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  Article updated: May 06, 2022

Sparkcentral IVR deflection to WhatsApp or SMS

Prevent your customers from waiting on hold, and facilitate customers who have already dialed your service number with the option to move their interaction to WhatsApp. Voice is an expensive channel that too often results in customer frustration. When 24/7 customer service operations are primarily reached by calling a hotline number for any type of question, customers often experience long wait times and calls are abandoned.

In the typical path, a customer calls a contact center, navigates an interactive voice response (IVR), waits on hold for an agent, and is then asked for the same information they just provided in the IVR. By using WhatsApp IVR deflection, you can proactively provide clients the option to engage with your claims handlers in their preferred messaging channel. You can even have a greeting message with this option within your IVR. Customers receive a push notification to begin the interaction with your company.

How IVR deflection works

If a customer contacts you on the phone, they have the option to receive a message on WhatsApp. An example IVR voice message might be, “Did you know you can also reach us on WhatsApp? To continue this conversation on WhatsApp, press 1 now.” The customer can hang up and continue the conversation over WhatsApp. An example WhatsApp IVR deflection message might be, “Hi and welcome to Sparkcentral on WhatsApp. We are here to help you 24/7 with anything!”

Technical requirements

You will need to have a Sparkcentral instance with a working WhatsApp number connected to get started.

To send outbound messages to customers on WhatsApp, you will use message templates. These messages, also referred to as highly structured message (HSMs) must be approved by WhatsApp in all languages you plan to use with customers. Message templates can contain {variables} that can be populated later, such as a first name, track and trace link, or order number.

Example message template (HSM)

  • Namespace: d75f9d7a_3477_a3c1_84f8_12d604b70458
  • Name: ivr_deflection
  • Language: English
  • Content: Hi and welcome to Sparkcentral on WhatsApp. We are here to help you 24/7 with anything!

To send an outbound message to a customer on WhatsApp, you'll need to integrate your IVR solution with Sparkcentral using our Proactive API.

This is a code snippet to show that integration only requires a few lines of code to get started.

$message = '&[](d75f997a_3477_a9c1_84f8_12d604b70458, welcome_message, ' . ($request->client ?: 'Sparkcentral') . ')';
$to = '+32123456789';
$token = $this->getToken();
$data = (new Fetcher('', null, false))->post_json([
'contact' => $to,
'medium' => 'WHATSAPP',
'channel' => 'SparkcentralWhatsApp',
'text' => $message
], [
'Authorization: Bearer ' . $token,
'Content-Type: application/json',


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