A recent post in the newsgroups asked about a stencil for IVR. IVR – Interactive Voice Response – is the system we have known to love as the automated telephone system – Press 1 for customer service rep, 2 for sales and so on. A VRU Voice Response Unit is the computer that runs the software.

In a past life I maintained an IVR system for a bank and of course, documented it with Visio. Except for a few specialized shapes, most of the shapes were from the flowchart stencil. With Visio 2007, some of the workflow shapes could have come in handy. So the specialized shapes I used were:

A Decision Box – This box contained the prompt presented the user and ten connection points to the possible responses ( 0 to 9)

A CSR shape – Customer Service Rep (aka operator) This was just a piece of clipart of an operator with a headset. Since this was a common destination when the user pressed 0, it was placed in many places on the flowchart. (I wonder if I can talk Visio Guy into creating one of his people shapes for this?).

A manframe shape – The actual VRU was an OS2 box, but all the data was stored on a mainframe.

A fax machine – One of the features we added was the ability to have your bank statement faxed to your fax machine.

So I will try and put a VRU / IVR stencil together and post it on the Visio MVPS website. If anyone can come up with any additional shapes that would be useful for the stencil, let me know.