Engage Voice | Building a basic IVR (part 1)

Table of contents

The case

Dan Clay owns a propane and propane accessories company in Dallas, Texas. Due to an increase in customer service calls, Dan decides to build a basic IVR that can transfer calls to appropriate queues during business hours.
 
Most of the calls made to Clay Propane deal with billing. Other calls to Clay Propane involve product questions, orders, and all other inquiries not related to billing. 
 
Since Dan has some agents who specialize in billing and other agents who deal with all other inquiries, he only needs an IVR that results in two possible transfers.
 
However, Dan’s agents only work during business hours –– 8am to 5pm –– so he also needs his IVR to play a message and hang up when someone calls outside of business hours.

Goals

Create an IVR that can:
1. Manage inbound customer service calls 
2. Route calls to the appropriate queue during business hours

Plan

Create an IVR that includes the following:
1. An Answer node
2. A Play Audio node that plays a welcome message
3. A Date Time node that determines if calls can be transferred to a queue
4. A Get Input node that prompts callers to choose between billing and all other inquiries
5. Two Route nodes that send calls to appropriate queues
6. A Play Audio node that tells callers when they have called outside of business hours 
7. A Hangup node

Lessons

1. Using the Answer and Hangup nodes
2. Connecting nodes
3. Using and configuring properties for the Play Audio node, the Date Time node, the Get Input node, and the Route node
4. Configuring connector arrow properties for the Get Input node and the Date Time node

Recommended reading

Preconditions

Before building his IVR, Dan must upload his audio files to the Audio Library by navigating to Settings > Audio Library via the left-hand navigation bar. Specific instructions for how to upload an audio file can be found in Configuring an audio file
 
The audio files Dan creates will be used for the Play Audio node and the Get Input node. For example, Dan will probably want the Play Audio node to thank customers for calling but tell them they have called outside of business hours. He will also need to upload an audio file for the Get Input node that prompts callers to make a choice between questions about billing and all other inquiries. He might also consider adding files that tell callers when they have made an input error or fail to provide input. 
 
Before starting the steps below, Dan also needs to create an IVR group and an IVR. Specific instructions for how to do that can be found in Creating an IVR. Dan may also want to complete some configuration settings for his IVR such as assigning a DNIS so he can test his IVR by calling it. 
 
After uploading audio files and creating an IVR, Dan is ready to navigate to IVR Studio and begin the steps below.

Actions

1. Creating the IVR node connections
2. Configuring the nodes and connection of the IVR branch for calls within business hours
3. Configuring the nodes and connection of the IVR branch for calls outside of business hours

Step 1: Creating the IVR node connections

1. In IVR Studio, drag a Date Time node onto the canvas to the right of the Start node. Connect the Start node to the Date Time node
2. Drag a Play Audio node onto the canvas and place it above the Date Time node. Connect the Date Time node to the Play Audio node
3. Drag a Hangup node onto the canvas and place it to the right of the Play Audio node. Connect the Play Audio node to the Hangup node
4. Drag a Get Input node onto the canvas and place it below the Date Time node. Connect the Date Time node to the Get Input node
5. Drag a Route node onto the canvas and place it to the upper right of the Get Input node. Connect the Get Input node to this Route node
6. Drag a second Route node onto the canvas and place it to the lower right of the Get Input node. Connect the Get Input node to this Route node
7. Connect the Get Input node to itself to create a loop
Creating the IVR node connections

Step 2: Configuring the nodes and connection of the IVR branch for calls within business hours

1. Configure the connection properties for the arrow connecting the Date Time node to the Get Input node by double clicking on the question mark on the arrow connecting them. Create a new schedule for business hours
2. Configure the Get Input node by double clicking the node or by clicking on Edit in the popup menu when you hover your cursor over it

a. Enter a new name in the Node Id field (optional)

b. Select Exact Input under the Type dropdown menu

c. Check the Enable Speech Recognition box (optional)

d. Ensure the Save Input For Reporting box is checked if you want to save information for reporting

e. If you checked the Enable Speech Recognition box, use the Language field to choose a language 

f. Select audio files via the audio files fields as desired  

g. Under DTMF Input, enter a “1” and a “2” to represent the two queues callers can choose between. You will have to click Add Input to generate the field for the second digit (Please note: This field will be called Speech Input if you checked the Enable Speech Recognition box) 

h. Enter a number in the Response Timeout field

i. Enter a number in the Total Attempts field

j. Click OK to close the modal window

3. Configure the connector arrow properties for the arrow connecting the Get Input node to the first Route node by double clicking on the question mark on the arrow connecting them 

a. Select under Selection(s)

b. Click OK to close the modal window 

4. Configure the first Route node by double clicking the node or by clicking on Edit in the popup menu when you hover your cursor over it

a. Enter a node Id in the Node Id field (optional)

b. Select Queue under the Type dropdown menu

c. Select the queue you want to route to in this connection under the Queue dropdown menu

d. Click OK to close the modal window

5. Repeat steps 3-4 for the second Route node, but select under Selection(s) when configuring the connector arrow properties
6. Configure the looping arrow of the Get Input node that connects to itself by double clicking on the question mark in the arrow to bring up a modal window 

a. Select error

b. Click OK to close the modal window

IVR branch for business hours calls

Step 3: Configuring the nodes and connection of the IVR branch for calls outside of business hours

1. Configure the connector arrow properties for the arrow connecting the Date Time node to the Play Audio node by double clicking on the question mark on the arrow connecting them 

a. Select Out of Schedule

b. Click OK to close the modal window

2. Configure the Play Audio node by double clicking the node or by clicking on Edit in the popup menu when you hover your cursor over it

a. Enter a name in the Node Id field (optional)

b. Select one or more audio files via the audio files field 

c. Uncheck the Barge In box if you want to deactivate this property

d. Click OK to close the modal window

IVR branch for outside business hours call
There you have it! Dan has created a basic IVR with two main branches: one that informs the customer that the business is closed, and one that queues them to the proper agent for their particular concern.
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