IVR System

IVR – Interactive Voice Response – is a system that automates telephone interviews. Respondents use their touch tone phone key pad to respond to pre-recorded questions.

Inbound IVR overview

Inbound IVR overview

Inbound IVR is most effective when used with a captive or loyal respondent base such as employees or customers, especially when combined with incentives. Respondents are asked to call a toll free number to participate in a survey.



  • The toll free number identifies the proper questionnaire and can direct participants to the correct language
  • A password or pin number can also be used as a further screening tool



Methods of inviting participation



  • Invitation card or leaflet given by recruiter/employer/salesperson/etc.
  • Invitation on a sales receipt (point of sale)
  • Letter or mail-out
  • Phone call – can also be done as an outbound IVR invitation
  • E-mail
  • Web site
  • Social networking site opt-in


Optimal length of the interview


The optimal length for an IVR interview is within 8 minutes.


Participation rates


Participation rates vary, according to subject and respondent database, but are generally lower than standard phone interviews. The rates can improve with proper recruitment and incentives.



  • IVR surveys generally require an incentive
  • The value of the incentive is proportional to the difficulty of recruitment
  • All age groups seem willing to participate in IVR studies



Typical applications



  • Specific low-incidence studies where recruiting can be conducted at congregating points (e.g. Opera enthusiasts at the theatre, teenagers at a rock concert, etc.)
  • Captive audiences (e.g. Retail customer satisfaction studies, employee studies, identified buyers of new products)
  • Follow-up studies for previously conducted telephone interviews



To discuss how inbound IVR can be used for your survey, contact:


Randa Bell,
Executive Vice President