Introduction to IVR and How to Set It Up For Your Business

Aug 5, 2021
Harris Malik
  • An Interactive Virtual Receptionist (IVR) allows an automated system to interact with humans through the use of a voice recording. In telecommunications, IVR allows customers to interact with a company’s host system via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition.
  • Using an Interactive Virtual Receptionist can help lower your business operating costs, boost your productivity, and enhance your company’s reputation by connecting customers to the right department or representatives. 

What is an Interactive Virtual Receptionist (IVR)?

Digi’s remote business landline system, Omni Hotline has a multitude of features that enables businesses to simplify and amplify phone calls. Among the many features, the Interactive Virtual Receptionist (IVR) is one of the most used by businesses to redirect customers to the right department.

Businesses can use Omni Hotline’s Interactive Virtual Receptionist to provide a personalised experience for every customer dialling into their hotline. For example, TheLorry—a homegrown logistics platform, uses Omni Hotline’s IVR to provide a personal touch in redirecting customers to the right department, reducing their wait time, leading to quicker responses and resolution to customer enquiries. 

With the use of an Interactive Virtual Receptionist, it removes the need for a dedicated person to pick up calls and redirect customers to the right department. Using a virtual receptionist allows callers to be quickly routed to the appropriate department, with less likelihood for human error.

Take for an example of a use case without an IVR, when a customer calls a delivery provider to find out on the progress of their package delivery, but having to speak to the receptionist first and explaining the enquiry only to be transferred to the wrong department and having to go through the process again. 

Here’s how our customer, TheLorry has their IVR setup:

Dept 1: B2B Distribution

- For Job inquiry, press 1

- Tracking, press 2.

- Billing, press 3.

Dept 2: Supply Chain Solutions (Parcel tracking)

- For receiver, press 1.

- For Merchant, press 2.

Dept 3: Partner Drivers

- For registration, press 1

- For app troubleshooting, press 2

- For payment, press 3

With Omni Hotline, there is the flexibility to set up multiple Interactive Virtual Receptionists which can be set up differently by language, department or even product ranges to best serve a variety of callers.

You can create multiple automated responses, based on factors such as the time of day, the area code of the incoming number, and so on. You can even set custom responses for specific callers to help establish a personal connection.

How To Setup Your Own IVR on Omni Hotline

Setting up your Interactive Virtual Receptionist is easy with Omni Hotline and comes with multiple features.

  1. After signing up for Omni Hotline, go to “Receptionist” tab in the portal, click on Add New.
  2. Setup your IVR based on your own choice either through text, audio file, or record your audio.
  3. By default, your main extension would be assigned to number 1 in the IVR and number 9 assigned to Voicemail.  You could change number 1 to a department extension such as sales department.
  4. An example of an IVR would be “Thank you for calling XYZ Company. To speak to the Sales team, press 1. If you require technical assistance, press 2. For other enquiries, press 3. To repeat this menu, press star (*).”
  5. You can also set up different IVRs to play automatically for incoming calls after business hours. For example, “Welcome to ABC Company. Our hotline operating hours are between 9 AM to 5 PM, Mondays to Fridays. Thank you”. 
  6. This can be set up in the “Numbers” tab. Simply change your availability from “Always” to “Only During Business Hours”, select your business hours using the slider.
  7. On the same page, you can customise which IVR to be played during business hours, and which IVR to be played after business hours.
  8. Depending on the number of IVRs allowed in your subscription, you could set up “nested IVRs”. This means an IVR connected to another IVR based on the selection. For example, “Welcome to ABC Company, for English, press 1, Untuk Bahasa Melayu, tekan 2. 要说中文,请按3”
  9. After the language selection, they can now connect to the relevant department and teams. An example IVR that can be set after the caller selects 2 for Bahasa Melayu  “Untuk membuat pesanan baru , tekan 1. Untuk menyemak status pesanan, tekan 2. Untuk pertanyaan lain-lain, tekan 3.”  

For more information on this feature or to signup, please visit