Using multi-level interactive voice response (IVR), or phone trees, you can route customers to the right agent or department, provide recorded responses for frequently asked questions, and deflect calls by allowing callers to switch from a live call to a text message.
If your Talk plan doesn't support IVR, you can route calls using group routing. For details, see Routing incoming calls to groups of agents.
If you’re using the Agent Workspace, you can route calls using omnichannel routing. With omnichannel routing, calls can only be routed to a single group.
You create an IVR menu by adding menus that callers choose through key presses. You can build a simple phone tree with one level or, if you have a complex support team structure, layer multiple menu levels together.
To find out more about IVR, see Interactive Voice Response definition, benefits + steps on the Zendesk blog.
This article contains the following topics:
Recording an IVR greeting
Each IVR menu requires at least one IVR greeting listing the options and corresponding key presses. If your IVR menu will be complex with multiple levels and options, you might want to come back to this step after you've built out your menu (see Creating an IVR menu).
To record a personalized IVR greeting and prompts
- Follow the steps to create a custom greeting in Managing outgoing greetings. Select IVR as the greeting type.
Creating an IVR menu
The way you structure your IVR menu determines how callers are routed and what options they hear.
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Talk and email > Talk.
- Click the IVR tab.
- Click Add menu.
- In the menu that's added, click the Settings tab and enter a name for the menu.
- Click the Menu levels tab.
- The first menu level, Main menu, is already created for you. If you want additional, secondary menu levels that callers can reach from the main menu, click Add menu level.
- Click the Name field of a menu level to edit the menu level name.
- Choose an IVR greeting from the Greeting drop-down list. Only
greetings of the type IVR can be chosen.
- Click Add Route to add a new menu option.
- From the Keypress drop-down list, select an available key or select
If the caller hasn't pressed a key after the greeting plays three times, or if the caller presses the wrong key four times during the greeting, the default route will be used. If you haven't set a default route, the caller will be disconnected.
- From the Greeting drop-down list, select an optional greeting which will be played to the caller before they take action on the call. This greeting must be of the type IVR.
- Select one of the following actions:
- Voicemail: Routes the call to the number's voicemail. Keep in mind that if you haven't selected a greeting in the field above, no greeting will play (just the beep and straight to recording). When you select a voicemail action, you'll also be prompted to enter a group that voicemail tickets will be associated with.
- Group: Choose one or more groups of agents to route the call to. Unless a greeting is assigned to this group, the caller will be placed in the queue and hear the Wait greeting set for the number. The Available agents greeting will not be played. For more information about managing groups, see Creating groups.
Number: Routes the call directly to the specified number.
When you select this action type, you'll also be prompted to
enter the number to route calls to. When routing to an external
number in an IVR, that call is not recorded by Talk, and a
ticket is not created for the call. Additionally, the number you
enter cannot use an extension number.Important: When you route a call from your IVR to another number, you will incur an extra charge for the call forwarding.
- IVR Menu: Routes the call to another menu level within the same IVR menu. For example, you might want callers to press 1 for VIP support from the main menu, then be directed to another menu with options for VIP billing, VIP sales, etc. When you select the IVR menu action type, you'll also be prompted to select an IVR menu that calls will be routed to.
- Text back: Switches the interaction over to text by confirming the customer's number, then disconnecting the call and sending a text message. An SMS ticket will be created for this interaction with the customer so the conversation can continue by text. When you select the IVR menu action type, you'll also be prompted to select the number the text should be sent from and to enter the text message context. You can select the language to use for the text back confirmation in the Language drop-down list”
- Select a Group to route the call to. From the list of groups, turn on the ones you want, then, in the Primary group drop-down list, choose the group that calls will be routed to first. If agents in the primary group are not available, the call will be routed to one of the other selected groups. If no agents are available and the caller leaves a voicemail, it will be assigned to the primary group.
- Click Save.
- Repeat steps 9-15 to add additional routes.
- Click Save to save the IVR menu.
Assigning an IVR menu to a number
Once you've built your IVR menu, assign it to a number.
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Talk and email > Talk.
- Click the number you want to edit.
- Select the Routing tab.
- Toggle the Enable IVR? field to on.
- Select the IVR menu you want to use from the drop-down list.
- Click Save changes.
I need to find a way to differentiate voicemails left by those who chose a particular option in the IVR. Is it possible to tag them or something? I'm not finding a way to identify them in the triggers.
I'm afraid there's currently no option to report on the IVR option/route selected on a voicemail ticket. You may only be able to pull up a report in Explore of the IVR destination group, if the call was routed to an agent group. Other than that, there's no available attribute in reports or any condition in business rules that will allow you to identify voicemails based on IVR option. Sorry about this, Cyn.
