How to set up an IVR system.

Ready to start setting up your own IVR system within your business communication system? Look no further. Here we will discuss everything you need to keep in mind when creating an IVR template; from greetings to multi-levels to choosing a provider.

Interactive Voice Response for Business

What is IVR? Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated voice response system that answers incoming calls and based on caller input, assists callers by directing them to the most appropriate agent or employee. In some cases, the system may even provide self-serving options for the caller to complete on their own without the help of a representative. To learn more, check out our definitive guide to using IVR.

This automated response system can be used in businesses across different industries. Click on the following links to learn how these industries use IVR:

What Can Your IVR System Do?

So, why are more and more businesses integrating IVR in their business communication systems? An automated system as such can help your business organize and manage high incoming call volumes by distributing calls beforehand and providing assistance. It does so using prerecorded messages, voice prompts, and follows a map prearranged and designed by the account owner.

Here are some ways an IVR system can benefit your business:

  • Greeting customers
  • Directing callers to voicemail
  • Transferring callers to the right department
  • Providing company information and updates such as office hours, location, etc
  • Verifying and activating new accounts
  • Processing payments and renewal requests
  • Recording complaints or concerns
  • Offering 24/7 customer service and support, and more

For these reasons, an IVR phone system can greatly impact a business’ productivity and efficiency as agents are not overwhelmed by calls. At the same time, callers are able to have their issues or concerns resolved promptly as well.

The Best Way to Create an IVR System

Most virtual phone service providers offer highly customizable IVR systems where you can create and map out the IVR to fulfill your business needs. Whether you want the system to merely route calls or transfer calls to the appropriate agent or if you want it to help callers complete tasks, providers make it easy for you to design the system.

And so, before you start setting it up, consider the following points:

  • What departments or field offices should the IVR route to?
  • Would you like to route based on language or location preferences?
  • What self-serving actions will your IVR system be allowed to complete?
  • When will it be required to transfer the call to an agent or representative?

Single or Multi-Level IVR?

Another aspect to take into account when setting up your IVR phone system is the number of levels it should have.

For example, say you are designing an automated voice response system for a pharmacy or medical answering service and you want to have only one level. You may choose to map it out this way: Press 1 to fill a new prescription, Press 2 to renew a prescription, Press 3 for drug information, Press 4 to speak with a representative, and so on.

However, if you want to make it more organized and provide more options, then you may choose a multi-level IVR format. You can start with language preferences and then move to the main categories:

→ Press 1 for English. Press 2 for Spanish.
→ Next, Press 1 for prescriptions, Press 2 for drug information, Press 3 to speak to a representative.
→ If the caller wants to fill or renew a prescription, then they will press 1 and hear these options:
Press 1 to fill a new prescription. Press 2 to renew a prescription.

When setting up the interactive voice response system, ensure that you do not create one that is too complex and hard to follow. Such a system may cause frustration if it bounces the caller around too much without leading to any resolution. Keep it simple and make it helpful.

Prompts, Greetings, Menu Options

Lastly, note that all IVR systems will have pre-recorded messages that support them and provide instructions or information to the callers. These messages may have an automated voice or human-like voice. Most IVR providers will allow you to upload voice messages to the system as you are setting it up.

You will want to have a message to greet callers, welcoming them to the company and providing useful information about the company such as business hours, locations, etc. You may also choose to provide information about upcoming events or promotions. Next, you need to also set up a voicemail message.

The other messages are the prompts or menu options the system will use to help callers navigate. This depends on how many and what type of options you want to provide the callers. Choose a voice that is simple and easy to understand.

Setting Up IVR

Creating and setting up IVR for business communication is simple. Global Call Forwarding offers virtual communication services such as IVR and more for businesses across the world. For more information and to get interactive voice response for your business, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or sign up on our homepage.


How to Set Up Interactive Voice Response (IVR System)

Takes About a day
Setting up your business IVR system
Necessary Items:
image step 1
Map out the departments to be included
Before you start setting up your IVR system, you need to first map out how you will design it. Consider what departments, offices, employees, and actions to include. In other words, what actions or tasks will your IVR be able to complete?
image step 2
Consider multi-level IVR
Depending on the type and number of actions you would like the system to complete, you may want to create a multi-level IVR, that is, a system with multiple branches.
image step 3
Choose a voice
Next, pick a voice that you would like to use for the system. Note that IVR providers often offer a variety of voices to choose from. However, you may also upload a voice of your choice to the system.
image step 4
Choose a provider
Choosing an IVR provider can make all the difference in how effective your system is. Global Call Forwarding offers IVR with all our virtual business number plans. You can customize the system as needed in our easy-to-use control panel.
image step 5
Purchase the service and other virtual communication features
Sign up for a virtual number plan on our homepage to start setting up your IVR system. Add other services to your plan such as call recording, outbound calling, etc.
image step 6
Upload your prompts and configure the menu
Once you have made your purchase and your account is active, log in to your account’s control panel, click on the number or line for which you want an interactive voice response, and start designing it. Create and upload prompts and greetings. Configure the menu. And test the system by calling it. From here, your IVR is ready to go.
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