Skip to content

Phone Call Tree: A Comprehensive Guide



Phone Call Tree

Tired of losing your customers due to inconvenient Phone Call Tree Issues? But still can’t understand the core issue? 😬

The problem may range from customers facing difficulty in reaching the right department to get what they are looking for 🧐. Or maybe they give up halfway and turn to your competitors instead.

If these are the cases, then it might be time for your business to set up a reliable and advanced phone call tree. It will let callers easily reach where they intend to when they call your business phone number.

Key Highlights🔑

  • The system and conditions on how the phone call tree works for both businesses and their clients.
  • Tips to make phone call trees effective: including important numbers, updating IVR, simple structure, and more. 
  • Types of different phone call trees: traditional and automated phone call trees.
  • Suitable call tree solution for your business.

What Is a Phone Call Tree?

A phone call tree is an automated call feature consisting of organized voice prompts that work as a guide for callers to get connected with different departments or people according to their needs.

What is a Phone Call Tree

Phone call tree, also known as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), is preferred by businesses to route calls automatically without the requirement of additional phone operators.

Typically, callers are capable of responding by pressing the phone keypad📱 to indicate their decisions according to what kind of information they are looking for. 

With a phone tree, you can set up your business department numbers in a branch-like structure that can be pre-defined for customers during calls.

How Does The Phone Call Tree Work?

A phone tree is based on an IVR system that makes the phone call feature more advanced and automated for your business and, most importantly, for the customers who reach out to your business.

How Does The Phone Call Tree Work

With the IVR, the phone keypad works as a menu option where callers can select a number according to the pre-recorded voice prompt instructions. When the caller hears the prompt greeting, which suggests menu selections, they can press the options according to the service they prefer. 

When the caller presses 🤳 the numbers on the phone keypad, the system detects the input by using a signaling method known as dual-tone multi-frequency signal (DTMF).  By identifying the input, the system then assigns the callers to related departments for the service they want or for the action they want to implement.

What are the Benefits Of Using the IVR Phone Call Tree System?

The evolution🧬 of the phone call tree system has changed the phone tree into something more automated and has made it easier for businesses to handle customers. 

The benefits of using IVR phone call tree systems are: 

What are the Benefits Of Using the IVR Phone Call Tree System
  • To Increase Efficiency: Phone trees are a great way for businesses to improve productivity. Since employees will only be receiving calls specific to their department, your team will initially be able to answer calls faster. Furthermore, callers will be immediately redirected and transferred to the correct department using the IVR system which saves time.
  1. To Reduce Staffing Needs

With an IVR phone tree, the number of staff required to receive calls can be reduced. Customers are automatically directed by automated voice commands to specific business departments, which saves staff time and reduces unnecessary transfers. 

It not only reduces operators but also helps businesses save extra labor and costs while at the same time providing customers with satisfying service.

  1. To Allow Flexibility

The IVR phone tree, in terms of flexibility, is best because the phone tree system can be transformed according to company requirements. If your business is expanding, then you can customize the phone tree and add additional contacts or phone branches.

IVR phone tree has dynamic menus for seasonal adjustments, customizing greetings and messages, and even integrating with other existing systems.

  1. To Avoid Robocalls & Spam Calls

Most of the time, businesses are targeted by spam or robocalls 📞. These calls become more and more severe as the business becomes well known. With a phone tree system, such unnecessary calls can be avoided and reduced at a high rate.

The reasons why Phone Tree avoids robocalls and spam calls are due to complex menus that require multiple steps to reach the required destination, and IVR systems can also identify and block calls from suspicious numbers.

  1. To Reduce Wait Time

Unlike the traditional phone tree, where callers have to wait for a while to connect to the actual department or person because one person has to relay the message to another. In the IVR phone tree with automatic call routing, you can direct a call to a related person.

The main reasons for reduced wait times are due to menu prompts & options that help callers identify their own needs instead of waiting for operators. 

Tips To Make Phone Call Tree Effective in Your Organization🙌

When it comes to effectiveness in a phone call tree, it is directed toward customer satisfaction and user-friendliness. It’s better to make a phone call tree less complex and more understandable. 

Here are some tips on how you can make the phone call tree effective in your organization:

Tips To Make Phone Call Tree Effective in Your Organization
  1. Simple is the best

When setting up the call tree menu, don’t try to make it sound too advanced. Avoid using long sentences, slants, and complex vocabulary. 

Callers prefer greetings and instructions that are short and easy to understand. The simpler it is, the easier callers will connect with the related person or department.

  1. Important phone numbers only

It’s better to keep important phone numbers within the phone tree rather than inserting every department number. The customer wants to connect with a specific department, but that doesn’t mean every contact is important.

Too many contacts on call tree options can confuse customers while following the menu.

  1. Input Repeat options

Input repeat menu options for the callers so that even when the caller misses the details, they can repeat the voice prompt to clearly understand the phone tree options. 

It helps callers get into the right department and stops callers from being routed to the wrong teams or causing any errors. 

