Learn how you can configure a phone tree for your Spruce phone number
A phone tree (or auto-attendant or auto-receptionist or IVR) on Spruce has some of the basic functionalities you’d typically find in a phone system along with advanced ones that leverage the core communication features of Spruce. This guide will give you an overview of the phone tree functionality and how you can leverage it to enhance your workflows.
As a refresher, a phone tree is a menu-driven system that routes callers to recordings, a person or a menu depending on their responses.
Here’s the basic functionality that the Spruce phone tree provides:
- Menus and submenus: An incoming call to a Spruce phone number can be routed to a menu where the user can input digits 0-9 to be routed to the appropriate sub-menu. Each sub-menu can then consist of another phone-tree to provide for complex routing.
- Sequential and simultaneous ringing: You can forward a caller from the menu to a list of phone numbers which can be configured to ring simultaneously or sequentially. If configured for simultaneous ringing, the call is considered answered by whoever answers first. If configured for sequential ringing, then calls can ring in the order that you specify until someone picks up the call.
- Play a recording: Each submenu can play a recording and end the call. This is useful if you’d like to provide the caller with directions or hours of operations without having to speak with someone.
- Voicemail: Each submenu can be configured to accept a voicemail either directly or after attempting to call a list of phone numbers.
- Transcription: Voicemails left by the caller can be transcribed so that you can read and listen to voicemails.
- Custom and professional greetings: You can create your own custom recordings for the menu, submenus and voicemail. This can also be read by an automated voice if you prefer.
- Call screening: When you answer a Spruce call, you can hear the name of the caller before deciding whether to accept the call or send it to voicemail.
- After-hours scheduling: You can configure the system to automatically switch to a different phone tree based on hours of the day or when you go on vacation.
And here’s advanced functionality that you can use to optimize your workflows:
- Call Rescue: You can configure the phone tree to send the caller an SMS if they abandon the call. Something like “I’m sorry we missed your call. How can we help?” over SMS can go a long way in helping you identify and quickly address the needs of your callers.
- Configurable “text-backs”: Each submenu of the phone tree can be configured to send the caller a different SMS depending on whether their call was answered, sent to voicemail or missed. With this, you could send a new patient a link to your onboarding flow or an existing patient a link to schedule an appointment.
- Triggered workflows: The configurable SMS responses can also prompt users for certain triggered words to kick-off a complex workflow and automatically intake information from the patient. For example, you could ask the caller to respond with “URGENT” if their matter is urgent or “CALL” if they’d prefer a call-back rather than communicate over SMS. In response, you could then text the patient back another SMS which confirms their entry or prompts them to respond with yet another phrase, thereby scripting a workflow that helps you get what you need from the caller.
- Configurable notifications: Notify the right teammate or group of teammates based on the caller journey through your phone tree. For example, you can page the on-call team if the caller indicates that they have an urgent matter after-hours, or page the front-desk if a new patient would like to learn more about your services.
- Tagging: Tag your conversations in Spruce based on caller inputs so that your team can easily and automatically categorize incoming communication and route the information to the appropriate teammate. For example, a caller that identifies themselves as a new patient could automatically get the “NewPatient” tag so that the front-desk team can handle the queue of new patients.
- Call insights: Know exactly where the caller landed in the phone tree via call events in your Spruce inbox that indicate date/time of call, duration of call, and submenu the caller ended the call on.
- Analytics: Get a periodic data report of all incoming/outgoing calls to analyze the data as you wish and get the answers you want!
Putting it all together
Here’s a visual flow of a sample phone tree that leverages many of the features above. We’d recommend downloading it and panning through it to navigate through the different submenus.
How to configure your phone tree
We’d love to work with you to share best practices and recommendations, and put the right phone tree in place for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with one of our customer specialists.
To configure a phone tree, we will need your outline of how you want you phone tree to behave (see visual flow above) as well as audio recordings of the various steps in your phone tree that you want to speak your message.