Companies use Phone menus, or IVR menus to handle incoming calls more efficiently. IVR stands for Interactive Voice Recognition. Each number on the keypad routes the caller differently depending on their selection in the IVR menu greeting. IVR menus generally direct callers to an operator, various departments, and employee extensions.
Related: Best VoIP Phone for Small Business
What is a Phone menu or IVR Menu?
A phone menu, or IVR menu, is an automated greeting that routes callers through options on the keypad. Businesses use phone menus to provide information to callers and automate call routing. With a phone menu, calls are managed through a central system and then routed to employees. Think of an IVR menu like a tree of events, or a flowchart. Custom IVR menus can be simple or complex, all depending on the nature of the business. Phone systems can even be programmed to use different IVR menus during different times of the day based on business hours.
In the past, only companies with technical resources and/or a substantial budget could build a custom phone system with IVR menus. Now with the advantages of VoIP systems, it’s easy to set up a custom IVR menu in just a few minutes.
Small business phone systems like Telzio offer easy-to-use solutions to create and manage your own phone menus. Setting up a custom phone menu for a small business can be done in a few simple steps.
Through the Telzio website, you can create a phone menu and call routing options such as this one.
Continue reading to learn how you can set up a phone menu with Telzio in 3 steps.
How to Set Up an IVR Menu with Telzio
1. Choose a Business Phone Number
Start by choosing a local or toll free number for your business. If you already have a business phone number, you can port the number with no downtime.
You can assign multiple phone numbers to the same phone menu. This means you can give your customers the option to call your local, toll free, or international number and direct them to the same phone menu.
Telzio offers local and toll free numbers from over 50 countries that you can browse and register instantly.
Once you decide on your phone number, you can start designing your phone menu.
2. Create Your Phone Menu Options
Decide what options to give your callers (i.e. press 1 for sales, press 2 for support, etc.), and prepare a script for your greeting. The greeting should contain instructions for your callers on which options they have to choose from in your phone menu. Once you've settled on your options and greeting, you can customize your phone menu options in the Telzio UI.
There are 3 ways to add a greeting:
- Upload an audio file
- Record directly through the UI using your computer mic
- Type in the greeting via our text-to-speech tool
Related: What is an IVR Menu?
Once you've finished adding your menu options and greeting, you can set up your call routing details.
3. Set Your Call Routing Details
Using Call Flows, you can visually design call routing for your business. A Call Flow is a visual diagram or flowchart of the steps your caller goes through when they call your business. The Call Flow is made up of the different calling features that Telzio offers. In this case, we're starting the Call Flow with a phone menu. Following the phone menu, you can route callers using a number of different features that Telzio provides.
Routing options could include:
- business hours to filter calls based on when you’re closed versus when you’re open,
- hunt groups for employees and departments,
- a call queue where callers hold for the next agent,
- a company or individual voicemail,
- a conference call,
- and even a pay-by-phone option.
Why Automated Phone Systems are Easy to Scale
Phone menus can be as complex or simple as you design it. Automated phone menus can be used to efficiently route callers to the right team or to deliver messaging to customers, without paying for a receptionist 24 hours.
With Telzio, you can start with a basic phone menu and incorporate business hours, hold music, call screening and other advanced features into your small business phone system as needed.
The key to choosing a phone menu solution is finding a provider that does not charge for additional features if you choose to add them later down the road, and will allow you to make changes to your phone menu anytime through a web-based DIY platform.
Jennifer is part of the content marketing team at Telzio, providing insight and tips on how Telzio can be used to optimize business communications and customer service.