How to use IVR

  • Updated on September 14, 2022

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is a telephony technology in the telecom industry allowing customers to interact with the host system in real-time through a configurable voice menu using the caller’s DTMF tones.

When accessing the IVR system, customers are usually prompted with a welcome message and provided with different destinations where they can be redirected by pressing appropriate digit(s).

IVR systems are used in many industries where customers need to interact with the system to access appropriate service or departments without passing by a receptionist, such as in banks, call centers, customer services companies, hotels, insurance companies, hospitals, and more.

In other words, IVR can be considered as a digital receptionist with no need for a receptionist. IVR can be also used in conjunction with an office receptionist.

This document introduces the configuration of the IVR on the UCM6xxx series with examples illustrating the use of its features.

UCM6XXX series include UCM620x, UCM630x, UCM630xA and UCM6510 series.

IVR Configuration

Using the UCM6xxx series, administrators can create up to 500 IVR systems. UCM6xxx series support IVR with up to 5 layers.

Please refer to the following paragraphs in order to configure the IVR on the UCM6xxx Series:

IVR Creation (Basic Settings)

IVR features menu is accessible on the UCM6xxx series under Web GUI 🡪 Call Features 🡪 IVR.

First press “Create New IVR” to create a new IVR system.

Figure 1: Create a New IVR

Users could create, edit, view and delete an IVR from “Manage IVR” menu.

  • Click on “Create New IVR” to add a new IVR.
  • Click on to edit the IVR configuration (if available).
  • Click on to delete the IVR (if available).

Once is pressed, you will be redirected to IVR configuration interface as displayed on the following screenshot.

Figure 2: IVR Basic Configuration

The following table describes the basic configuration options available for IVR features:

Name

Configures the name of the IVR. Letters, digits, _ and – are allowed.

Extension

Specifies the extension number for users to access the IVR.

Dial Trunk

If enabled, all callers to the IVR are allowed to use trunk. The permission must be configured for the users to use the trunk first. Default setting is “No”.

Permission

Assign permission level for outbound calls if “Dial Trunk” is enabled.

The available permissions are “Internal”, “Local”, “National” and “International” from the lowest level to the highest level.

The default setting is “Internal”.

If the user tries to dial outbound calls after dialing into the IVR, the UCM6xxx will compare the IVR’s permission level with the outbound route’s privilege level. If the IVR’s permission level is higher than (or equal to) the outbound route’s privilege level, the call will be allowed to go through.

Auto Record (UCM630x/UCM630xA only)

If enabled, calls to this IVR will automatically be recorded.

Dial Other Extensions

Controls the destination that can be reached by the external caller via the inbound route. In other words, if enabled, callers can dial an extension number when accessing IVR and the call will be redirected to entered extension destination. The available destinations are:

  • Extension
  • Conference
  • Call Queue
  • Ring Group
  • Paging/Intercom Groups
  • Voicemail Groups
  • Fax Extension
  • Dial By Name
  • All

IVR Black/Whitelist

Allows users to restrict the extensions that can be reached from IVR.

  • If the user selects “Blacklist Enable” and adds extension in the list, the extensions in the list will not be allowed to be reached via IVR.
  • If the user selects “Whitelist Enable” and adds extension in the list, only the extensions in the list can be allowed to be reached via IVR.

Internal Black/Whitelist

Lists the available / selected extension numbers.

External Blacklist/Whitelist

Used only when Dial Trunk is enabled. External numbers will be added as follows: number1, number2, number3 …

Replace Display Name

If enabled, the UCM will replace the caller display name with the IVR name the caller know whether the call is incoming from a direct extension or an
IVR.

Return to IVR Menu

If enabled and if a call to an extension fails, the caller will be redirected to the IVR menu.

Alert-Info

When present in an INVITE request, the alert-Info header field specifies an alternative ring tone to the UAS.

Prompt

Selects an audio file to play as the welcome prompt for the IVR, users can use up to 5 IVR welcome prompts. Click “Record New Custom Prompt” to add audio file(s) under web GUI🡪PBX Settings🡪 Voice Prompt🡪 Custom Prompt. (Please refer to Create Custom Prompt )

Digit Timeout

Configures the timeout between digit entries. After the user enters a digit, the user needs to enter the next digit within the timeout. If no digit is detected within the timeout, the UCM6xxx will consider entered digits as complete. The default timeout is 3 seconds.

Response Timeout

After playing the prompt in the IVR, the UCM6xxx will wait for the DTMF entry within the timeout (in seconds). If no DTMF entry is detected within the timeout, a timeout prompt will be played. The default setting is 10 seconds.

Response Timeout Prompt

Selects the prompt message to be played when timeout occurs. (Please refer to Create Voice Prompt )

Invalid Prompt

Selects the prompt message to be played when an invalid extension is pressed. (Please refer to Create Voice Prompt )

Response Timeout Repeat Loops

Configures the number of times to repeat the prompt if no DTMF input is detected. When the loop ends, it will go to the timeout destination if configured, or hang up. The default setting is 3.

