On Premises

About Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Conversational design

Before you start take your time to create the IVR Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is a telephone application to take orders via telephone keypad or voice through a computer. By choosing menu options the caller receives information, without the intervention of a human operator, or will be forwarded to the appropriate Agent. dialogue according to the following conversational design principles:

  • Quality - Make sure the message is clear and can only be interpreted one way.
  • Quantity - Only include a message when it serves a clear purpose.
  • Relation - Keep things relevant.
  • Manner - Get to the point, within the cultural and branding boundaries of your organization.

To do so: map the dialogue on paper, organize role playing workshops and involve marketing and branding specialists. Take your time, after all there is no second chance for a first experience.


Interactive Voice Response Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, is a telephone application to take orders via telephone keypad or voice through a computer. By choosing menu options the caller receives information, without the intervention of a human operator, or will be forwarded to the appropriate Agent. (IVR) allows customers to interact with a host system via telephone keypad, after which they can service their own inquiries or will be redirected to a call agent by following the IVR dialogue.

Speech recognition will allow you to build a modern Voice User Interface where callers can interact without the use of their keypad.

With the Anywhere365 platform each individual UCC A Unified Contact Center, or UCC, is a queue of interactions (voice, email, IM, etc.) that are handled by Agents. Each UCC has its own settings, IVR menus and Agents. Agents can belong to one or several UCCs and can have multiple skills (competencies). A UCC can be visualized as a contact center “micro service”. Customers can utilize one UCC (e.g. a global helpdesk), a few UCC’s (e.g. for each department or regional office) or hundreds of UCC’s (e.g. for each bed at a hospital). They are interconnected and can all be managed from one central location. can have its own IVR. By default the IVR consists of a single layer, but Anywhere365 Small Business or higher can have as many layers as necessary.

The Anywhere365 platform provides more than 30 languages for creating IVR Questions using text-to-speech. Therefore, the text needs to be entered phonetic, i.e. the text should written as it is pronounced. Also Audio files (in WAV format) can be used to define IVR Questions. If Audio files are used they will overrule text-to-speech.

Every IVR Question with a choice should have a Skill or a follow-up IVR Question. If the IVR Question contains a Skill the caller will be redirected to an Agent with the corresponding Skill.

Training Video

Explanation per field

In order to manage IVR Questions, the following screen should be filled in:




This field contains the title of the IVR Question.


IVR Questions need to have a choice and need to start with the title “Question “.


In here you can select action for that choice, which can be:


If this IVR Question should be played after a previous IVR Question is chosen, select this specific IVR Question as its Parent question.


This field contains the message that will be played, using text-to-speech. If the field Audio Question is filled in, this audio file will be used instead of the contents of this field.


This field might contain an Audio file, which overrule the contents of the field Question.


This field contains the choice a caller should enter in order to select the question. (0-9, # or *)


IVR Questions need to have a choice!


Message Closed / Message Overflow / Message Busy: Blank means continue without entering choice.


Order of the questions can be changed with the setting "DtmfSortingOrder", default is 123456790*#

Choice Timeout

The number of seconds after not making a choice, to continue to the skill/voicemail on this item.


This should be on the top level / Parent.

Example: If this should be on the first level (Question 0-1, Question 0-2,..) then put the timeout on Welcome Message.

Speech Phrase

Instead of using the DTMF tones the contact can also use key-phrase speech to make a selection.


The setting "UseIvrSpeechRecognition" must be set to true.


If this IVR Question is selected the contents of this field will be played, unless an Audio Answer is set.


This field might contain an Audio file, which overrule the contents of the field Answer.


If this IVR Question is selected and callers should be redirected to an Agent, select a Skill an Agent should have in order to help the caller.


This field might contain the name of the Prompt.

Enable Skill Dependency

(Message Busy Only)

Overwrite the escape Skill with a Skill depended rule.

Available Text to Speech languages

The IVR supports the use of audio files, but in some cases it may be useful to have Text to Speech available. By default the English (US) language setting is installed on the Anywhere365 Server, but the following additional settings can be installed and used:

  • Catalan - Spain
  • Danish - Denmark
  • German - Germany
  • English - Australia
  • English - Canada
  • English - Great Britain
  • English - Indian
  • English - United States
  • Spanish - Spain
  • Spanish - Mexico
  • Finnish - Finland
  • French - Canada
  • French - France
  • Italian - Italy
  • Japanese - Japan
  • Korean - Korea
  • Norwegian - Norway
  • Dutch - Netherlands
  • Polish - Poland
  • Portuguese - Brazil
  • Portuguese - Portugal
  • Russian - Russia
  • Swedish - Sweden
  • Chinese - China
  • Chinese - Hong Kong
  • Chinese - Taiwan

Operation of an IVR

Queue Time-line

Below the Queue visually displayed on a Time-line:


if playlist is used, queue position is only played when switching position.

Without Playlist

With Playlist

IVR Build-up

By building the IVR a couple of settings should be kept in mind:

  • A Question without a parent question will be played in the first layer of the IVR.
  • A ChoiceTimeout should always be on the parent level.
  • Questions will be played in choice order with the exception of “Welcome Message” and “Welcome Record”. These messages will always be played first.
    • If you want to play questions in a different order, you can use the setting DtmfSortingOrder.
  • If a Audio file is set, text-to-speech will be overruled.
    • This applies to both Questions and Answers.
  • Only IVR Questions be extended with additional Questions and/or Prompts. It is not possible to add additional queue messages or welcome messages.
  • A question title should always start with “Question“ and have a unique choice.
  • A prompt title should always start with “Prompt“
  • When the IVR Question hits a Skill, an Agent will be hunted.
  • If the “Welcome Message” has a Skill, the UCC skip the questions and will start hunting.
  • The “Message Closed” has three scenarios
    • Has a Action and a Choice = Caller can choose to be forwarded
    • Has a Action and Choice is blank = Caller will be forwarded after message
    • Has no Action = Message will be repeated.
  • It is only possible to add a Skill to the following IVR Questions:
    • Welcome Message =No Choice is needed.
    • Question = Choice is needed
    • Message Closed = Choice is optional
    • Message Busy = Choice is optional
  • Message Busy can have a Skill Dependency, this mean that depending in which Skill you are waiting, you can have a different Skill to escape to.

System messages

Below the different system messages will be explained.

Queue messages

Learn more about Queue Messages and how to create them using the audio node or the TTS engine.

IVR Question Title

The title of an IVR Question should start with “Question “, followed by text and/or numbers.

IVR Questions Scenarios

Below the possible scenarios for IVR Questions are represented.

Create/Edit/Remove item

Item can be created, edited or removed.


Updates to the system take place in real-time. Entering the incorrect information here may cause issues with your software. Proceed with caution.