Basic IVR

The following is a basic IVR and the steps to create it.

This IVR does the following:

  1. Answers the main line with a recorded greeting.
  2. If it is after business hours, an additional message gives the normal business hours.
  3. Explains to callers that if they know their party’s extension, they can dial it at any time. (This is considered the beginning of the main IVR, so if we send callers back to the beginning of the menu we don’t force them to listen to our greeting each time.)
  4. Offers callers an option to use the company directory.
  5. Offers callers an option to hear a recorded service announcement.
  6. If it is after business hours, offers callers the option to leave a message.
  7. If it is during business hours, offers callers the option to speak to a Customer Service representative.

This IVR allows callers to dial an extension or select an option at almost any time during the message. However, when the initial greeting or the business hours are playing, the caller cannot interrupt those sounds.

If possible, you should use option numbers that do not start with the same digit that your extensions start with.

For a Switchvox IVR to function properly, it needs all of the items in the following sections:

Sounds

Our sample IVR uses the following sounds in the Sound Manager. A Best Practice is to create a new Sound Manager Folder for each particular IVR and put your custom sounds in that folder; however, you can use an existing IVR Folder if you prefer.

  • Business Hours “Our business hours are Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.”
  • Dial Extension “If you know your party’s extension, you can dial it at any time.”
  • For Customer Service “For Customer Service press 3.”
  • Greeting “Hello, thank you for calling! We’re happy to help you.”
  • Main Menu “Main Menu.”
  • Service Announcement “All services are functioning normally.”
  • To hear Main Menu “Press the star key to hear this menu again.”
  • To hear Service Announcement “To hear our current service announcement press 2.”
  • Use the Directory “To use our company directory press 1.”

IVR Menus

Our sample IVR uses the following IVR menus in the IVR Editor. It’s important to create these in the order given; you’ll see why as we go along.

1. Create a new IVR menu called Main IVR. For now, it will only have one action:

  • Action: Play Sound ‘Dial Extension’ (Interruptible)

2. Set up each of the component IVR menus:

  • Start at Main
    • Action: Play Sound ‘Main Menu’ (Interruptible)
    • Action: Go To IVR Menu / Action: Main IVR at entry point Play Sound (Dial Extension)
  • Play Business Hours
    • Action: Play Sound ‘Business Hours’ (Not Interruptible)
    • Action: Go To IVR Menu / Action: Start at Main at entry point IVR Menu Beginning
  • Dial Directory
    • Action: Dial Extension ‘411’
  • Play Service Announcement
    • Action: Play Sound ‘Service Announcement’ (Interruptible)
    • Action: Go To IVR Menu / Action: Start at Main at entry point IVR Menu Beginning
  • Dial CS
    • Action: Dial Extension ‘611’
  • Dial CS Voicemail
    • Action: Send to Voicemail ‘610’
  • Customer Service
    • Action: Time Based Clause: within the time range Outside Business Hours, go to Dial CS Voicemail at entry point IVR Menu Beginning
    • Action: Go To IVR Menu / Action: Dial CS at entry point IVR Menu Beginning

3. Finish setting up Main IVR:

  • Action: Play Sound ‘Greeting’ (Not Interruptible)
  • Action: Time Based Clause: within the time range Outside Business Hours, go to Play Business Hours at entry point IVR Menu Beginning
  • Action: Play Sound ‘Dial Extension’ (Interruptible)
  • Action: Play Sound ‘Use the Directory’ (Interruptible)
  • Action: Play Sound ‘To hear Service Announcement’ (Interruptible)
  • Action: Play Sound ‘For Customer Service’ (Interruptible)
  • Action: Play Sound ‘To hear Main Menu’ (Interruptible)

 

  • Option 1: Dial Directory at IVR Menu Beginning
  • Option 2: Service Announcement at IVR Menu Beginning
  • Option 3: Customer Service at IVR Menu Beginning
  • Option *: Start at Main at IVR Menu Beginning
  • Option Setting: Enable extension dialing: Extension Group that can be dialed

Extensions

Set up (or just verify) the following extensions in Manage Extensions:

  • Main IVR (800)
    This should be an IVR extension.
  • Customer Service (611)
    This should be a Call Queue extension.
  • CustomerService Voicemail (610)
    This should be a Virtual extension.
  • Directory (411)
    This should be a Directory extension.
  • Employee phone extensions
    These should be SIP extensions for your employees.

Note: The CustomerService Voicemail extension can be set up to forward all of its voicemail to your customer service representatives. You can do that in the Extension Suite's (/main) Voicemail Options and the Forwarding tab.

Testing

It’s important to test an IVR before you let your callers reach the IVR’s extension. Call the extension yourself, listen to the sounds that are played, and try to dial an extension. Call several times, choosing each of the different options. You can test Option 3 and the Time Based Clause by changing your Time Frame Outside Business Hours (for details, see Time Frames). Or, change the Time Based Clause in Main IVR to During Business Hours, check to make sure you get the correct behavior for outside of business hours, then change the Time Based Clause back to Outside Business Hours.

A Working IVR

To set up Switchvox so that Main IVR answers all of your calls, set your Callback Extension to 800 (the extension we gave Main IVR). That setting is available on the VOIP provider page, or in Channel Groups, depending on how your main phone number is handled.