How to script an awesome IVR customer satisfaction survey

Spoken | August 9, 2016

One of the most useful tools we have for measuring customer satisfaction is the post-call customer satisfaction or “CSAT” survey. And with the widespread adoption of IVR technology in the 90s and early 2000’s, IVR call flow design shifted away from engineers and into the hands of lay people. However, those people didn’t always know exactly how to design a customer-friendly call flow.

There is a bit of an art form to creating a CSAT survey that callers will enjoy participating in. One of the cost-cutting and customer-delighting tips we discussed on last month’s IVR webinar was how to design a call flow that would get the organization the results it requires while pleasing (or at least not annoying) the caller.

If you missed it, view the full webinar recording here.

We often write or suggest improvements to call flow scripts. Take, for example, this perfectly simple call flow script for an information-gathering customer service survey:

Please let us know why you canceled your service. Press 1 if you canceled because the service was too expensive. Press 2 if you canceled because you never used the service. Press 3 if you canceled because you do need the service, but it didn’t have the features you wanted. Press 4 if you canceled because you had a bad customer service experience. Press 5 if you canceled because you switched to a competing service.

Tip #1: Brief the caller on the menu length

If you must give a long menu of choices, begin by telling the caller how many options they will be choosing from. For example, with the above script, you would begin with Please select your reason for canceling from the following five options.

Confusing IVR menus can frustrate callers, so setting expectations for menu length is the first step in creating a positive customer experience.

Tip #2: Reason –> action

Listing the action before the reason is a classic IVR misstep that can be costly and drive both opt-outs and negative customer experiences. Especially when it’s necessary to enumerate a long list of items (“long” meaning more than four), it’s easier for callers to listen first for the reason and then for the action they must take.


The reasoning behind this is simple: callers will pay closest attention when they hear their trigger. In this case, “too expensive.” They will then be primed to hear “press 1” correctly. When “press 1” is listed first, their minds may wander by the time they hear “too expensive,” and they’ll either give up and opt out or be forced to listen to the enire list again.

Tip #3: Avoid repetition

You probably noticed another annoyance in the original call flow: the phrase “if you canceled” was repeated for each option, which would undoubtedly wear on the caller’s patience. Keep options as clear and concise as possible, and vet each one carefully for possible misunderstandings.

Check out how the Spoken IVR helped the Neat Company quickly and accurately vet their callers and route them to the right queue the first time.

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