Auto-attendant phone systems, which are also known as virtual office phone systems, can provide small businesses with a virtual assistant in order to establish a professional reputation. When your customers call into your business your virtual attendant will greet all customers, making the first impression a good one. Virtual assistants will help small business owners sound professional and stay connected by automatically greeting calls and forwarding them to the proper extension.
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This type of phone system is affordable and easy to set up, with no need for extra hardware or equipment. A virtual attendant can be installed right into your existing phone line and phone service, making this assistant available with all business communication forms.
Related service: Virtual Phone Systems
What is an Auto-Attendant?
An auto-receptionist serves as a virtual receptionist, which allows your business to greet its callers and route them directly to any employee line, department, or phone throughout your company. Unlike a live operator, an auto-attendant will never miss customer service calls or sales opportunities because it’s always able to answer the phone at all hours of the day and night.
Auto-attendants will filter and manage call flow, ensuring that all customer calls are answered promptly and directly accordingly. This will make for a better system for your customers and your employees. Auto-attendants are soon to be one of the main industry standards for interactive voice responses, and if your small business can integrate this feature into its phone systems, then the benefits are endless.
The information playback menu will be your business’s saving grace when it comes to auto-attendants. This menu is easily customizable and fit for your business only. By using this menu, your auto-attendant will be able to find out what the customer is calling about and route the call to the proper destination, using a routing system. The employee that receives the customer’s call will get a notification, just as a normal phone line would receive a call. If this employee does not pick up the customer’s call, the customer will then be transferred to a voicemail box or will be placed in a queue if the employee is busy.
For some small businesses’ convenience, auto attendants might also include a dial-by-name directory. This will allow the customer to dial the first name or last name of the employee they are wishing to speak to, which is easier than trying to remember employee extensions.
Benefits of an Auto-Attendant
A virtual assistant provides your small business with effective call management skills. Not only this, but virtual assistants provide many added benefits.
- Each Auto assistant is completely customizable. If a change is needed, then your business’s virtual assistant settings can be changed from any device, including smartphone applications, phone systems, and tablets or computers.
- With custom greetings, your business can choose what your callers will be greeted with. You can set pre-recorded messages or ask employees to record their own. Depending on what your business wishes to present to customers, it’s totally up to you.
- Forwarding calls to any extension, employee line, or voicemail is made easy. Calls can even be transferred to any line outside the country as well.
- Advanced rules can be set, meaning that there will be special handling for calls. If you have higher up management that will be calling or special clients, these numbers can be transferred directly to where they need to be, with special auto greetings.
- Depending on which provider is chosen, some will offer multi-level attendant features, allowing you to create accounts for routine to handle certain offices’ incoming calls. If you have different locations, you can customize those auto-attendants based on that specific place.
- Money can be saved if your business chooses this type of system. One of the most important reasons that small businesses might choose an auto attendant is because they can save on labor. Instead of hiring a full-time employee to simply answer phones and route calls, an auto attendant can do it for you. Not only do these auto-attendants save money in employee costs, but also can save your company money in terms of all the lines that can be utilized. When employees get a call routed to their lines, it will be free. There are no added costs of auto attendants routing calls and no added costs from delivering information to different company lines.
Choosing an Auto-attendant Phone System
Having a phone system that offers an auto-attendant feature will help your business save tons of money. Instead of hiring an employee to simply attend to the phones, a virtual assistant will do the job for you. It can improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees simply by taking messages, forwarding calls, and answering the phones.
Adding an auto-attendant can be helpful to let your callers know that your business or employees are unavailable, but can be reached at a later time. Auto-attendants can also call forward and transfer, call record, take caller ID information, and provide music for customers who call in. Different providers will offer these services, and sometimes more, depending on which you select. Your business needs to first decide what they are looking for in an auto-attendant and provider, then from there, look into all the companies that offer the services to fit their needs.
Are Auto-Attendants Easy to Customize?
Yes, virtual attendants can be customized however your small business likes. You can record your own personal greeting, or use the pre-recorded greetings that your auto assistant comes with. If you wish to use real voices, then recording a set message is easy, and might give your business a more professional touch. If you are wishing for something fancy and reputable, a third-party voice talent may also record your small business’s main greeting.