An IVR ( interactive voice response ) is one of the many touch points you have with your customers, meaning it’s an important opportunity for you to reinforce your brand and improve the customer experience. What modern customers are looking for is less formal and more conversational language that’s more akin to a real conversation, and using more engaging language in your IVR script can actually create a more productive and compelling experience for callers.
Getting the Show on the Road: Where to Start with Conversational IVR Scripts
First and foremost, the most important way to make your language more conversational is to make it more personal and realistic. For instance, use contractions wherever possible. Real people don’t say things like he is not and you are welcome in conversations: they say he’s, isn’t, and you’re. Your scripts should do the same. Another thing to think about with informal language is using clichés and sayings that people actually use, such as cool, be with you in a sec, and keep an eye on it.
Moreover, part of the point of personal language is to make customers feel like you care, instead of feeling like they’re a number in a line. One way to do this is by dropping the formal third person (he, she, the customer) in favor of the more personal second person (you). So what does this look like? Here’s an example:
Old formal message on hold script: “We understand that our customers’ time is valuable, and appreciate you holding on the line. Please continue waiting, and a representative will be available shortly.”
New conversational message on hold script: “Thanks for waiting. We know you’ve got a million things going on right now, and we’ll be here in just a few moments to give you our full attention.”
Choose Colorful Language to Paint a Picture
Engaging customers with your scripts is all about using descriptive language that creates vivid images in their minds. For example, instead of telling a customer that her package is expected to be delivered today (which is functional but bland), why not say “your parcel is in the hands of a cheerful and whistling mail carrier as we speak, so expect a knock on the door any time now.”
The important thing is that you help callers visualize what you’re telling them. Another great way to achieve this is by including earcons (auditory icons) of everyday noises, such as a doorbell ringing, a plane taking off, or a dog barking.
Don’t Shy Away from Humor
People like funny, and humor makes conversations more interesting and more personal. Humor is a great way to personalize your voice-user interface, especially meta-humor that emphasizes the idea that callers are interacting with a recording or machine. Here’s an example: a customer calls your organization and is greeted with the message, “Hey, thanks for calling. You’ve had a busy day, so why don’t you let me do the talking.”
The best practices for organization-consumer relations have evolved over the last few years, and customers today are looking for a different experience when they interact with the brands they like, and that includes your IVR scripts. The best way to ensure your scripts are engaging and that they enhance the customer experience is to make your scripts conversational, personal, humorous, and above all, human.