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Article 3: Creating Questions and Responses

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At the heart of an IVR system is the question and response. Basically, the system requests responses from the customer, and the customer presses keys in response. This may be in the form of an actual question and instructions for response — "Would you vote for Homer Simpson? Press 1 for Yes or 2 for No." Or sometimes, it's just a simple declaration — "Please enter your five-digit account number, followed by the pound sign."

In either case, the question-response clearly consists of a play tag stating the instructions and some key presses getting the responses. Something needs to tell the IVR system that this particular play tag and its key press tags all work together. The press menu tag provides this function — think of it as an envelope "containing" the play tag and key presses. As a matter of fact, when you drag a press menu tag into the workspace, you will see that it automatically creates two dependent tags, a play tag and a key press tag (dependent tags are indented from, and hang down from, their 'parent' tags). The press menu tag knows that it needs at least one each of these tags.

The whole thing works as follows:

 

<!-- The menu here defines how many key presses constitute an answer -- in this case, one. Also, how long they have to enter a response, here 3-1/2 seconds -->

<!-- The play tag defines Question 1 (Q1) and describes how to respond. -->

<!-- The first keypress tag gets the digit-2 response for Question 1 (Q1R2 and pressed="2") and stores it in the report as "2-No" under the Variable Name "Q1R" -->

<!-- The second keypress tag gets the digit-1 response for Question 1 (Q1R1 and pressed="1") and stores it in the report as "1-Yes" under the Variable Name "Q1R" -->     

<!-- Notice that the variable name is the same for both responses: only the value changes -->

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