct? When will you find the time to record? Wouldn’t you and or your employee be more productive doing your normal job, because it’s likely to take a while to record even the shortest of scripts, which brings us on to…


3. How long will the recording process take and what’s the real cost?

This fact is often overlooked. A professional voiceover will record an IVR script far quicker than an inexperienced wannabe! This means your employee could take all day to record a 500 word script correctly, something which a professional voiceover would have done in under an hour. This is compounded if you’re using a professional recording studio as you’ll be paying an hourly rate for studio hire. The longer it takes to get the script ‘in the can’ the longer the editing process will take removing all the fault starts or worse piecing together the best bits of several different takes, wastes precious studio time and costs money! So much so that the dramatic increase in studio hire costs can often outweigh the cost of hiring a professional voiceover artist in the first place.

Of course you can record at your premises but the quality will be nowhere near as good as a professional studio.


4. How often do you need updates?

Our professional voiceovers are in the studio most days so when a new IVR prompt needs recording we can usually turn it around in 24 - 48 hours. If your employee records in-house then if they’re not in the office this can delay important updates. If you’re using a recording studio, your employee will have to travel to a studio to record which increases lead times further.


5. What happens if the employee leaves the company?

At best they're unlikely to be willing or able to record new IVR prompts when needed. 

At worst they may ask for all the IVR recordings to be completely removed from the system, especially if they are moving on to a competitor.

This then creates a dilemma for you – to re-record or not to re-record? If you decide to take the plunge and re-record your entire set of messages, the aforementioned processes and stumbling blocks once more rear their ugly heads, and you will probably be left wishing you’d just bitten the bullet and recorded with a professional voiceover in the first place!

It’s also worth noting that voiceover work is probably outside the scope of an employee’s contract of employment so they may look for remuneration for their additional work.


We outlined the benefits of using a professional voiceover artist to record your IVR prompts in September last year click here to take a look.

If you have any questions or queries we’re always happy to discuss projects call us on 0161 850 3033.

Not all IVR Systems are customer facing

Over the past few months we have seen a rise in the number of IVR Messages being used for internal communications typically HR and IT Helpdesks.

Larger organisations with thousands of employees need to operate efficient systems for dealing with queries and an IVR system with professionally recorded IVR Messages can help internal departments control their workflow.

Professionally recording IVR Messages shows employees you've taken time to think about their experience as well as the customer experience.


by Steve Hindley you can find Steve on Google+

What are IVR Voice Prompts?

Quite simply IVR voice prompts are the spoken messages you hear when calling an automated telephone system.

When you call your bank, utility company, insurance broker, hotel chain...in fact with most large companies who provide customer service or ordering functions over the phone you're likely to be greeted by an IVR system which plays a number of IVR voice prompts, giving you the option to go through to different departments.

Who records these IVR prompts?

We do! We have a range of professional voice overs who have many years recording everything from TV and radio commercials to corporate narration and of course IVR prompts.

Why are IVRs used so much?If well designed and implemented properly (with of course professionally recorded IVR message prompts) IVR systems can improve call handling for not just companies but also clients by delivering callers to the correct department quickly and efficiently.

To discuss our IVR Prompt Recording Service and how an IVR system could improve your call handling efficiency give us a call on 0800 0112 123.