Monday, January 31, 2011
by Kimberly Kohatsu CallFire is proud to sponsor Twiistup, LA's biggest technology event. Twiistup 8 will take place February 9 and 10 at the Skirball Cultural Center. In between all the great speakers and startup presentations Twiistup has to offer, CallFire is holding a scavenger hunt, where one lucky participant will win an Xbox Kinect. The scavenger hunt is a creative way for participants to experience some of the CallFire products. The first clue is going to be delivered via SMS, and the third clue was built using a CallFire Inbound IVR. (The second and fourth clues are going to be surprises, we can't give everything away) The IVR asks a series of multiple choice questions, much like a business might do if it were creating a phone tree. Each question has its own KeyPress menu, which will tell you if your answer was right and direct you to move on, or tell you your answer is wrong and to try again. I recorded each of the clues over the phone using CallFire's voice recording utility. Then I designed the phone tree using the drag-and-drop commands on CallFire's IVR Designer. When I was done, I sent a test call to myself to see if the IVR was functioning correctly. I had to do it a couple times before I got the hang of it, so here are a few tips I learned along the way:
  • In order to stay organized, make sure you name all your sound files something meaningful. CallFire will give your file a default name, so before you do anything, rename these files. I used names like "Q1" and "A1" for question and answers, as well as "Incorrect" and "Welcome" for the appropriate messages.
  • Also give your tags and menus meaningful names. My IVR was fairly complicated, so this helped me keep everything straight. The CallFire system will default to only the name of the tag, meaning it will name a play tag "play" and a goto tag "goto." I would edit these names further so that I could easily see I was dealing with the "Q3 menu" or that for a certain keypress I was configuring "Q2 Press1 Incorrect." The more indents and conditions you have, the easier it is to get confused. By naming each of my menus and tags the same way, I was able to keep myself on track.
  • Keep your sound files simple, with only one element in each. In my first attempt to build this IVR, I put the answer to Question 1 in the same sound file as the reading of the next question, Question 2. This made it more difficult to offer people the option to repeat Question 2 without having to hear the answer to Question 1 again. So I re-recorded myself and kept these two elements separate, and that made the IVR design cleaner and easier to manage. So say, for instance, you're building a phone tree for an office. Don't put your greeting and your office hours in the same sound file. This way, if someone wants to hear your office hours again, they don't also have to listen to your greeting again, too.
  • If none of this made any sense whatsoever, attend a CallFire webinar on Wednesdays at 11AM PST. Our trained solutions staff will decode everything I just conveyed, and help you apply it to your own uses.
Hope to see some of you at Twiistup! If you haven't already gotten your tickets, buy them here. Remember, alongside all the other great CallFire giveaways, one lucky scavenger is going to walk away with a Kinect :)