An auto-attendant or, simply, many businesses use an AA. Government agencies and other institutions also use this type of service for efficient workflow. A more sophisticated form of AA known as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) accepts voice telephone input and tone keypad selection and provides appropriate responses in various media formats.
An AA is a telephone system that routes incoming calls to different extensions specified by callers without the intervention of a human operator. Calls can be routed to landline phones, VoIP devices, mobile phones, or other AA services. A virtual receptionist is another term for this.
How is it different from IVR?
- IVR is a technology that allows a human to interact with a computer by using voice commands or tones from a telephone keypad (DTMF, or Dual Tone Multifrequency, the beeps your phone makes when you dial). IVR technically allows the caller to enter an “ID” or account code, granting access to a database. It is where the “interactive” component comes into play. Banks and credit unions frequently have “phone bank” systems where you can conduct transactions.
- Incoming callers to a typical AA are presented with a menu they respond by pressing various keys on their telephones’ DTMF (“touch-tone”) keypads. For instance, the machine could greet callers with “Hello and welcome to XYZ Enterprises. Press one for sales, two like this for hours of operation, and 4 for any other questions or concerns. Press 5 to return to this menu. Press 0, or you may stay on the line to speak with a customer service representative.”
- Transfers to specific extensions, voicemail boxes, submenus, presentation of standard, recorded messages, transfer to a human operator or customer service representative, option to repeat the choices in a specific menu, and option to terminate the call are typical AA routing steps (“hang up”). Some AA systems will automatically terminate calls or route callers to a human operator after a predetermined period in which the caller does not press any tone keys. At different times of the day, some AA systems use different menus and processes (for example, business and non-business hours).
What exactly is Auto-Attendant, and why do you need it?
Business phone systems can be perplexing at times, especially because there appear to be so many different features. Each phone system provider wants to call each feature by a different name. AA, Integrated Voice Response (IVR), and Call Center features serve different purposes but have similarities. Even Auto Attendant has several aliases – Virtual Attendant, Automated Receptionist, Auto Attendant Phone system and the list goes on and on. Combining AA, Hunt Group, and IVR feature functionality can be used in a Call Center and add to the complication.
The phrase “auto-attendant” It’s a term that doesn’t come up in casual conversation for many people. It is, however, a critical consideration for any business with a high volume of inbound callers that need to answer calls quickly and courteously, then route them efficiently to the people they want or to obtain the information they require.
A virtual auto attendant performs a variety of functions, including:
- Greeting Messages and Incoming Call Answer
- Prompts for Call Transfer & Routing
- Announcements Concerning General Business Information
- System Menu – Repeat, Exit, Operator Prompts Automated Company Directory Lookup of Users.
These features assist callers in navigating an organized and efficient call flow from the initial greeting to the transfer to whichever user, voicemail, or department they were attempting to reach – all without having to go through or wait on a Receptionist to assist them one at a time.
Why do you require the services of this?
- Auto-attendants are essential for any size business that wants to handle incoming calls without connecting with a live person, agent, or receptionist. Only an AA can guarantee a quick, efficient, and courteous answer to an inbound caller when expenses, headcount restrictions, employee multitasking, and customer experience are paramount.
- Only a full-time dedicated receptionist can guide and transfer customers to other users and provide them with necessary information without AA. These days they’re typically swamped with calls, let alone making coffee and copies for them. New callers are frequently asked to wait while the receptionist provides basic company business hours or directions.
Having an auto-attendant has become a requirement for any active business. It responds without fail, rain or shine, day or night. But it’s also important to “design” your AA correctly and give it a professional voice, so your callers have the best understanding of their options and the information you provide. It could include the following items.
Flowcharting The Entire Call Flow:
Having a visual representation of your call flow from start to finish ensures that you don’t overlook anything when writing out your messages for individual call transfer options and possibilities. Callers may need basic business information or to communicate in Spanish. Other callers may be unsure who they should speak with about their needs or issues. It’s good to design and organize your Auto Attendant based on what callers most frequently call about, what they need, or which people or departments have the highest call volumes.
Charting call flows also assists callers in moving through the system appropriately, such as from listening to business hours information to scheduling an appointment. It will also assist you in detecting menu errors and omissions, such as not providing a caller with an exit option from your business location/direction.
Inbound Callers Are Routed to Departments Using on Hold Messaging Features:
Callers who are on hold are a captive audience. Take advantage of this time by adding messages to your phone system’s hold and call park features to help keep callers on the line. Auto-attendants can be routed to departmental on-hold messaging features until their call is picked up.
An efficient virtual auto attendant service also allows you to forward important information and prompt them to be prepared with any special paperwork/information they may require for their call. Caller holding time is also an excellent opportunity to share specials, promotions, and details about upcoming business events.
24H Virtual can provide efficient services for all sizes of business organizations. We use cutting-edge technology in our work thus we can maintain the quality of our services. You can get the best auto-attendant service at an affordable price from us.