Multi-language IVR

How to Handle a Multi-language IVR

There may be times when you have a speech–enabled IVR system for use by callers who speak multiple languages. Here are some tips on the various options to handle those calls.

  1. One option is to get the ANI or caller ID number from the incoming call and play the country or language specific prompt.
  2. You could also have country/language specific inbound numbers to determine were the calls are coming from.
  3. If you can't determine the country (or region) of origin, determine which languages are being used the most and weigh your prompt accordingly. For example, if 75% of your callers speak French, then use French as your first prompt.

If you know where the calls are coming from, you can first play the prompt in that language and then the other languages in the order of priority to accommodate callers speaking any of the other languages in the originating region.

If you don't know the origin of the call you would play a prompt with the prioritized list of languages considering all the regions you cover. You could play a prompt such as "say English, parlez Francais, parli Italiano or dice Espanol" in the order as outlined above.

For this prompt you can build a grammar to "understand" the callers response. Based on the result you can then load the appropriate country or language specific grammar.

As a fallback option, you can always offer a DTMF option, however in the initial prompt start off with speech recognition.

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