Connect Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Using the Connect IVR

Anthony Johnson avatar
Written by Anthony Johnson
Updated over a week ago


An Interactive Voice Response system, also known as an Auto Attendant, is a way of allowing your callers to select where their calls get routed to just by pressing a number on their keypad.

Purchasing the IVR service

The IVR service can be purchased via the Service Manager. See Service Management for details on how to manage products and services for a client.

There are two options for the IVR within Connect these are

Standard - This allows one level of options per Auto Attendant number which you can then setup within Connect.

Enhanced - This allows two levels of options per Auto Attendant number however this would need to be setup by one of our Engineers.

Before setting up an IVR

Before creating an IVR, you should have a few things ready:

  • We recommend that you set up a new extension dedicated to each IVR. This will provide a number that you can use to call the IVR directly or that you can use to forward your calls. For information on creating a new extension, please click here.

  • You should plan out what options you want to provide to the caller and which phones should ring.

  • You will require a recorded greeting to play to callers explaining which menu options to press. There are iPhone and Android apps that can record in the required format for you. If you wish to use alternate software, you must ensure the recording is in a WAV file, the sample rate is 8000Hz, the audio channel is mono, and the encoding is unsigned 8-bit PCM, you can also use this website to set up the recording you require, please make sure it is set up as per the below,

Note this website is not fully supported by essensys, other ways of having the voice file created can be found using other Software or Website(s) using the same settings as the above.

Creating an IVR

To set up an IVR, click on Features Setup in the Telephone Manager and select IVR.

Step 1 - Add the IVR

From the IVR screen, click 'Add'.

Step 2 - Name the IVR, nominate an extension and select 'Time Options'

Give the IVR a suitable name to help keep track of what purpose it was created for, then pick an extension you have set up that the IVR will be driven from.

For Time Options, choose whether you want the message and options to be the same for both business hours and out-of-hours or if you want separate choices for these.

Once you click 'Continue', you will see the menu configuration screen. If you chose to have separate business and out-of-hours menus, you will see the business hours one first.

Uploading your IVR Greeting

Here you can upload the greeting you recorded earlier by clicking Browse finding the file you wish to Upload and then Click Upload, be aware that the file name that you are uploading cannot have any special characters i.e. (,?! as this will not upload correctly.

Selecting the Menu Options

Please make choose which menu options you wish to activate and what actions they will perform, to activate a Menu click on the Tick Box to the right of the Number Menu.

Each menu option in the left-hand column corresponds to a digit pressed by a caller on their phone keypad and is activated by checking the box next to it.

The actions you can choose from for each option are:

  1. Transfer - This option performs a blind transfer to the destination you enter the 'Target' field

  2. Transfer to Voicemail - This performs a blind transfer directly to the voicemail box of the user you select in the 'Target' field. Their phone will not ring.

  3. Extension Dialling - This allows the caller to enter the extension of the person they wish to speak to (if they know it) and be transferred directly to them

  4. Repeat Message - This will replay the announcement audio file you uploaded in the previous step

Please make sure for each option activated that a Description is added.

Once you are happy with your configuration, clicking 'Continue' will allow you to repeat this process for your out-of-hour menu (if selected) or otherwise completes the setup and activates the IVR.

Once the IVR is active, your callers can either call it directly or you can forward a published number (for instance, your main line number) to it to understand how to set up call forwards see this guide here.

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