There are many things to consider when writing interactive voice recordings (IVRs) and designing a positive caller experience, which can seem daunting. My team and I have broken down the process to help you to identify the most important elements and how to tackle each one.

Tone of Voice

This is extremely important for your brand identity and to ensure you are creating the right impression. How approachable or corporate do you wish to sound? Also, it is important to align the tone of voice with the profile of your target audience... your clients and prospective clients remembering that this may be the only human-to-human interaction they have had with your business. This goes down to "Thank you for calling" versus "Thanks for calling" or "an agent" versus "a member of our team" when you choose the language and vocabulary that your brand represents.

Read any scripts you write out loud as often reading in your head is more fluent than when the words are actually spoken. It may come over different so it is good to sanity checks it.


Too much repetition is an easy trap to fall into especially with auto-attendant menu option choices. The most common example of this is when the message says... "Press 1 for, Press 2 for, Press 3 for, etc."

A really simple and effective way of removing monotony from the auto-attendant message is to tweak the wording slightly using the same example... "To speak with Press 1, For our expert team Choose 2, Select 3 to raise a ticket so for everything else it's 4."

This is definitely more engaging and personal and much less robotic. What's more, describing the option makes for betting routing, less confusion and a better experience for the caller.

Keep it Simple

Clarity and simplicity are the fundamentals in making a successful caller experience. Review the call flow of your telephone system and the customer journey through that system to identify any unnecessary options or routes that all ends up to the same skillset of people.

The idea is to limit the number of option choices to a maximum of 5 and to position the most commonly selected options at the beginning as to make as early in the caller's journey as possible.

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Call to Action

If you want your caller to do something specific, make sure it is the last thing that they hear in any message and that they will understand why it is needed. Take the example I gave earlier about tweaking the auto-attendant message, the number choice was given at the end, informing the caller to "Choose 1, Press 2 or Select 3" as to ensure that the call to action was at the end of the message.

When sharing information such as phone numbers or website addresses, this is where repetition is a good mechanism. Remember not all callers are expecting you to throw out a number or website so need that additional opportunity to memorise or write it down.

Website Address

Quoting your website or social media in messages can be a double-edged sword and whilst you may think you are being helpful and directing callers to valuable and useful information remember that your call may have started their journey online.

Ensure that any deflection adopted in your messaging is benefit led. Reiterate to the caller why they should not just hold. For example... "to save time, we have put the answers to our most frequently asked questions on our website..."

If you are an established brand with many online visitors, you can even drop the URL from your message and simply say... "see our website" rather than... "visit"

Cut to the Chase

Keep your IVR prompts and messages clear and to the point. Irrelevant information will confuse and frustrate callers. Stick to one topic per message. For instance, if you are communicating opening hours, don't let include product information or dilute the importance of the message... stick to the point.

Calls are Recorded

How cliché and old hat is the message... "calls are recorded for quality and training purposes" and what value does that give your caller? Whilst it is important to advise people, use more positive language to promote how and why it is important to them. Use the opportunity to say... "To make sure we always provide a great service, we records our calls...". Doesn't that give a better message and make the customer experience feel valued and important to your business?

In Summary

Take the time to review your current customer journey and use this opportunity to simplify and enhance the value you give. Remember that the customer may have already visited your website or seen your social media and that is why they are calling so don't send them straight back there. Speak their language and give clear, concise directions.

We hope that these tips are useful and help you improve your own IVR recordings for your telephone system. However, if you want to explore what Axis VoicePrompt pre-build messages and scripts are included in it's library, visit

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