Voice Menus is a Ringio feature that allows companies to customize what callers hear when their customers call their Ringio phone numbers, and how calls are routed.
You may know Voice Menus by other industry terms, such as phone trees, or IVR system (Interactive Voice Response).
Think of Voice Menus as a tool for editing your caller experience, much in the same way in that you would use a tool like Wordpress to edit the pages on your website or Magento to edit the products on your ecommerce store.
Uses for Voice Menus
Ringio pre-configures your phone number's caller experience out of the box, by using the department, business hours and user information you enter in the administration portal. With Voice Menus you can take control of all aspects of what callers hear and how calls are routed. Some examples:
- Create a main menu that greets callers by name using your own audio that includes a short description of your company's mission.
- You want to create an auto-attendant that routes all calls to mailboxes, but you don't want your phones to ever ring -- you decide who to call back.
- Have a completely different Voice Menu for during business hours than after hours. Maybe you just want to offer an emergency option after hours, that is not available during the day.
- No auto-attendant - when someone calls it simply rings with no audio into a department until someone picks up. - For example, a receptionist in a front desk.
- A main voice menu that prompts for a language, then takes you to a voice menu where all the choices are in that language. (e.g. "For english press1, para español marque 2" ... and then if you press 1 you get all the choices in English and if you press 2 you get them in Spanish.
- A franchise phone system where calls to different phone numbers for sales go to a central location, but calls to those numbers for customer care go to each of the franchisees.
- Route callers based on area codes (i.e. I enter "703" and I'm routed to the Northern Virginia department) or ZIP codes.
- Department escalation -- after x minutes in a queue, a call is escalated to a different department with its own separate queueing rules and agents.
- and much more!
The simple way to get started with Voice Menus
We just redid how you configure each of your Ringio phone numbers. For each number you choose:
- Whether Ringio should automatically generate a greeting, or whether Ringio should play a series of audio files and synthesized text.
- Whether Ringio should automatically route the call based on the departments and users entered in the administration portal, or whether Ringio should offer a specific set of options for routing that you configure.
So, if you just need to configure one of those things, the "Greeting & Routing" or "Phones & Routing" tab is the place to start.
Directing callers to a Voice Menu
If your menu needs are more extensive, you can then create multiple menus in the Voice Menus tab, and assign entry points into those menus from the Greeting & Routing section.
You can send callers to a Voice Menu:
- … from the main Greeting of each Company Number
- … whenever it's After Hours.
- … for each department, if no-one is available
- … if you use queueing, if the queue max hold time is reached or if the caller opts out of the queue
- … or you can jump from one Voice Menu to another using the Actions section.
- Each Voice Menu can play zero or more prompts.
A prompt is a snippet of recorded audio, of synthesized text, or one of a few things the system knows how to play by itself.
A text prompt will play the text that you enter into the text box with a synthesized voice. This is a nice way to quickly prototype your phone tree structure, but for best results you want to use a professionally recorded audio file.
An audio prompt plays a .wav audio file to the caller. See detailed audio format information
A system prompt is a special prompt that plays something that the system already knows, such as the name of the caller. Sometimes the system will play an audio prompt or, if it doesn't have an audio prompt, it will play a text prompt.
The routing section tells Ringio what action to perform with the caller after the greeting for the current voice menu has been played. You can either:
- Wait for the caller to press a number -- in which case you have to define the keys that are available to press and what action is taken when each key is pressed.
- Perform a routing action automatically -- in which case you define the action.
Wait for the caller to press a number.
- You can specify which options you want to support. Each option defines a phone key that the caller can press on their dialpad, and the resulting action that the system takes. The phone keys don't have to be sequential (1,2,3...) and they can be multi-digit ("20171" can be a valid option if you define it as such).
In response to a key press, the system can:
Transfer to.. -- this is designed to ring your phones... it means "let's connect this caller to someone". You get to define whether the transfer is to:
a User -- the system will try that user if they are "Taking Calls" and not on the phone, or send the caller to that User's voicemail otherwise.
a Department -- the system will look up the Routing Method selected for that department, and then try the corresponding user or users. If no one is available, the caller will be taken to voicemail, or stay in a queue for that department (if you configured the queueing option for that department).
an external number -- the system dumbly sends , send a caller to Voicemail, go to another Voice Menu, or end the call.
Voicemail for... -- this is designed to send a caller to a voicemail box. It can be a mailbox for a user or for a department.
Go to Menu ... – this takes the caller to another menu where you can play more audio, and perform another action. This choice essentially concatenates one menu after another and allows you to build out the "branches" of the phone tree. Please note that you can always go back to the main menu of a Company Number. If you are in the main menu of a Company Number and you choose to go to itself, the system will play back the Greeting and wait for input again.
End Call – the system will hang up on the caller, and can optionally play an audio file before hanging up.
Perform a routing action automatically. To automatically route the call somewhere after having played a greeting, select any of the Actions: Transfer to, Voicemail for, Go to Menu, or End Call.
- Customers hate phone trees -- it may be convenient for your business, but keep it simple
- Get professional audio recordings, makes a huge difference
- Need help? Don't hesitate to reach out.