Why Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB) should be using VoIP – IVR Samples

IVR or Interactive Voice Response for Small Business VoIP

This is Part 2 of the series on Why Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB) should be using VoIP.

I am sure most us have encountered this feature which allows the caller to interact with your voice menu.  You will typically see this at location where you want the callers to be directed to the correct department before it ends up with the receptionist for manual call routing.

This feature is no longer exclusive to businesses that have traditional PBX systems that costs tens of thousands of dollars to install and maintain.  With a IP PBX system using Asterisk, you are able to record the voice response menu and configure it as you see fit with very little programming.

With Asterisk based IP PBX system, you are able to do the following easily:

Things to Remember:
  • DO try to keep the depth of the menu not to exceed two or three levels to avoid confusion, redundancy, and frustration on the caller.
  • DO create an option in the IVR for Fax number, Address, and Business Hours to keep the Main IVR greeting short.
  • DO repeat the Voice Menu a few times to give the caller a chance to make a decision.
  • DO have one person with a pleasant voice record the Voice Menu for consistency.
  • DO have the users record their Name in the voicemail menu which will be used in the Dial by Name feature.
  • DO make sure the Voice Menu is up to date and contains relevant information to efficiently route callers.
  • DON’T have the Operator Out go directly to Voicemail as it tends to frustrate the callers.
  • DON’T have the call routing go through more than three extensions as it tends to frustrate the callers.

As you can imagine, Asterisk IP PBX system allow flexibility and gives Small and Medium sized Businesses the look and feel of a large Corporation.  I have outlined a few key things that are possible but there really isn’t a limitation on what it can do.  To help you further, below is a sample Day IVR Menu that will let your imagination flowing:

All incoming calls (M-F 8AM to 5PM) => Sent to DayIVR
All incoming calls (other times) => Sent to NightIVR

DayIVR Menu

  1. Pick Up incoming Call
  2. Play DayIVR Voice Menu
  1. During the DayIVR Voice Menu:
    • Caller can dial the desired Extension
    • Dial 1 for Sales Department
    • Dial John for 25 seconds
    • Dial Joan and Scott simultaneously for 25 seconds
    • Go to Sales Department Voicemail (All 3 users have access to this voicemail box)
  2. Dial 2 for Accounting Department
    • Dial Janet for 25 seconds
    • Go to Accounting Department Voicemail (Due to nature of this department, Voicemail access is limited to few key users)
  3. Dial 3 for HR Department
    • Dial Henry for 25 seconds
    • Dial Cindy for 25 seconds
    • Dial Mike, John, and Tracy simulatneously for 25 seconds
    • Go to HR Department Voicemail (All 3 users have access to this voicemail box)
  4. Dial 4 for IT Department
    • Dial Ryan for 30 seconds
    • Dial Jason for 30 seconds
    • Dial Vicky for 30 seconds
    • Dial Ryan’s Cell Phone and Hang up
  5. Dial * for Dial by Name
  6. Dial 0 for Operator
    • Dial extension 4000 for Receptionist
    • If no answer, Dial extension 4001 for backup Receptionist
    • Go to General Voicemail



About Express Interconnect: We are a Portland, Oregon based Small Business VoIP Phone Consultant specializing in implementing quality VoIP PBX system based on Asterisk IP PBX. We can be reached at 503-820-3513 or via email at: support@ExpressInterconnect.com and can help with any questions you might have.

Due to Demand, we have finally branched out into Hosted VoIP Phone Service for Small Businesses.  Our Hosted VoIP Service provides full Asterisk IP PBX functionality in a simple Plug and Play system.

Also, please make sure to visit our on-line store at VoIP Phones Direct for all of your IP Phone needs. We carry Grandstream, Polycom, Snom, Aastra, and Yealink IP Phones with a 14 day money back guarantee and FREE UPS Ground Shipping.

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