Using Voice Menus to Make a Directory


Last Updated: 08/01/2017 Back to Topic All Articles

One common way to use the voice menu feature is to create a company directory.  Using menu options, you can assign “extensions” to different people or departments within your company, allowing callers to enter those extensions to reach them quickly.

Before you begin this setup, make sure you have the following ready to go:

  • Decide what you want your extensions to be (one-digit keypresses like 1 or 2, or multiple-digit extensions like 123).
  • Have the list of numbers you’re going to route to ready to go.  Click here to learn how to add receiving numbers to your account if you haven’t done so already.

Make a New Voice Menu
1) To start, go to NumbersVoice Menus.
2) If you do not have any voice menus in your account, you’ll be taken directly to a setup page.  Otherwise, click New Voice Menu in the upper right of the page.

Menu Setup

Menu Setup

3) On the setup page, enter a name for the menu.
4) Go through the optional features in this section.

  • Select a schedule. If you do not want this menu to be available all the time, set a schedule to define its active hours here.  Click here for help creating schedules.
  • Choose to allow transfers.  If you use the softphone feature to answer calls, you can enable the ability to transfer calls to this menu.
  • Choose a tag.  Tags entered in this field will be automatically applied to all calls that route through this menu, and will be visible in the caller ID section in the call log.

5) In the Play Message field, type the message that callers will hear when they connect to this menu.  This is where you will give instructions for which keypress or extension goes to which department.

  • If you prefer to upload or record your own message here, click the cloud or microphone icons.  For more information on audio files, click here.
  • If you’re using extensions with more than one digit, callers will need to press pound after the extension.  It’s a good idea to mention something like “enter the extension, followed by the pound sign” in your instructions.

Input Handling

Input Handling

6) In maximum user input, set the number of digits for the extensions you’re going to use.

  • For a menu like “press 1 for sales, press 2 for support,” set this value to 1.
  • For longer extensions like “press 201 for Harry, press 245 for Ron,” set this value to 3.  Remember, if you use extensions with more than one digit, you’ll need to tell your callers to press pound after the extension.  Go back to step 5 to do that if you haven’t already.

7) Choose seconds to wait for caller input.  The default is usually fine here.
8) Choose how many times to re-prompt the caller if they don’t make a choice right away.
9) Choose what you want to do with the call if the caller doesn’t make a valid selection. The default will hang up the call, but you can also select a menu option or a phone number instead.

Menu Items

Menu Items

10) Click +Add Menu Item on the right.
11) In the first field, choose what keypress or extension you want to use for this option.  The default for the first menu item is 1.
12) Next, use the drop-down to choose what that keypress does.  For directories, we recommend using Dial Number.
13) Use the Select a Receiving Number drop-down to choose a receiving number in your account.  This is the number that will be dialed when this keypress is entered.
14) Go through the optional features in this section.

  • If you want to play a message between the keypress and the action of dialing the number, use the Play Message field to do that here.
  • To play a whisper message to the person answering the call, use the Whisper Message to Agent.
  • You can use the +Add Action button to automatically tag calls that choose this option, assign a user in the account to the call, or automatically update a custom field.

15) Repeat this section to add as many options as you need in your menu.
16) Click Save Changes.

Numbers
17) At the bottom of the page, click Edit Assigned Tracking Numbers.
18) In the pop-up that appears, choose tracking numbers that you want to route directly to this menu.
19) Click Save Changes.


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