Sample IVR app that uses database actions

This article tries to explain how to use the built-in database action in Voicent IVR Studio through a simple sample app. The following figure shows the call flow.

For an incoming call, the app first checks a database table and find all entries. If the total number of entries is greater than 0, then it reads back each entry one-by-one. If there is no entry, it informs the caller.

Setup Database

In this sample, we use mysql database engine. First we create a database named test, then we create a table named test. It does not matter what how you define the table as long as you have a column called name. A sample table could look like the following:

id name phone
100 Mike 4081112222
101 Mary 4081113333

Setup JDBC Driver

Select the root element “Incoming Call”, right click on properties…, then click the Setup JDBC… button.

Make sure you choose the correct JDBC connection string and other info for your application.

Setup Variables

From the same root element’s property window, select the Variable tab. Add the following 4 variables as follows:

Name initial Value Comment
rc jsoninit() The variable to hold the database query result
entry jsoninit() The variable to hold one row of the query
total 0 The total number of entries returned
index 0 Loop variable to go through the query result

The result of a database query is saved in a JSON array. In this case, variable rc is used to hold the value. To initialize a JSON variable, use jsoninit().

The Database Action

In this sample, we use a simple select all statement from the test table.

The result is then saved in the variable rc by using a setvar action, rc = getentry, where getentry is the name of the database action.

Check Total Rows Returned

We use the built-in function jsonsize to check the total rows returned. To make it easier to later actions, we assign the result to a variable total, where total = jsonsize(rc).

Get One Specific Row

To get a specific row, use the array format. For this example, we use the setvar action to set entry = rc[index]. You can then access the name column by notation.

The Sample IVR App

The sample app can be download here: IVR Database Action Sample.

Posted in IVR Developer, IVR Usage |

Test Inbound Phone Survey

I’m looking for a solution where we can conduct phone surveys from inbound customer service calls if they customers opt to do the survey

Voicent has complete telephone survey solutions for both inbound and outbound calls. Actually, we also offer text message survey solutions.

what would the process be like to transfer the call?

If you are using Voicent’s inbound call center solution, then you can simply click a button to transfer the call to a survey app. For more details, please see: transfer to IVR app.

If you already have your phone system, then you can set up the inbound survey app on Voicent cloud, then transfer the call to the inbound number assigned. For more details, please see: steps to setup and test inbound phone survey. Basically, once set up, you will have a telephone number assigned to your account, and whenever someone calls that number, the survey app will answer the call automatically. To the agent, the call transfer is the same as transferring a call to a different telephone number.

what would be the quality of the call for the survey?

The call quality is the same as regular telephone calls. The survey does not affect the call quality.

how can the survey be structured?

You can structure it as a liner sequence of questions and answers. You could also make it a tree-like structure, i.e., the questions to ask are based on the previous answers. For example, you can ask the caller to select the language, if he chooses English, it goes to the questions in English; if he chooses Spanish, it goes to the questions in Spanish.

A good place to start is the sample IVR phone survey app.

what would the reports look like?

There are various reports, such as call summery report, call detail report, and survey report. In addition, if you have fancy analytics service, you could export the full survey data from our system. The following is a sample survey report.

IVR phone survey report

Posted in IVR Usage |

Setup research or polling questions AFTER a call is completed

I am trying to find a way to add on a survey (brief- 3-5 questions) to an existing call with the vendor and gain insights immediately on responses. (Example: Patient calls into call center- before hanging up- they opt-into participating in a survey at end of call (3-5 questions) and then that insight is viewable immediately in a format like a dashboard.)

1. Design your survey app

The first step is to use Voicent IVR Studio to design your survey app. If you are using our cloud service, please login to your account and then go to the app portal. Select Setup, Download from the menu. Click IVR Studio to download and install the software.

Then take a look at Sample IVR Phone Survey to get started.

2. Deploy your survey app

Once finished, click the Deploy button to deploy your IVR survey app.

3. Choose the survey app for incoming calls

From your account, choose Setup, PBX, IVR app from the menu, click the Edit button to select the newly deployed survey app for the date the time it should be active. Save it.

4. Call in to test your survey app

Now you are ready to test your survey app. Simply call the incoming phone number of your account. If you are on a trial account, call the shared number listed.

5. Check the report

There are various call report for your survey. The easy one is go the the Campaigns menu, select the survey app. There you should see campaign summary, call details, pie chart, etc. You can also export all the survey data to a CSV file.

6. Set up your phone system to transfer the call to the survey

The easiest way is for the agent to simply transfer the call to the inbound phone number on Voicent. Normally on the desktop phone, or soft phone, there is a call transfer button.

If you would like to automatically transfer the call to the survey, then you need to talk to your current PBX vendor or phone service. It can be done, but it is outside the control of Voicent service.

7. Determine which agent the survey is for

If you need to tell which agent the survey is for, you can change your IVR app. One way is to have the caller enter the agent ID or other identification info. Another way is to have the IVR app to detect where the transfer call is from. If the caller ID is set correctly from the transfer call, then it is possible to have the IVR app to auto detect the agent info. If you need help, please contact our support. We also offer full IVR app development service.

Posted in IVR Usage |