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How to Build a Multi-Level IVR?

With Multi-level IVRs you can design a more elaborate phone system that improves customer service by connecting callers to more specific departments, agents, or experts who can address their needs. It can also shorten waiting times on call queues.

Muli-Level IVR Example

Let's take an example of a company where the main IVR has four options Technical support, Sales, and billing connecting to call queues and reception connecting to a phone line.


Directing all support calls to one queue could overload it or connect callers with agents who may be less knowledgeable about certain issues and are slower to resolve them.

So instead, we will direct support calls to a secondary IVR.

The secondary IVR will have three separate queues Networking, Hardware, and software, each assigned with the most qualified agents. We will still keep the general support queue as a backup.

Building a Multi-Level IVR

We assume you already have your main IVR or know how to create one. If not please refer to this article

You would also need to create three queues Networking, Hardware, and Software. You can learn more about call queues here

To build a Multi-Level IVR:

  • Go to the IVR Menus screen at Admin Center Menu>Voice Features>IVR Menus.

  • Select Add IVR, name the IVR menu "Support", and click CREATE.

  • Expand the Key Press options and assign the three support queues (Networking, Hardware, Software) to keys 1, 2, and 3.

  • For key 4, define a key press that will reconnect callers back to the main IVR.

    You can do this in two ways:

    • Selecting the IVR Menu destination (found under voice features) and selecting your main IVR.

    • Select Go back, if possible (found under Predefined Features). This option is preferable as it offers more flexibility and lets you route calls back to other phone system destinations aside from your main IVR.

  • Click SAVE to finish updating the Key Press options.

  • You should include a Greeting File for the support IVR to let callers know about the key press options and how to go back to the main IVR. You can upload or record such a file or use the text-to-speech voice generator.

  • Now go back to the IVR screen, select your main IVR menu, expand the Key Press options, and change the assignment of the support key from the Support Queue to the Support IVR as the destination.

    SAVE your changes and your multi-level IVR is ready.

Adding Exit Rules

To improve the efficiency of call handling, you may want to set up exit rules for your support queues, routing calls to the main support queue (that we kept for this purpose), when one of the other queues becomes too busy or does not have agents logged in.

The idea here is that the main support queue has all support agents assigned to it, so it is more likely to have an available agent when one of the secondary support queues is too busy.

To add exit rules:

  • Go to Admin Center Menu>Voice Features>Call Queues.
  • Select one of your support queues (software, hardware, or networking) and expand the General Settings.

  • In the  When Exiting Queue, Forward To field, select Queue and select your main support queue for the Destination.

  • Select thresholds to trigger the exit rule

    • In the There are too many calls in queue field select the maximum number of holding calls before the exit rule is triggered.

    • Select from 5 seconds and up to an hour for Maximum hold time before the exit rule is triggered.

    • Queues are set to exit by default if No agents are logged in but do make sure Yes is selected.

  • Note that if you toggle off Use same destination for all exit reasons you will be able to select different exit destinations for each exit rule. This is not needed in our example, but if relevant to your phone system it does let you direct overflow calls to phone lines, other queues, voicemail, etc.

  • Repeat these steps for the two other queues.

If your organization has off-hours, we suggest you also add a No agents are logged in exit rule to the main support queue that sends calls to a support department voicemail. This will save callers from the frustration of holding without being answered and will also allow agents to get back to callers at a later time.

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