  1. Keep the call tree updated

Make sure to keep your call tree updated. Now and then the contact number might get changed due to which the IVR system database must be updated too.

According to the season, the preference of certain contacts and departments might be higher, so it’s better to update the call tree of the business.

Read More💡: Professional Business Voicemail Greeting Example

How to Set Up Phone Call Tree in Your Business?

There are a few things to think about while setting up a phone call tree for your company, like the size of the company and the number of customers. 

Here are two✌️ methods for setting up a call tree at your company:

1. Traditional Phone Call Tree

A traditional phone call tree also known as a manual phone tree requires no additional systems or software providers. It can be set up manually within the business.

In a traditional phone call tree when each agent and their numbers are linked in a chain-like structure. Where calls are made from one person to another up to related departments.

Traditional Phone Call Tree
  • Map Phone Call Tree Structure  

In a traditional phone tree, the flow of the call tree is outlined properly by placing 5-10 contacts in each node. Choose a reliable person to respond to calls in each tree node and certain employees as initial callers or backup callers.

  • Scripts and Message Ready For Communication

Prepare a format for the greeting and the flow of communication to make it sound more formal and customer-friendly.  Also, practicing the script makes the response more clear and calm when communicating with callers.

  •  Communicate with employees

Communicate with employees and let them understand the phone tree structure and how it will work once it is implemented. 

  • Execute Call Tree

Finally, during the execution process, the call tree structure should come into action, implement the call tree, and test the call flow to determine if the call tree is effective or not.

2. IVR Automated Phone Call Tree 

An IVR automated phone tree is one of the advanced virtual phone features that allows you to establish a phone tree for your business👍.

IVR is automated and consists of advanced features that can help customers navigate the menu to reach the departments or agents easily.

IVR Automated Phone Call Tree
  • Choose an IVR Provider:

Various IVR providers provide advanced features and affordable prices with good 24/7 technical support such as KrispCall.  Choosing the best IVR provider not only helps businesses establish a reliable phone tree but also provides long-term durability.

  • Develop Phone Tree Structure:

You can customize the phone tree according to your business scale or choose the phone tree template that is pre-defined by the providers. Furthermore, the level of menus should be limited by placing important department contacts only.

  • Choose Voice Prompts:

Voice prompts are important because they determine the impression of the business towards its customers. Testing different voices & tones with clear and straightforward language or by hiring a professional that fits your business.

  • Program the IVR System:

After everything is determined, use the IVR system provider’s software to implement all the menus, prompts, and routing rules. Test the phone tree with different call scenarios, look for errors to fix and finally execute for business.

Traditional Phone Call Tree Vs Automated Phone Call Tree: What Is The Difference?

Traditional Phone Call Tree Vs Automated Phone Call Tree
PointsTraditional Phone TreeAutomated Phone Tree
Flexibility for callersWhen it comes to the traditional phone tree, there might be lack of availability. If a person or call operator is unavailable then the caller might not be able to initiate anything.An automated phone tree is not flexible enough, due to one-way instruction, where the callers might not be able to understand the voice instruction properly.
AvailabilityWhen it comes to the traditional phone tree, there might be a lack of availability. If a person or call operator is unavailable then the caller might not be able to initiate anything.The automated phone tree operates 24/7 regardless of time, as most of the prompts are pre-recorded.
ScalabilityTraditional phone trees are more suitable for small businesses due to fewer departments and hierarchy, as calls can be easily reached by related departments or persons.It is suitable for all types of businesses due to a pre-defined menu where every important department and person’s contacts are pre-set.
CostIt requires additional manpower and resources because of the manual system.It does not require additional manpower and resources because once the system is set, it works every time. 


An IVR phone tree can be an asset✨ to a business if designed correctly, but if made too complicated, the result may be the opposite, and it may end up being an annoyance for customers.

The phone call tree is one of the advanced VoIP phone system features. It’s very efficient when it comes to handling calls and providing customer satisfaction if the right VoIP phone system provider is selected, such as KrispCall.  

If you are still using a manual phone tree and want to advance into the IVR phone tree along with advanced VoIP features with affordable subscription fees to handle your customers effectively, remember KrispCall.

👉Request a free demo now!


1. Are auto attendants, IVRs, automated calls, and phone trees the same?

Yes, auto attendants, IVRs, automated calls, and phone trees are all the same, as they are all related to routing systems and phone-based information.

2. How to get an effective phone tree system?

To get an effective phone tree system, you first need to have an advanced phone system like KrispCall. Then you need to make a simple menu option, place important department numbers only, and keep the phone tree updated.

3. Who should I include in my phone call tree?

It depends upon the type of business on which contacts or departments you should include in your phone call tree for example under financial departments you have an account section.

4. Are phone trees used for emergency communications?

Yes, phone trees are used for emergency communications or to announce emergency pieces of information as well.

Follow our newsletter !
Subscribe to our newsletter & stay updated for the latest news.
Author Image

Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

Related Blogs