When a customer calls

How to set up call routing and IVR options for phone using Workflows.

Beth-Ann Sher avatar
Written by Beth-Ann Sher
Updated over a week ago

When using Intercom Phone to take inbound calls, Workflows help you to set up powerful call routing and Interactive Voice Recording (IVR - also known as a phone tree) to transfer customers to the right place.

If you selected Configure with a workflow when you set up call routing for your phone number, you’ll now need to build the workflow.

Get started

Go to Automation > Workflows and click + New workflow in the top right.

Click Create from scratch and select the trigger “When a customer calls”.

Configure your Workflow trigger settings

If you want to trigger the Workflow for anyone who dials in, select leads and users as the audience. Or you can create separate Workflows per audience segment.

You can also decide when this Workflow should trigger in the Frequency and scheduling. For example, you might want to trigger this Workflow during office hours only.

Click Save and close to start building your Workflow.

IVR options and routing

Add steps in the Workflows builder to send automated messages, configure IVR options, and set up inbound call routing.

Add messages

When you add a message, the text will automatically be converted to speech during the call. Currently only English is supported but we’ll be adding support for more languages soon.

Alternatively, you can upload an Audio Snippet you’ve recorded by clicking on the microphone icon in the text editor and selecting the audio file from your device.

Use branches

Branches are a great way to route customers down different paths depending on conditions that you set. To add a branch, click + Add step and select Branches from the dropdown.

For example, you can have a different message if a customer calls outside of your office hours.

If you have call recordings turned on for your workspace, please ensure you include a text block within your phone workflow telling customers their call will be recorded. We recommend including this as a message before the call is assigned, but its placement is up to you.

Using office hours

When you select "Office hours" as the branch condition, you can configure whether this is during or outside of your default or team office hours. This ensures your team's availability aligns perfectly with your operational needs for each branch of the IVR.

Give reply options

Use reply options for customer input. To add a reply option, click + Add step and select Reply options from the dropdown.

Enter an introduction message which will be converted to speech, or upload an Audio Snippet you’ve recorded. This message should introduce and match the reply options you give below.

Now enter the reply option for each key, e.g. “For support PRESS 1”.

Make sure your introduction message matches the reply options, as the introduction message will be what your customer hears on the phone.

Click the + Add button for:

  • Reply option - add another reply option for a different path.

  • Start over button - add a start over option for customers to go back to the start of the Workflow

  • Save reply value to attribute - Save the reply option each customer selects as attributes for reporting and teammate context.

Add actions

Based on the reply option a customer selects, you can take actions using the red arrows. For example, select Hold and assign call to pass the call to your team. The call will ring to an available teammate, if the teammate declines the call then it will be assigned to the next available teammate.

This step must come at the end of a path.

A call will be part of a conversation you can view on the Help Desk. This means standard conversation actions can also be applied, such as tag conversation, mark as priority, add note, set conversation data, etc.

Click on the Hold and assign call widget to select the team.

You can also select when the call is considered 'unanswered' by configuring which conditions must be met. Then click Save and close.

Now decide what happens if the call is unanswered. Unanswered calls can be assigned to another team or you can choose one of the available call deflection options (e.g. send to voicemail or forward call to a secondary team).

You must include a call ending step, such as Send to voicemail, Forward call, or Hang up, to ensure calls are properly concluded within your designed flow.

Send to voicemail

The Send to voicemail step can be used to deflect calls to voicemail (e.g. when the team is unavailable, or is out of office hours). Click on the Send to voicemail widget to customize the voicemail greeting which will be played when an end user is transferred to voicemail.

The voicemail greeting can support multiple languages.

Choose to set follow-up actions, or add rules based on information you’ve collected during the Workflow.

Forward calls

You are able to use the Forward call action if you want to automatically forward the call to an external number, e.g. a live answering service or an external team.

Forwarded calls will be charged as an outbound call to the receiving number.

Click on the Forward call widget to enter the external phone number, set follow-up actions after the call is transferred, or add rules based on information you’ve collected during the Workflow.

Hang up

Use this action to hang up the call for the customer. For example, you might like to add the Hang up action to a path if a customer calls outside of office hours.

This step must come at the end of a path.

Click on the Hang up widget to set follow-up actions after the call ends (such as close conversation), or add rules based on information you’ve collected during the Workflow.

Ask for call rating

Add the Ask for call rating step to immediately collect customer feedback at the end of a call with your team. This is super useful for gauging call satisfaction and providing valuable insights for continuous improvement.

Call ratings will be available in the Customer satisfaction report and in Custom reports.

Simply click on the Ask for call rating widget to customize the text to speech message which will be played when asking for feedback.

The message can support multiple languages.

Remember, you must include a call ending step, such as Send to voicemail, Forward call, or Hang up, at the end of each path to ensure calls are properly concluded within your designed flow.


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