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6 Best Practices for IVR Design to Improve Customer Experience

  • Sweta Chakraborty
  • 01 May 2021

ivr design

Very often, I'm not too fond of connecting with a brand via an IVR. The idea of jumping through meaningless options and missing out on the right prompt is tedious. Sometimes, I just want to talk to an agent, but that option is either missing or at the end of a chain of commands. More or less, we all have had similar experiences, and we dread calling customer support. 

This is no longer how I feel. A majority of consumers have a negative sentiment towards IVR experiences. They are usually shocked when they get their issues resolved at the very first attempt. Most consumers believe that a company purposely designs flawed IVRs, so they do not tend to customers. Such negative reflections of a brand can do severe damage to the business side of things. 

To ensure that your customers feel relieved when they contact you via IVR, you need to design it objectively. In this blog, we will discuss critical points to keep in mind when planning your IVR flow

How To Design A Helpful IVR Flow?

When creating the IVR flow, keep the user in mind. Do not plan according to company ease, but for enhanced customer experience. Before treading this road, you must analyze every tiny detail of your company. This will include knowing your employee strengths, your existing accounts, your products and their common issues, and lastly, your business policies. All of this information will give you the perspective required to build the ideal IVR for your brand. 

Knowing your customers better before every call is essential. Some of these processes can be automated, like customer verification or payment reminder. However, when connected through an agent, the agent must be well-equipped as well. 

IVR design statistics

Source: VoiceSage

Tips To Build An Ideal IVR

Building a customer-centric IVR requires attention to details. You cannot simply put together a bunch of options and hope to help. Here are 6 tips to ensure customer satisfaction through IVR design.

1. Offer Live Agent Option In Main Menu:

Customers often just want to connect with an agent. This option is always hidden behind many other prompts due to skill grouping. However, it is the least of the customer's concern. 

So it is better to offer a live agent option for generic queries on the main menu. This can be assigned as the last option on the main menu. Even if customers don't find their correct requirement, they can always feel confident to reach the live agent. 

2. Do Not Include Marketing Messages In Your IVR:

A prevalent practice in many brands is to include their marketing messages or offers in their IVR flow. This is an absolutely frustrating trait of these businesses.

An already concerned customer will be calling your number with a solution-seeking mindset. Greeting already angry or frustrated customers with a marketing message is terrible customer service. Instead, keep a different queue for sales-based inquiries and broadcast your marketing messages on that channel. 

3. Allow Voice-Recognition With Adequate Pauses:

Many times I failed to understand what the IVR said and was unable to answer back correctly. This happens when the IVR keeps speaking without offering adequate pauses for turn-taking. 

Intelligent voice recognition software will automatically offer natural pauses for the customer to share their details. This is supposed to have a conversational flow without any unnecessary wastage of time. Remember, the delays should be adequate for the customer to speak freely. 

4. Invest In CRM To Know Your Caller:

A customer-friendly business will always attempt to know its callers. A CRM integration will detect existing customer information and recognize the caller. This will update the IVR with relevant account details and offer appropriate prompts. 

CRMs also aid live agents with all the customer information when the IVR routes the call to them. In other words, your customer support team will be able to offer premium personalization every time someone calls. 

IVR-CRM Integration

Source: Quora

5. Tryout Voice Biometrics:

Voice biometrics were always a part of the customer support industry, but it never got attention until now. Voice biometrics is a security system for your accounts, which can only be unlocked through the customer's voiceprint. 

When an existing customer is calling, the biometric will run tests to match the system's voiceprint with the current file. This speeds up the authentication process by at least 80%. 


Voice Biometrics Infographic

Source: Emergen Research

6. Keep Updating Your IVR Prompts Regularly:

Lastly, keep updating your IVR flowchart. It gets a bit monotonous and sends the wrong message about your brand. You can mention essential updates about your off-days or outage or anything which will benefit your customers. 

You can also improve your greetings with changing seasons or festivals to keep things updated. If a vendor manages your IVR, then it might be a tedious task. With our IVR solution, you can have complete control of your IVR flow, design it, or update it whenever you want without consulting a technician from your vending company. 


IVRs are still very much in trend. As businesses grow, they must invest in their IVR design to make it customer-friendly. There must be options for live-agent, feedback, scheduling and more. 

The above-listed tips are tried and tested by many industry experts. This will ensure a customer-first IVR design. 

Checking the IVR containment rate will provide a good insight on how helpful your IVR is in fielding customer queries and in case any redesign is required. Also, we suggest you to check the IVR report to understand the call concentration around specific nodes and if those nodes can be brought rather upstream so that customers don’t have to traverse a longer journey in the IVR.

Apart from these tips, make additional curations based on your unique business needs. 


Author Bio:  Sweta is a passionate technical writer with an experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.

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