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11 best practices for contact center interactive voice response surveys

One of the quickest and simplest ways to gather reliable information about your customer experiences is using interactive voice response surveys. IVR surveys give your company insightful information that may help you grow customer satisfaction and loyalty, while also demonstrating to customers that their opinions count. Customer feedback is without a doubt essential for contact center process optimization. 

It's easy to miss excellent practices for producing insightful, reliable replies in the rush to collect results. To guarantee that the results of any post-transaction survey are an accurate picture of the contact center experience, the objective is to get the customer to complete the survey. According to the study, 76% of customers prefer the traditional medium of phone calls to reach the company.

In addition, IVR surveys have been shown to produce useful data to assess contact center performance, but you still need to adhere to the following best practices for IVR surveys. You may improve productivity, give the greatest customer service, and simplify your operations with the help of these practices.

This article includes:

  • What is an interactive voice response IVR survey?
  • 11 best practices for contact center interactive voice response surveys
  • Conclusion

What is an interactive voice response (IVR) survey?

Following a phone call with a contact center agent, an Interactive Voice Response IVR survey is a common way to get customer feedback. Customers can reply to these automated pre-recorded questionnaires verbally or using the phone's keypad.

IVR surveys are frequently used in contact centers and other customer service environments to gather information on customer satisfaction, service quality, product feedback, and other relevant metrics. The IVR survey walks callers through a series of questions, often in an organized and planned style, and captures their answers for further analysis.

Instead of agent-administered customer satisfaction surveys, an IVR survey will most frequently deliver questionnaires after calls. Comparing post-call IVR surveys to online surveys, time is the main advantage. There is no possibility the caller will have had a second conversation before the survey, thus the customer's memory of their interaction with the agent is still fresh.

Therefore, it is obvious which interaction the data refers to when it is collected.

11 best practices for contact center interactive voice response surveys

Here are the best practices for creating effective interactive voice response surveys that can assist callers in getting information and resolving their issues without having to speak to an agent.

1. Set your goals

Select a topic for your IVR survey before you begin developing it. The topic should relate to the KPIs you need to immediately monitor. A succinct, straightforward subject keeps your survey on point and produces clear results.

Create a list of emphasis areas, such as brand recognition, problem resolution, customer satisfaction with the product, and customer satisfaction with customer service. Then, be as detailed as you can (for instance, the degree to which the problem they phoned about was solved to customer standards, their satisfaction with the contact center agent, their level of overall satisfaction, etc.).

However, your IVR survey's basis is its collection of responses. Answers may be used to test your theories and to give precise, distinct solutions that will help you achieve your long-term objective.

2. Create questions that are relevant to the topic

Next, make sure that the questions you create have a direct connection to the subject that you're researching. Focus your survey questions on topics that have a direct influence on the customer experience, agent performance, or certain business objectives.

One method of measuring customer satisfaction with interactions at contact centers is using an IVR survey. Asking how long they were on hold in this situation would not be beneficial.

Except if you're looking to see if their impression of wait time affected how satisfied they were with the employee handling the interaction.

You may stay on-topic by using skip logic. The facts gathered from your survey are more easily interpreted when they are closely related to your topic.

3. Develop simple and precise questions

Questions that are too general or vague run the risk of confusing customers and compromising the outcome. Avoid making customers confused by combining two questions into one. There is a time restriction on your audience. Every question in your survey takes up valuable space, and broad, general questions might skew survey results. Make sure your questions are precise and created with a particular objective in mind while writing your IVR script.

Let's say you want to measure the effectiveness of the customer service. "Was your agent knowledgeable and helpful?" are two separate questions. What if they were knowledgeable but unkind? To obtain reliable information, ensure that the questions are straightforward and clear.

Additionally, in an IVR survey, the language should be very concise. To ensure that every survey responder will understand the questions, avoid using any jargon and stick with simple word selections. 

