Setting up an IVR (Legacy)

Note: Effective June 21, 2021, Talkdesk Classic Inbound Routing will no longer be available to sell to new customers. New customer accounts will only be able to configure inbound routing behavior through Studio.


Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a telephony menu system that allows for the identification, segmentation, and routing of callers to the most appropriate agents within your team.

By recording customized greetings, messages, and prompts, you can provide a more personalized experience to your customers when they call your company. IVRs also allow your customers to solve their own problems and obtain the information they are looking for without speaking with an agent.

In a typical IVR scenario, a caller is first greeted by the IVR message. After the greeting, they are asked to choose from a series of prompts (e.g. “Press 1 for Sales, 2 for Support...”). Based on the button pressed, the caller is then routed to the most appropriate agent or department, sent to a new IVR or voicemail, forwarded to another phone number, or the call is hung up.


IVR Greeting

The greeting callers hear when they enter your IVR, e.g.:


  • "Press 1 for Sales. Press 2 for Support. Press 3 for other questions"
  • “For English press 1, para Español presione el número dos.”
  • “If you know the extension of the person you would like to reach, you may dial it at any time. You can also press 0 to bypass this message and reach an agent. For all other callers, please listen to the following options: for account information press 1, for questions about a product you purchased press 2…”
  • “If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. Otherwise, please choose from the following options: for customer support press 1, for sales press 2…”


Creating an IVR


1. Log into your Talkdesk account as an administrator.

2. Select the Admin section [1].

3. Select the Numbers tab [2].

4. Click the phone number for which you would like to configure an IVR [3].

5. Select the IVR tab [4].

6. Next to IVR Message add a new message by following the steps below (or you can choose an already existing message from the drop-down menu):

  • Click the Add New Message link [5].
  • Assign your IVR a name by typing it into the box next to IVR Message [6]. This will be the label applied to this IVR in Talkdesk. Callers will not hear the IVR name.
  • You can type in a message to be converted to audio and played to callers by selecting "Text to Speech" next to the box labeled Message [7].

Note: Only American English (male voice) is supported. If you need more options you can use Talkdesk Studio to achieve this. 

  • Alternatively, if you have a pre-recorded message that you'd like to play to callers, select "Upload File" and click the "Choose File" button. Talkdesk currently supports mp3 and wav file types. If you have a file saved in another format, you can convert it to a format we support by using this tool.

7. Once you have finished, click Save [8].

8. Next, add a new IVR Prompt [9]:

  • Choose the number to be pressed for that rule
  • Write or record a message to be played.
  • Select the "Teams" to whom these calls will be routed.
  • Repeat as required and, once finished, press Save [10].

Note that if there is an IVR assigned to a phone number, you need to make sure that Business Hours have been set for the account (in Admin > Preferences) or for that number (in Admin > number if you are overriding the account settings). Otherwise, calls will not be routed correctly.

Multi-Level IVR

Talkdesk’s multi-level IVR allows you to create IVRs with multiple branches. For example, callers can press 1 for “Support” which will route them to another IVR that allows them to select 2 for “Feature Support”. This makes it simple to ensure that callers self-route to the agent or department that can best meet their needs.

To create a multi-level IVR:


1. Select New IVR Prompt [1].

2. Select send to new IVR from the drop-down menu to replace the default “route to” selection [2].

3. Write or record your next IVR level message (e.g. Press 1 for sales, 2 for support …) [3].

4. Select the corresponding number from the drop-down menu [4].

5. Select the ring group that you would like to route the caller to (this corresponds to the agent ring group) [5].

6. Save your changes [6].

Tip: Keep the number of IVR menu levels to 3 for a better customer experience.

Note: You will need to repeat these steps for each phone number you want an IVR to play.

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