How to Test IVR Systems Using Test Scripts


You’ve just invested in a new Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution or back-end data system and integrated it with your customer journeys in mind. So what’s next? You’ll need to assure that these systems actually provide the customer experiences you've designed. To do this you must test them! You have two options... you can manually test your customer journeys, or you can automate the testing process. Either way, you'll need a testing plan full of test scripts.

But what exactly is a test script and how can it be applied in your contact center?


What is a test script?

A test script is a preset series of instructions that lays out exactly how you intend your IVR to work. Your system is then run against the test script and compared to this expected outcome. Did the customer journey you mapped out get you to the outcome you intended? Did these actions trigger the right IVR prompts? 

Ultimately, IVR testing gives you an understanding of where expectations aren’t matching the real-world scenarios your callers are experiencing. Test scripts can be used to test an entire system or, more often, a specific section or capability of your software. In addition to elements like your IVR system, test scripts can also be used to check on other channels you use to communicate with your customers, such as chatbots, SMS, email, and web features. 

Building a test script

Each test script begins with a test case — or a list of steps that your contact center system must undergo to be fully tested. A test script program, or a manual tester, then actually runs through these steps. Specific test cases can be used to handle various types of tests, such as regression testing and load testing.

By making it possible to continually check that your system is working the way it’s intended, a test script can pay massive dividends in ROI by increasing efficiency and ensuring a quality experience for real customers.

But developing a test script is not without its challenges. Test script authors must create tests that capture the full complexity of a system, or the part that they’re testing. They need to set instructions for the path a customer is most likely to take, as well as any unexpected or less common routes.

Using a proven testing software platform that helps you easily build test scripts and test case libraries can ensure test consistency, accuracy, and standardization — the keys to comprehensive testing. 

Test script applications

Once you have your test scripts written, it’s time to use them in your test plan to ensure the effectiveness of your system. Crafting a variety of automated test scripts gives you better testing options down the road. These scripts can be:

  • Placed in a library for future use. Just because an aspect of your CX or a particular customer journey has been tested to your satisfaction for now, doesn’t mean that you’ll never need to test it again. In fact, any time updates occur, new functionality is introduced, or additional steps on that customer journey are added, you’ll need to test to ensure that those changes haven’t caused any issues. Keep scripts on record for future testing if your system begins to vary from its intended outcome.
  • Used in a campaign. Testing one feature alone won’t necessarily reveal how your system’s overall CX is performing. Rather, use and reuse test scripts as a part of a larger testing campaign for greater visibility of how all aspects of your customer experience work together, both before launch and once your systems are live. 
  • Duplicated for similar tests. Contact center systems are complex and include many different functions. For sections with similar code, you can make simple adjustments to the script and avoid having to rewrite it from scratch.


Test scripts for automated and manual testing

Not every test script, and how you use it to test your systems, is created equal. Test scripts can be run manually — for example, by inserting code into a program, or making test calls to an IVR following a literal script and then documenting their experiences in a spreadsheet — or they can be automated by a testing platform or software solution.

Manual testing can be extremely time-consuming and can also limit the scope of what you’re testing. Because of time constraints, manual testers will usually only examine the items that they know have been changed from the script, rather than being able to look at the big picture to see if these alterations are having an effect in other areas of the system.

In contrast, an automated testing solution can be deployed rapidly and repeatedly. Solutions can even perform what’s known as continuous testing, in which an automated test script is run “on repeat” to monitor for changes.  Organizations using an automated testing platform like Cyara can determine how often and at what intervals to conduct automated tests. This allows teams to step away from the testing process to focus on other initiatives, and be alerted when a problem is found. 

With automated testing, you can:

  • Test widely. By removing the manpower and time concerns of a manual test, the right automated solution can efficiently cover more areas and ensure a fully functioning system.
  • Get objective results. Compared to a manual test, automated testing removes much of the potential for human error, ensuring testing does exactly what it’s designed to do.
  • Capture call recordings with each test. Automated tests can objectively rate items like sound quality, compared to a human tester.
  • Test before and after code goes into production: Along the road to a fully operational system, you can continually set tests for various elements and look for unexpected changes and challenges.
  • Save time: Ultimately, automating as many processes as possible saves time and increases efficiency in the long run, making it easier to test more and more frequently.


Your customers’ experiences with your contact center play a crucial role in their perception of your organization as a whole. Whether you’re focused on reducing costs or mitigating risk — or both — rigorous testing is a clear way to get results and has proven ROI. Test scripts offer one of the most consistent ways to run tests, especially when leveraging the benefits of automation as well.

Learn more about the power of automated testing, and how Cyara can help you ensure quality CX.