4. Keep your survey short

Studies show that customers are more likely to abandon a survey the longer it is. Keep the survey short to encourage your audience to respond. Callers should only need five minutes to complete the survey (post-call surveys should take two to three minutes). However, you need just ask a few questions. Simple, direct inquiries should only ask fewer questions in order to receive a more insightful response in less than five minutes. It can also assist to boost response rates to state how long it takes to finish the survey at the start of the call.

5. Use the correct scale

Considering there is no visual and customers are limited to their keypad while answering the phone, it is a totally different experience than responding to an email, SMS, or pop-up survey. You must choose the right strategy for measuring the results after selecting your questions.

Extreme responses, such as "very excellent" or "absolutely terrible," are frequently avoided by survey responders. The majority of replies on a five-point scale will fall within three points of one another, which reduces variability and can lead to inconclusive data. You might choose to select a larger scale depending on your questions in order to obtain more conclusive information.

Typically, experts advise using a five-point scale, since it provides your callers with clear alternatives without being too overwhelming.

6. Use simple and precise language

All IVR survey participants might not understand questions with complicated language. Even if your target audience is extremely educated, using complicated language might make callers stop participating in the IVR survey because it feels "too difficult." 

However, clear communication reduces confusion and encourages callers to complete the survey. Eliminate any technical terms or industry jargon from your survey to get the best results.

7. Organize your survey questions in order of complexity

Customers that choose to respond to your survey are helping you out. Look at the survey's structure after you've decided what questions to ask. To keep a natural flow, arrange the questions in a logical order. Start with simpler or less delicate inquiries and work your way up to more complex or private ones. Don't skip between sections, and combine questions with similar answers together.

8. Utilize both voice and keyboard responses

Even while interactive voice response surveys are a convenient way for customers to react and provide a wealth of data, some people still choose to use a keyboard. Offering both voice and text choices will increase response. This makes sure that each caller interacts in the way that is most comfortable for them.

9. Test your survey

Don't publish the survey to the public without first testing it. Test the survey carefully to make sure it functions well and that all the questions are understandable. Run a test on a small group of customers, and then evaluate the replies to find any gaps.

Is there a particular question on the survey where callers tend to stop? Can the questions be improved or made simpler to elicit more answers? Before delivering the survey to your target audience, iterate as required.

10. Include a callback option

Including a callback option in your IVR survey is another excellent practice that shows callers how much you appreciate their time. Your customers are free to go about their daily activities, an agent will get in touch with them as soon as they're available. Callback options are useful to companies that deal with large call volumes since they shorten call lines and customer wait times.

However, you improve the entire customer experience by offering a callback option. Customers feel more appreciated and satisfied with your customer service when they have the freedom and convenience to choose when to be contacted.

Related article: What is a customer callback option & why it matters for excellent customer experience

11. Use caller surveys and analytics

IVR surveys are an excellent method to measure customer satisfaction and comprehend the purpose of their call. Surveys are a direct way for contact centers to learn more about the needs, interests, and experiences of their customers. If you know this information, your chances of making a successful IVR menu increase. Requesting feedback from customers not only improves the experience they have with you, but also shows them that you respect what they have to say.

To enhance your IVR survey, often review your system's data. Adjust and simplify your menus if customers are frequently hanging up during the third level of selections to reduce call abandonment. Some customer service providers give an analytics dashboard option that enables you to go further into the areas where customers are having problems with your IVR menu.


Interactive voice response IVR surveys that are well-designed provide useful information that is now simpler to process and comprehend. Make it simple for customers to express their opinions by providing brief, easy surveys and showing respect for their time. Provide alternatives for survey responses and be concise. 

You may improve customer service, streamline operations, and boost income at your contact center by putting the best practices outlined here into effect. You'll be able to give your customers the greatest experience this way.

Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about how the Live product family can help you to boost your global customer experience strategy. 

Learn more about how the Live product family can help you support and improve your customer experience strategy.

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