Time has become a critical competitive advantage in today's business markets where "rapidity drives revenue." Due to ongoing advancements in technology and individualization, customers have become more impatient and expect rapid resolutions to their issues. But when you're handling customers in bulk, how do you effectively compartmentalize the incoming calls to help your callers navigate to the right solutions at the right time with Zoho Voice?
What is an IVR phone tree?
An IVR phone tree is an automated multilevel telephone information system that interacts with your callers by greeting them, gathering their choices, and routing them intelligently to the right solution provider. Callers respond by pressing the dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) phone keys to register their choices, which connects them to their destinations, as programmed in the IVR.
Best practices that deliver a better IVR experience
Keep your IVR menus clear and simple, and relay only essential information.
Avoid killing your callers' patience with a wide variety of IVR menus. Enable them to choose easily by not crossing more than five menu options under each level.
State the function first and then the directions. Example: Instead of “Press 1 for Sales,” say “For Sales, press 1.”
Once in an IVR menu, make sure your callers are informed of the menu they've chosen. Example: "You have pressed 1. Welcome to Sales."
Always provide your callers an exit route through options that help them return back to the main or previous IVR menu.
Give your callers an option to connect with an agent at any stage in the IVR.
Keep your customers informed of their position in the IVR queue.
Use simple, user-friendly language throughout your IVR tree.
Choose a professional voice talent with a warm voice for your audio IVR.
Use a single voice throughout your IVRs. Refrain from using multiple voices as it may cause voice mismatches and confuse listeners. You should also maintain a uniform volume and pitch throughout the whole IVR.
IVRs often serve as the first interaction with your customers. Make sure it reflects your brand or business by adding character to it.
Tweaking your IVRs can eliminate various issues that trigger confusion and frustration in your customers, and can prevent them from getting lost in a maze of menus.
How to set up an IVR using Zoho Voice?
Zoho Voice enables you to set up an automated interactive voice response (IVR) to help your customers navigate to the right team and agent when they call a specific phone number. IVR is more suited for complex businesses for whom streamlining the caller experience enhances the efficiency of customer engagement and the productivity of your agents.
Would you like to explore how Zoho Voice's IVR works? Try it for free!
Creating an IVR Profile
To create a new IVR, go to the Call Config page and click Create New IVR for the number of your choice. This takes you to the IVR Menu Config, where you can design the call flow for the IVR Profile.
Configure the service menus and define how each IVR level branches out and executes the call flow.
Announcement: This is the opening message that is played when a caller calls this number. You can use text or upload an audio file to configure messages.
DTMF key: Assign a key to each service menu. The key can be a number from zero to nine, star (*), or pound (#).
Action: The selected key can be assigned to a specific action. There are six actions.
Play IVR - This action takes the caller down to the next level of IVR menu.
Call Agent / Queue - The caller gets dispatched to a relevant agent or queue.
A Call Action Handler has to be configured to assess the availability of the assigned agent or queue. If the specific agent is unavailable (busy/offline), the caller can be diverted to a voicemail or to relevant sub agents or queues.
When directed to a voicemail, you can configure a message asking the caller to leave a message detailing their queries, to be answered by the agent later.
Forward to - Forwards the caller to an alternate number. This can be a Zoho Voice number or any other external number.
Call an Extension - Enables the caller to key in the extension of a specific agent.
Go to Prev - Redirects the caller to the parent level menu.
Go to Main Menu - Redirects the caller to the main menu.
Welcome message: This is the message that the caller will hear after they click the key to select this menu. This informs the caller where/who they are being taken to.
⨁ : The Add icon extends the number of parent service menus and corresponding sub menus under each parent service menu.
Cloning an IVR profile
You can clone an IVR profile you have already configured for a number and use it for a different number. Click Clone IVR in the IVR profile section in the Call Config page and select the required IVR configuration to be used for the number.
When you clone an IVR that has agents or queues to whom the new number is not assigned, agents will still be able to receive calls made to the new number.
In order to test if the call flow designed is delivering the right caller experience, and to make any necessary changes, Zoho Voice offers a Preview IVR option. Clicking on it pops up the IVR Key pad.
Key in the required DTMF keys to see if the target action plan leads the caller through a simple, logical, and efficient call flow. The preview screen in the key pad presents each text message under the call flow. Once you find the configuration satisfactory, click the Save option.
Zoho voice deploys a sophisticated text-to-speech module that helps your organization deliver its IVRs in a customized automated voice in over 16 languages.
Sign up now and equip yourself with powerful features like IVRs that can do all the heavy lifting for your agents and help them deliver great customer experiences—all while reducing costs for your business.