Invalid Repeat Loops

Configures the number of times to repeat the prompt if the DTMF input is invalid. When the loop ends, it will go to the invalid destination if configured, or hang up. The default setting is 3.

Language

Selects the voice prompt language to be used for this IVR. The default setting is “Default” which is the selected voice prompt language under web GUI🡪PBX Settings🡪 Voice Prompt🡪 Language Settings. The dropdown list shows all the current available voice prompt languages on the UCM6xxx. To add more languages in the list, please download voice prompt package by selecting “Check Prompt List” under web GUI🡪PBX Settings🡪 Voice Prompt🡪 Language Settings.

Table 1: Basic Configuration Options for IVR Features

IVR Managing (Key Pressing Events)

After creating the IVR system, the administrator needs to configure “Key Pressing Events” by assigning a keypress to a specific action or destination.

To manage IVR events, access the “Key Pressing Events” tab as shown in the below screenshot and assign digits to use with the appropriate destination or action.

Figure 3: IVR Advanced Configuration

The following table describes available options that can be assigned on Key Pressing Events:

Key Pressing Events

Key Press Event:

Press 0

Press 1

Press 2

Press 3

Press 4

Press 5

Press 6

Press 7

Press 8

Press 9

Press *

Select the event for each key pressing from 0-9, *, Timeout and Invalid. The event options are:

  • Extension
  • Voicemail
  • Conference Rooms
  • Voicemail Group
  • IVR
  • Ring Group
  • Queues
  • Page Group
  • Fax
  • Custom Prompt
  • Hangup
  • DISA
  • Dial By Name
  • External Number
  • Callback

Timeout

Configures the destination when the Timeout Repeat Loop is done.

Invalid

Configures the destination when the Invalid Repeat loop is done.

Table 2: Key Pressing Events for IVR Features

Create Voice Prompt

Prompts on IVR can be customized/personalized at the customer’s convenience by either recording or uploading new prompts.

Click on the “Prompt” option as shown on the following figure to be redirected to the “Voice Prompt” page, or go to Web GUI🡪PBX Settings🡪 Voice Prompt🡪 Custom Prompt page directly.

Figure 4: Create IVR Prompt

Once the IVR prompt file (created/uploaded) is successfully added to the UCM6xxx, it will be shown in the prompt list options to select in different IVR scenarios.

Record New Custom Prompt

In the UCM6xxx Web GUI🡪PBX Settings🡪 Voice Prompt🡪 Custom Prompt, click on “Record New Custom Prompt” and follow the steps below to record a new IVR prompt.

Figure 5: Record New Custom Prompt

  1. Specify the custom prompt file name.
  2. Select the format (GSM or WAV) for the IVR prompt file to be recorded.
  3. Select the “Extension” to receive the call from the UCM6xxx to record the IVR prompt.
  4. Click the “Record” button. A call will be initiated to the selected extension.
  5. Pick up the call and start the recording following voice prompts.
  6. The recorded file will be listed in the IVR Prompt web page (see figure 6). Users could select to re-record, play, download or delete the recordings.
Figure 6: Custom Prompt List

Upload Custom Prompt

If the user has a pre-recorded IVR prompt file, click on “Upload Custom Prompt” in Web GUI under PBX Settings 🡪 Voice Prompt 🡪 Custom Prompt page to upload the file to the UCM6xxx.

Following are IVR prompt requirements to be accepted by the UCM6xxx series:

  • PCM encoded.
  • 16 bits.
  • 8000Hz mono.
  • In .mp3 or .wav format; or raw/ulaw/alaw/gsm file with .ulaw or .alaw suffix.
  • File size under 5M.
Figure 7: Upload Custom Prompt

Click on “Choose File to Upload” to select an audio file from the local PC and start uploading it. Once uploaded, the file will appear on the “Custom Prompt” web page.

Accessing IVR Menu

To access the IVR menu, users can either call directly the IVR’s extension or configure it as default destination for incoming calls via trunks using inbound routes.

To configure the default destination of the inbound routes, please refer to the following steps:

  1. Access the web GUI of the UCM6xxx.
  2. Navigate to Extension/Trunk 🡪 Inbound routes.
  3. Under default mode section, configure “Default destination” to the IVR configured as displayed on following figure.
Figure 8: UCM6xxx Inbound Routes Configuration

Note: For more details about how to manage the inbound route, please refer to the following guide:

https://www.grandstream.com/sites/default/files/Resources/How_to_manage_inbound_outbound_route_on_UCM.pdf

IVR Application Examples

This chapter illustrates IVR application examples in different scenarios.

The following examples show how IVR can be used in different scenarios.

Example 1: Basic IVR System

The company ABC needs to have an IVR allowing callers to be redirected to different departments (sales, marketing, support…).

