The Ultimate Guide to IVR (What is IVR, Types, and Business benefits)

What is an IVR?

How does IVR work?

Types of IVR

  • Language selection
  • Number Verification for existing users through OTP
  • Booking related queries, Bus availability, Carpool, Customer assistance, etc

How to set up an IVR?

  • The first step in the setup is to add a Greeting. Exotel allows you to type the greeting out and uploading a custom audio file.
    Example — “Welcome to Exotel. Your call is very important to us”
  • The second step is to add menu options. You can map digits to different actions. So, let’s say I want to map a digit, that customers can use to connect to our sales agents. To do this, I’ll enter “1” and map it to another applet “connect” (applet used in Exotel to route calls to different agent group).
  • You can also set the number of times you want IVR menu to repeated (ideally it should 2–3 times). You can also set an applet which is triggered incase the user doesn’t enter a choice.

Different ways of using an IVR system

In hospitals

In the automotive industry


In call centers

Best practices for setting up an IVR call flow that doesn’t compromise on the customer experience

  • Always start your IVR flow with a welcome greeting. This provides the caller with a personalised experience.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to track the IVR inputs, especially if there are more than five choices. Hence it’s recommended to repeat the inputs on the call at least 2–3 times.
  • In case of multi level IVR, make sure to map a key that leads user back to the previous menu.
  • When designing the IVR, add an error message that can be triggered if the user clicks a key which isn’t mapped to any flow. This way they can retry with the correct choice.
  • Wait music is essential to keep the customer on hold. You can either play a music or share some company statistics when the call is queued. But make sure to play a message saying “your call is on hold and you’ll be connected to an agent” every two minutes.




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Exotel — Asia’s leading cloud telephony company

Exotel — Asia’s leading cloud telephony company

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