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Configure Automated Attendant IVR on Asterisk

Configure Automated Attendant IVR on Asterisk

Configure Automated Attendant or IVR (Interactive Voice Response) on Asterisk/FreePBX/Elastix to handle inbound calls to your organization. This can be achieved easily but it needs little planning like –

  • What would be the Business Hours Greetings that caller would hear?
  • What would be the Out of Business Hours Greetings?
  • What would be the Business Operation Time?
  • What would be the extensions that would receive the calls?
  • What would be the Voicemail Number so that the callers can leave voice mails?
  • How the call has to be treated if the agents are not available to pick the call?
  • What are the Business department the callers would like to reach. For example – Sales, Enquiry or Technical Support etc ?

Similarly, depending on the requirements the IVR can be configured accordingly.

Our Scenario > When a caller makes a call to the IVR, the caller would hear a greeting like “Welcome to XYZ Company. Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Enquiry, Press 3 for Technical Support or else Dial the extension if you know.” If the caller Press 1, the call would be routed to Sales Department, when the caller Press 2, the call would be routed to Enquiry, when the caller Press 3, the call would be routed to Technical Support and if the caller knows any extension number and he/she dials it, the call would be routed to the User to whom that extension belongs to.

Prerequisites – 

  • Recording the following Greetings which we will be using for our scenario and upload it into the server. If you are not sure how to upload greetings or record greetings, follow an article “Add system recordings or greetings in Asterisk at the end of this post”.
  • “Welcome to XYZ Company.. Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Enquiry, Press 3 for Technical Support or else Dial the extension if you know”
  • “This is an invalid option, please listen to the menu carefully and choose the options”
  • “You have exceeded the maximum number of tries. The call will now be routed to the Operator”

IVR Configuration 

  • Login to Elastix/FreePBX/Asterisk Server
  • Go to PBX Menu > Click on IVR > You will see a Page which will say “Digital Receptionist” > Click on Add IVR
  • IVR Name > IVR Menu
  • IVR Description > Main Menu IVR
  • Announcement > Select the Audio file which the caller would hear when they dial the IVR Number
  • Direct Dial > Select Extensions from the Drop Down Menu
  • Timeout > Time to be considered for timeout if the user does not select any option from the given menu
  • Invalid Retries > Invalid retries to be considered if the user does not choose the correct menu option
  • Invalid Retry Recording > Select Audio file for Invalid Retry Recording which should play like “This is an invalid option, please listen to the menu carefully and choose the options”.
  • Append Announcement on Invalid> Check Mark this option
  • Invalid Recording > Select the Audio file for Invalid Recording which should play like “You have exceeded the maximum number of tries. The call will now be routed to the Operator”.
  • Invalid Destination > Choose Extensions  from the Drop Down Menu > Select Operator’s Extension (You may also prefer to terminate the call if you don’t want the operator to handle this call.)
  • Now you need to configure Options which the user will be selecting when the Main Menu is heard.
  • Ext (Digits Pressed) 1 >
  • Destination > Choose Extensions from the Drop Down Menu >
  • Choose Sales Team Extension Number from the Drop Down
  • Ext (Digits Pressed)  2 >
  • Destination > Choose Extensions from the Drop Down Menu >
  • Choose Enquiry Team Extension Number from the Drop Down
  • Ext (Digits Pressed)  2 >
  • Destination > Choose Extensions from the Drop Down Menu >
  • Choose Technical Support Team Extension Number from the Drop Down
  • Click on Submit
  • Click on Apply Configuration Changes Here

Inbound Routes Configuration

  • Click Inbound Routes > Click on Add New
  • Description> Inbound Route to IVR
  • DID Number > Enter the DID Number which will be assigned to the IVR
  • Enter other relevant information if required.
  • Set Destination > Select IVR from the Drop Down Menu
  • Select IVR Menu from the Drop Down Menu which we have created in the above step
  • Click on Submit
  • Click on Apply Configuration Changes Here

Now make an inbound call to the DID number from a PSTN network and ensure that all the announcements are heard correctly and the calls are being routed as described in our Scenario.

If you would like to learn, how to add system recordings or greetings, follow the below article.

Add System Recordings or Greetings in Asterisk

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Claudio Quiroz Cabello

Electrical Engineer CCNA Collaboration CCNA Voice CCNA R&S. I'm Electrical Engineer and I work like Support Engineer for a Telephony Service Provider Company. Before that I had position like Pre-Sale Engineer about small and medium multivendor telephony solutions. I have 5 years of experience working in Telephony Multivendor Projects. I am also 3 years of experience working in Support and implementation about Cisco Collaboration platforms: UCS server, UCM, Cisco Unity, Presence Server, Jabber, Gateway. Support Community is most useful in finding design, implementation and support tricks and shortcuts that greatly help me in my daily activities. If you need to contact me, please you can writte me.

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Kanishka Singh

CCNA Routing and Switching
Am a technology enthusiast. I work in network support providing support with implementation, maintaining and precisely troubleshooting the infra.
Realm of collaboration makes me want to learn and face new challenges more and more.

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