IVR: Interactive Voice Response

What is IVR? Interactive Voice Response systems are designed to quickly classify callers according to their needs and automatically route them to the right resource at your company. Impress callers with an automated IVR menu that improves their experience.

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Improve customer calls with IVR

“Press 1 for…” Aircall users can easily set up interactive voice response flows, allowing inbound callers to self-guide themselves to the correct team at your company. Aircall’s IVR settings are fully customizable and tailored to your exact business needs.

Customized IVR settings

Tailor your IVR to fit caller needs and business goals by selectively offering direct access to specific departments. Go even deeper with multi-level IVR to direct callers to separate, specialized teams within those departments.

Easy IVR messaging

When setting up an IVR number, you’ll be prompted to add a message and waiting music. Choose from our curated selection of music, use our built in text to speech options, or upload your own custom audio files.

Choose your own adventure

Set business hours for your IVR menu and fully customize how calls ring to specific ring groups throughout your company. Whether you route calls simultaneously to every user in a Team or just ring specific users, the choice is yours.

Hear it directly from our customers!

Thousands of companies trust Aircall's advanced IVR capabilities to optimize the efficiency of their teams.

“Because it’s such an intuitive platform, it’s much easier to make changes on the fly. Creating selections on the IVR, adding users, activating numbers, onboarding people…that stuff has made it easy to manage the whole system.”

Aron Lewin, Head of Traveller Direct at Jayride

Trusted by 5,000+ companies

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Set up your first IVR number, right now.

Already using Aircall? Getting started with an IVR number is simple! Here’s exactly how to do it.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What does IVR mean and what is it?


    Interactive Voice Response (IVR) refers to the automated telephony menu that callers can interact with via their device keypad or through voice commands, before they speak with any human operator. The initial Interactive Voice Response audio introduction is either pre-recorded or computer generated with the purpose to assist, direct, or route calls without a live operator. IVR technology gathers the required information from a customer to route the call as quickly as possible to an agent in the correct department.

  • How does IVR work?


    Basic IVR systems read the tones generated by each key on a phone keypad, known as dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signals. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) recognizes certain combinations of frequencies as numbers, and carries out appropriate programmed responses to those numerical commands. The number 1, for example, produces both a 697-Hz and a 1209-Hz tone that's universally interpreted by the PSTN as a "1".


    In more modern cloud IVR systems (such as the one you can enjoy access to with Aircall) the tech responds to spoken words through voice recognition software. Particular voice commands trigger actions such as a pre-recorded voice response, a call back option, or the correct routing of the call. It can also trigger a computerized text-to-speech (TTS) response, handy for when answers are numerical (e.g. queries about flight times or account balances).


    Aircall helps organizations customize a sophisticated IVR system that works for them on any internet-connected device, providing technical support along the way.

  • What are the benefits of IVR?


    Interactive Voice Response is handy for fast call routing when call volumes are high and your business operates through diverse departments. IVR is also incredibly useful to answer common simple questions from customers through programmed responses triggered by key strokes.


    IVR can be accessed 24/7, another advantage when you want customers to be able to get help at any time of day, especially if your business operates throughout various time zones.


    In general, IVR saves a lot of time and reduces call handling costs substantially. Only those customers that require help from a live agent are transferred, which saves customers from waiting in the call queue in order to be attended to, ultimately improving overall customer happiness. Agent productivity is boosted significantly in this way too.


    IVR is multifunctional and can provide additional benefits such as acting as an electronic notification system (sending pre-programmed voice alerts).

  • What are the challenges faced by IVR?


    IVR, alongside many automated systems, faces several challenges operating in the real world. The most obvious challenge of modern Interactive Voice Response is understanding the myriad of human languages and accents with advanced voice recognition abilities. Deviations in speech patterns are a continuous struggle for mainstream AI, but thankfully in this day and age many IVR systems have become extremely adept at voice recognition. There’s nothing quite as frustrating for a customer as being misunderstood or needing to repeat a command to a robotic IVR menu.


    It can also be problematic the other way round; computerized voice prompts can be hard to understand by humans, as well. Cheap TTS software should be avoided, as should skimping on voice talent to record professional introductions. Customers don’t generally appreciate hearing a robotic voice, so a real human recording should be prioritized.


    IVR menus are infinitely helpful to an organization that experiences a high volume of daily calls, but menus should be as short as possible to avoid wasting the customers time or confusing them with too many options. Overly long menus, coupled with even longer call queues are major pain points for customers calling into an IVR.


    Finally, Interactive Voice Response should definitely be avoided in outbound cold-calling, or for sales calls in general.

  • How do you improve IVR customer experience?


    For a customer-friendly Interactive Voice Response experience there shouldn’t be too many options in the IVR menu, nor subsequent steps to follow within those options. It’s not always easy to know which options are essential in the menu and which can be excluded, so to help with this, Aircall lets users “tag” calls by subject. Once a call has been reviewed, agents can manually apply tags corresponding to each IVR selection. Over time, the distribution of tags will reveal patterns relating to call frequency and volume.


    Another useful improvement to IVR is to apply a call back feature at the end of your menu options. This way, your customers can go about their days instead of waiting on hold, relieving pressure on agents as well as preventing customer frustration.


    Your company’s IVR should always be open for business, even outside of standard business hours. An automated assistant still has value to offer. Simple inquiries with concrete answers such as store hours, store locations, account balances, or basic shipping information can still be provided automatically, without the help of an agent. Even if a customer can’t find a resolution through the IVR after hours or during weekends, the software can direct them to the correct department’s (personalized) voicemail.

Ready to enable advanced IVR functionality for your callers?

Sign up for a demo of Aircall to give your customers the best possible calling experience with an IVR tailored to meet their needs.

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