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How to Create a User-Friendly IVR System - DiRAD Technologies - Blog

How to Create a User-Friendly IVR System

When done right, customers can find an IVR system immensely useful. However, when set up improperly an IVR system can be extremely frustrating for customers.

We have all experienced these situations. You call to book a simple appointment and are all of the sudden loss in an endless maze of questions, passwords, and detail retrieval. This one frustrating experience alone is enough to turn people from a satisfied, loyal customer, to one who has one foot out the door.

Surely there is a better way to set up a user-friendly automated answering system?

Of course there is!

woman working at a call center

10 Ways To Make Interactive Voice Response More Customer-Friendly

  1. Create a Natural Language-Based IVR System

    Rather than relying on a limited menu system, natural language IVR systems allow customers to answer open-ended questions such as “How can I help you?”. Unlike traditional IVR systems, natural language recognizes phrases that are natural for the customer to use and can ask follow-up questions or connect the customer to the appropriate agent or self-service system.

  2. Keep Menu Options Simple

    When utilizing a menu system, it is tempting to offer a variety of different choices. It can easily feel like you are helping your customers by giving them this wide variety of options. However, in reality, all of these options just lengthens the call and can be extremely confusing. In fact, when presented with a long list people find it more difficult to choose the category that best suits them remember which number corresponds to which category.

    Your motto should be less is more. In order to keep options simple, it is best to present your caller with no more than 3-5 broad category options that reflect the most common inquiries. As the call progresses, you can then divide the categories into more specific branches. Remember the motto though. Less is more. Having too many steps can be just as confusing and frustrating as having too many menu options.

  3. Give Popular Options First

    In addition to keeping your menu options simple, it is important to put the most frequently used options at the beginning of the list. This means doing research to find out why customers call in to contact you and prioritizing your menu options on these results.

  4. Personalize Messages to Sound Human

    Your caller will be aware that they are interacting with a computer, there is no hiding that. However, a personalized greeting message can really make a difference and give your interactive voice response system a more human touch. When recording, your voice artist should aim for a conversational tone that sounds natural. Don’t overuse “OK” and “thank you” as that can wind up sounding very phony and computerized.

  5. Don’t Waste Customers’ Time

    Automated answering systems are long enough. For this reason, it is important to avoid unnecessary messaging like “your call is very important to us”. Most IVR openings include an introductory message that clearly identifies the company. This is fine, but make sure that this message is short and to the point. It should be no more than 7 seconds. Don’t waste time with marketing messages. Instead, save those messages while the caller is in the queue.

  6. Give The Option To Speak to A Real Person

    Even the best-designed IVR systems cannot serve all callers. Because of this, it is important to let them a caller get to a live person at any stage of the call. Or if a live person is not an option, at least give them an option to request a callback.

  7. Allow Barge-In

    In order to respect your caller’s time, it is important to give them the capability to skip ahead and choose their option at any point. This is particularly crucial for longer menu options. Forcing a caller to wait until the end of the menu options list leads to unhappy, frustrated customers.

  8. Provide Alternate Channels

    These days, not everyone wants to talk on the phone. Particularly if your customers fall into the younger demographic. We recommend providing an interactive text messaging “IVR” option in addition to your traditional phone IVR.

  9. Consider Multi-Language IVR

    Depending on where you live and who you serve, a multi-language IVR system could be a must. This kind of IVR system could be built with plenty of self-service features and reduce the need to hire alternate language staff to handle calls. When choosing your voice talent for alternate languages, be sure you are utilizing a native speaker for the best results.

  10. Collect Feedback

    After you go live with your IVR system, it is important to regularly review your setup. Review your IVR abandonment rate, first call resolution rates, and customer satisfaction levels to see where your process and messaging could improve.

Create The Right IVR Solution with DiRAD

As a leader in speech technology, we have worked with businesses of all types and sizes to deliver next-generation interactive voice response systems that customers prefer to use. If you are committed to creating a user-friendly IVR system from the get-go, we are here to help. 

Publish Date: May 10, 2021 9:02 PM

2021 Buyers Guide Help Desk Software

eGain Corporation

eGain CallTrack™
eGain CallTrack™ is a dynamic call tracking and case management solution that helps companies provide quick, high-quality, and cost-efficient resolution of customer issues across traditional and emerging interaction channels. It is one of the many innovative customer interaction products in eGain Solve™ suite, the unified customer engagement and knowledge management software suite, which helps businesses transform their traditional call centers into omnichannel customer engagement hubs. eGain CallTrack will enable you to track, manage and resolve cases and maintain service level agreements (SLA), across channels.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!


Knowmax is an omnichannel knowledge management platform. Our mission is to transform contact centers into resolution centers and drive customer self service.
The platform is an industry-agnostic enterprise-grade knowledge platform with components helping in easy findability of actionable information at the right time across the desired touchpoint.

Nuxiba Technologies

Nuxiba's Help Desk Software is ideal for delivering top-level contact help desk services. It not only tailors to your existing technology resources but also allows you to set staff priorities that forward clients to the most knowledgeable agents.

Give personalized assistance, and analyze performance with our real-time monitoring, recording, and reports. Integrate Salesforce or VTiger CRM systems, be TCPA compliant, protect your cardholder's data during calls, and more!

Request a quote or demo today and start the journey to increase your first-contact resolution percentages in less than three months!


OneDesk's software combines Helpdesk & Project Management into one application. No need to purchase, integrate and switch between applications. Your team can support your customers and work on projects in one place. Aimed at SMBs as well as departments at large enterprises, OneDesk is frequently used by project managers, customer service, IT, professional services and more. This easy-to-use, feature-rich, and highly configurable software can manage both ticket & task workflows.

Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

ActivDesk Help Desk Software
ActivDesk Help Desk Software is an intelligent ticketing software for multi- channel customer interaction & engagement. It streamlines the entire ticket management process. With its SLA & escalation management, it enables your help desk to deliver enriching customer experience.

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