In this scenario we will assume the following:

  • Inbound route is configured to redirect all the incoming calls to IVR-SC1.
  • Calls redirected to sales will be handled by sales agents. (Sales_Ring_Group).
  • Calls redirected to marketing will be handled by a marketing agent. (Marketing_Extension (2002)).
  • Calls redirected to support will be handled by a support engineer. (Support_Call_Queue).
  • Calls redirected to customer services will be handled by customer service agents. (Customers_Service_Ring_Group).
  • Calls redirected to after sales service will be handled by a sales agent. (Sales_Call_Queue).
  • Calls redirected to manager’s assistant will be handled by an assistant. (Manager_Extension (2001)).

We assume that all ring groups, call queues, extensions, inbound routes used in this example are previously configured.

In order to fulfill company ABC requirements, we need to create an IVR “IVR-SC1” and configure “Key Pressing Events”.

The following screenshots show needed configuration on “IVR-SC1” including “Key Pressing Events” settings:

Figure 9: IVR-SC1 Basic Configuration
Note:

“Dial Other Extensions” option has been disabled to restrict users from calling UCM6xxx extensions directly, in this case, only configured destinations in “Key Pressing Events” are authorized.

Figure 10: IVR-SC1 Key Pressing Events Configuration

Figure 11: IVR-SC1 Diagram

Example 2: Multi-layer IVR System

The same company ABC (in scenario 1) wants to upgrade its IVR system allowing the support of multilanguage, so customers can select a specific language to be used when playing prompts.

To achieve this, company ABC needs to create different IVRs and use IVR layers supported on the UCM6xxx series (5 layers supported).

We will assume the following:

  • The inbound routes on UCM6xxx series are configured to redirect all the incoming calls to IVR-SC2.
  • If user select English language, the call will be redirected to IVR-SC1-English.
  • If user select French language, the call will be redirected to IVR-SC1-French.
  • If user select Spanish language, the call will be redirected to IVR-SC1-Spanish.
  • If user select German language, the call will be redirected to IVR-SC1-German.

First, we need to create different IVRs (in different languages) with the same configuration as shown in the previous example, with the “Language” option set and voice prompts uploaded/recorded in the appropriate language.

The IVRs created are IVR-SC1-English (7002), IVR-SC1-French (7003), IVR-SC1-Spanish (7004), and IVR-SC1-German (7005).

Then, we create “IVR-SC2” (7001) which will be the main IVR, and configure “Key Pressing Events” to connect to specific IVR depending on the language selected. IVR-SC2 will be using “Default” language.

Once the caller dials the company’s number, the IVR plays a greeting message and invites him to select the desired language, and then, the IVR will play selectable menu items.

The following screenshot displays the different IVRs created.

Figure 12: IVRs Creation

Please refer to the following screenshot describing the basic configuration of IVR-SC2:

Figure 13: IVR-SC2 Basic Configuration

The following screenshot shows “Key Pressing Events” settings on IVR-SC2 allowing redirection to other IVRs depending on the customer’s choice.

Figure 14: IVR-SC2 Key Pressing Events Configuration

Please refer to the following diagram explaining the IVR application in detail.

Figure 15: IVR-SC2 Diagram

Example 3: IVR System based on Time

The same company ABC (in previous examples) wants to upgrade again its IVR system with one IVR accessible during office time, and another one accessible out of office time.

To achieve this, company ABC needs to create different IVR (IVR-SC3 for out office time).

We will assume the following:

  • The “office time” has been previously set and inbound routes are configured to route incoming calls during office time to IVR-SC2, and to IVR-SC3 during out of office time.

Note:

  • For more details about how to manage the inbound route, please refer to following guide:
https://www.grandstream.com/hubfs/Product_Documentation/how_to_manage_inbound_route_outbound_route_on_ucm6200_ucm6510.pdf?hsLang=en
  • For more details about how to configure the office time, please refer to following guide:
https://www.grandstream.com/hubfs/Product_Documentation/office_time_and_holiday_on_ucm6xxx.pdf?hsLang=en
  • IVR-SC3 will play a welcome and greeting message and then inform the caller about out of office time using a specific prompt message named in our example as “Out of office message” and then it will play a selectable menu items.
  • If users select first choice, the call will be redirected to the Voice Mail.
  • If users select second choice, the call will be redirected to an External Emergency Number (001122334455)

The following screenshots show needed configuration on “IVR-SC3” including “Key Pressing Events” settings:

Figure 16: IVR-SC3 Basic Configuration

Note:

“Dial Other Extensions” option has been disabled to restrict users from calling UCM6xxx extensions directly, in this case, only configured destinations in “Key Pressing Events” are authorized.

Figure 17: IVR-SC3 Key Pressing Events Configuration

Please refer to the following diagram explaining the IVR application in detail.

Figure 18: IVR-SC3 Diagram

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