What is a phone tree? A phone tree is an automated telephone information system that speaks to the caller with a combination of fixed-voice menus in real time. The caller can respond by pressing phone keys or speaking words or short phrases. These key presses can register information or route calls based on the programmed responses.

Phone Tree Applications

Phone tree software systems have numerous practical applications. Consumers commonly interface with phone trees through call center greetings that route calls to available agents and retrieve information. For example, a caller can call into a phone tree to retrieve banking information on bank balances, account information, movie show times, event schedules, and much more directly from their phone. Many businesses will create phone trees to greet incoming callers and route callers to the appropriate individual or departmental extensions.

Phone trees, or interactive voice response (IVR) systems, are also used for outbound calls in the form of outbound polling and notification applications. Organizations will create dynamic outbound phone tree polls to retrieve preference data, gather information for appointments, past-due bills, and other time-critical events. Churches and emergency response notifiers use phone tree solutions to broadcast important to alerts.

IVR Phone Trees

Phone tree applications are powered by interactive voice response (IVR) technology. The IVR program processes the dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) key press input to propel the interaction between the software and the caller.

Phone Tree Online Platforms

Phone tree platforms are the “server and operating system” hardware and IVR software platforms on which phone tree solutions run. IVR platforms provide the ability to play and record prompts and gather caller input. Many also offer the ability to recognize voice response input from callers, translate text into speech output for callers, and route calls to physical phone lines or call center agents.