Most commonly used IVR phrases

Most commonly used IVR phrases

Oliver Stasinszky

Oliver Stasinszky

Last modified on January 3, 2023 at 8:04 am

Having trouble coming up with effective IVR phrases for your call center? Have no fear! We’re here to help. Coming up with the right phrases can be challenging, especially if you’ve never done it before. Because we want to help you out, we’ve created a simple guide that’ll walk you through it.

IVR messaging strategies

Before you start recording your IVR messages, it’s important to be aware of effective IVR messaging strategies. If you implement these best practices when creating your IVR messages, you’re bound to improve your customer satisfaction.

Implementing an average wait time disclaimer into your greeting
By letting your customers know the average wait time that they’ll have to endure, you’re setting their expectations straight from the get-go. For example, if a customer knows that they’ll have to wait 7 minutes to be connected to an operator, they’re more likely to wait on the line, rather than if they had to wait on hold blindly. According to our research, most customers are willing to wait for up 5 minutes before hanging up. Therefore, by letting your customers know that they’ll have to wait only a couple of minutes more than they would anyway,  you will effectively decrease the number of dropped calls that you receive.

Presenting IVR messages in order of importance
When you’re waiting on hold and listening to 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.

Including a CTA message in your IVR messages
Including Calls to Action (CTAs) in your IVR messages can be beneficial for your business. If a person is waiting on hold for a couple of minutes, they’ll probably hear your IVR menu and some hold music on repeat. However, if you limit the number of times you present the IVR menu, and record marketing messages instead, your customers can learn something new about your products and services ”organically.” For example, a great thing you can do is let your customers know that you’re offering a 20% discount on select products in your store. By adding a CTA to your IVR messaging you’re encouraging the continuation of your interaction past the phone conversation.

Directing customers to FAQs and other communication channels
Another great way to diversify your IVR messaging is by directing your customers to the FAQ section of your website, or your customer portals and knowledge bases. By letting your customers know that they may be able to find the answers to their questions online, you’re giving them a chance to avoid waiting on hold, and you’re also decreasing the number of incoming queries from customers, for which your agents will be grateful.

Most frequently used IVR phrases

Now that you’ve learned about the best practices of IVR messaging, we’re ready to show you the most commonly used IVR phrases that can serve as a template for your very own IVR menu.

Greeting messages

  • “You have reached [company name.] All of our agents are currently busy. Please hold and we will answer your call as soon as possible. Your current hold time is 3 minutes.”
  • “You have reached [company name.] All of our agents are currently assisting other callers. If you would like to bypass the waiting queue, you can press 1 to leave a message or press 2 to have an agent call you back. Otherwise, please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received. Your current hold time is 3 minutes.”
  • “You have reached [company name.] We are currently experiencing a high call volume. Please leave a message with your name and phone number and we will return your call as soon as possible.”
  • “Thank you for calling [company name.]  We are currently unavailable to take your call. Please leave a message after the beep, or contact us during business hours: Monday through Friday between 9 am and 5 pm Eastern Standard Time. If you need immediate assistance, check out our knowledge base or our FAQs in the ‘help’ section of our website. Thank you!”
  • Thank you for calling [company name]. To learn more about our products and services visit our website at Our offices are currently closed. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 7 pm except on major holidays. Please leave a message with your name, contact information, and the nature of your call and someone from the appropriate department will contact you on the next business day. Or, email us at

Menu selection

  • “If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. Otherwise, please choose from the following options: For account information press 1, for questions about a product you purchased press 2…”
  • “For Sales, press 1. For Technical Support, press 2. For Billing, press 3. For information about our company, press 4. To Repeat this message, press pound.”

Agent connection message

  • “Please hold while you are connected to the next available agent. Your hold time is estimated at 3 minutes. While you wait, feel free to check out our website. We’re offering a 20% discount on select items until October, Friday the 13th.”
  • “Please stay on the line. Your call is being connected to one of our customer support representatives.”
  • “Your call is being connected.”

Bottom line

Now that you’ve learned all about effective IVR messaging strategies and seen some IVR message examples, you’re ready to create your own IVR trees. Remember to keep it simple, short, and informative. Present IVR messages in order of importance, use CTAs, let people know how long they’re going to have to wait on hold, and add promotional messages as you see fit. If you need any other additional assistance, check out this link. Good luck!

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