Hi guys hope you can help out on my question: In my IVR sub-menu, I configured a routing that if customers press 1 they would be routed to an external number. Currently my business requires that 2 messages/greeting would be played: one played first informing that the customer is being transferred - the other to be played after a while if the customer was not connected to anyone, stating that they either should wait or the connection has been failed.
Currently for one routing I can add only one greeting, which will be the first one. How can I add another one informing the failed connection?
Please note that I will have to set up a few other sub-menus same like this one and their will be several failed connection messages for each routing
Currently, there's no way to have two greetings per IVR menu. If the menu's action is to route the call to a group, then the IVR greeting and Wait greeting would play as detailed on this article: In what order do Talk greetings play?
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm clear on this and now having 2 other questions that need your advice:
Are there any other type of triggers that we can set up for a routing beside choosing a key or default? ie. after a greeting is displayed it will move automatically to this IVR. Or can we somehow bypass the 3-time replay rule of a greeting when no key is pressed?
These aren't possible currently. Calls can only be routed via an active route in the IVR, triggers can't do this, and there's no way to bypass how the greeting is played when no key is pressed. Also, you can't route an active route to a separate IVR main menu, you can only choose menu levels from within the same IVR main menu.
Please review this related feature request and upvote if you agree:
[TALK] Feature Request(s): Custom attributes for logical conditions/triggers, automations, SLAs and KPI metrics are unavailable and far overdue
Can the agent see which IVR option was selected before they pick up the call?
Agents do not have the visibility on how calls came in, what options are pressed in the IVR.
Even Admins won't know the live transition of calls routed to an agent but Zendesk Talk follows the IVR or the configuration set in the Talk settings. To know how calls are routed to agents, you may read it here: How are calls routed to my agents in Zendesk Talk?
Hello, the IVR option is not popping up under the talk/routing tab in the admin center. What can I do?
Edited by Zendesk Team
Thank you for messaging us.
The IVR option is only available for Plan Professional and above including a Talk Professional. What I would advise is upgrading a Suite plan into Professional to acquire the helpful feature.
You can check this article for more information.
It's not that I need to know how it works on the back end, I want the agent to see what option a user selected so we can use a different greeting. For example, if new starters got an option (i.e if you are new to the org, select 1) then the greeting could be customised, such as "welcome to xx, hope you are enjoying the new role etc etc".
How do I calculate the charge for forwarding a call? Say I have one French number providing support in French and another UK number for English. If I add an IVR option on the French number for English that forwards the call to the UK number. Do I pay inbound fee on both numbers plus outbound fee on the French one?
You'd be charged twice. 1st one would be when you receive the call in the French line and the 2nd charge when the transfer starts.
1) Do pressing any of the numbers skip/pause IVR greetings?
2) At the end of greetings, can I confirm if pressing # repeats the menu and * connects callers to next available agent?
Hi Ian from Beam
Regarding your questions:
1) If the number is assigned to an active route, the IVR will proceed on the action for that particular route. If the number is not assigned to a route, it will pause for a second or two then play the IVR Greeting again.
2)This is something you can set as active route on the IVR settings.
It is possible to not have the robotic voice message that asks the customer to confirm his number when routing the IVR to an answer by SMS.
Or at least to customize it?
I am setting up an IVR system for our clients - but they want the Opt-out possibility and call back. This is not available to set up in the IVR system, so we have had to make a workaround from their current phone company where they use the IVR from their system and then it transfers the call to the three different departments.
So they have to buy three numbers for it to work - will you at some point make it possible to add these options to the IVR?
Is there a way to bypass IVR for certain numbers? Some customers call our reception instead of our product support team and when they are transferred they have to be qualified once again. Please can someone advise?
At the moment, there is no way to bypass the IVR. Once a call will come into the number's queue with IVR routing it will go through the same process with other callers.
We hope this information helps!
2nd level IVR seems to not be accepting dialpad input. It's getting a bit difficult to troubleshoot issues from the Partner level without a support path to engage on behalf of a Customer's account. Please advise.
Hey T.J. (ZenBros)!
If the first level IVR menu has a Greeting that specified for the Route options that is the same as the Greeting set on the second level IVR, you can run into the behavior you are describing: where key presses seemingly aren't being recognized. This is because the call hasn't actually entered into the second IVR menu yet, and it just seems like you've entered the second level menu since the greeting is what you would expect to hear if you made it to the menu. I'd recommend checking out the route settings as a first troubleshooting step.
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