Most commonly used IVR phrases

Many people are disappointed when it comes to choosing effective phrases for their IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system – that’s a tough task. Would be great if someone helps with that, wouldn’t it? That’s what we are here for – to help you with this and make your IVR as effective as possible.

IVR messaging strategies

The first step in creating effective IVR messages is to build a strategy – not to come up with some intuitive ideas and record it all. Thus, you should learn some tips before starting creating any messages for your IVR.

Implementing an average wait time disclaimer into your greeting

It is an extremely important part – providing your customers with relevant information about how much time they are going to spend in that call queue. If you can’t handle long wait times, you should at least let customers know that – and if you say “estimated wait time is 5 minutes”, most of them are going to hang up, but it is a fair treatment for your clients. On the other hand, if you don’t do so, you will get numerous angry customers who are mad about such a way to provide service, and we can’t even imagine how many current customers you are going to lose.

Presenting best IVR messages in order of importance and IVR menu best practices


When you’re waiting on hold and listening to best IVR messages, it’s really easy to get distracted and stop listening to the options being presented (especially if they’re not relevant to you.) According to Steve Hindley, the Creative Director at iNarratorOnHold, 80% of people on hold will listen to the first message in your IVR tree, 20% will hear the second and 10% the third. Therefore, it’s crucial to present the IVR messages that you record according to importance, and the frequency at which people contact you regarding this issue.

Build an IVR tree in accordance with the needs of your customers, not intuitively. This is a popular mistake – studies show that only 20% of people listen to second option in the IVR menu, and this number drops to 10% for the third option. Isn’t this because they know there is nothing relevant there? Think about it. In addition, let’s say that there is nothing difficult in finding out the importance of exact issues for customers – you can just run a customer survey for this purpose.

Including a CTA message in your IVR messages

You can add CTAs (Call to Action) messages to your IVR tree, but only in one case – if they sound organically and don’t create an impression that you are trying to use even such a hated (by clients) tool as IVR for annoying advertisement. On the other hand, it is a great option to catch customer’s attention during on-hold times, for example – you can announce discounts or new offers during that time, where customer isn’t doing anything but listens to on-hold music.

Directing customers to FAQs and other communication channels

You can also mention that your IVR system isn’t your only self-service option for customers – mention that you have also a chatbot, knowledge base or FAQ section on the website, or even some video tutorials on YouTube. Yes, for most people it will be useless as they can’t switch from IVR to a website in one click, but others will notice it and even use your other self-service tools instead of spending half an hour in IVR menu.

Providing call-back option

Call-back option (callback option) is a vital feature for a contact center that is aware about customer feedback on IVR solutions. The impression customers have from using IVR that doesn’t provide this option isn’t positive, so try to implement it to save valuable time of your clients and improve customer engagement. 

Most frequently used IVR phrases: IVR menu best practices

Now let’s check out the most frequently used IVR phrases that can help you to build an effective IVR menu, improve customer experience, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. These phrases help to address simple questions and help customer service representatives more free from answering common issues. 

Greeting messages

“You’ve reached [company name]. Our team is currently occupied assisting other customers. To expedite your query, press 1 to leave a message or press 2 for a callback. Otherwise, stay on the line, and your call will be attended to in the order received. Your present wait time is estimated at 3 minutes.”

“Welcome to [company name]. Due to high call volume, please leave your name and contact number, and we’ll promptly return your call.”

“Thanks for reaching out to [company name]. We are unable to take your call at the moment. Kindly leave a message, or contact us during our business hours, Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. For urgent matters, explore our knowledge base or FAQs on our website’s ‘help’ section. Thank you!”

“Appreciate your call to [company name]. Explore our offerings at www.companyname.com. Our offices are closed, operating Monday to Friday, 8 am to 7 pm, excluding major holidays. Please leave your details and reason for calling, and the relevant department will reach out on the next business day. Email us at [email protected].”

Menu selection

“Menu options: Dial the extension if known. Otherwise, choose from the following: For account information, press 1; for product-related queries, press 2…”

“For Sales, press 1. For Technical Support, press 2. For Billing, press 3. To know more about our company, press 4. To replay this message, press pound.”

“Connecting you to the next available agent. Estimated hold time is 3 minutes. Check our website for a 20% discount on select items until October 13th.”

Bottom line

“Stay on the line; our customer support representative will assist you shortly.”

“Connecting your call now.”

After learning about effective IVR messaging strategies and reviewing these IVR message examples, you’re equipped to craft your unique IVR trees. Keep it concise, straightforward, and informative. Present messages by importance, use clear calls to action, inform about wait times, and consider adding promotions where relevant. Best of luck!