10 Tips to Optimize Your Business Phone Auto Attendant
Your callers may be digital natives, but that doesn’t mean they want to feel like it when you call them. They still want a person to pick up the phone, answer their questions and help them with whatever they need. A business phone auto attendant (also referred to as a virtual receptionist or automated receptionist) answers your calls and helps direct your callers to the people they need to talk to. With an auto attendant, callers can punch in extensions or company codes to reach the appropriate department, listen to recorded messages about hours of operation and services provided by your business, and even leave a message if no one is available at that time. With so many different business phone auto attendant systems on the market today, choosing which one is right for you can be tough. Read on for our top tips on how to choose the right business phone auto attendant system for your business needs:
Make sure to do your research
Whether you’re looking for an auto attendant for an office phone system or for an IP phone system, it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting into. You’ll want to make sure the auto attendant you choose supports the right features for your business, such as extensions, call routing, company codes and more. In addition, it’s crucial that the auto attendant you select is compatible with other equipment, such as your PBX, voicemail system and computer network. If you’re switching to a new phone system, you may need to upgrade your auto attendant, as well.
It should be intuitive and easy-to-use
When it comes to the user interface of your business phone auto attendant system, it’s important that it be user-friendly for both your callers and employees. People might be calling for a variety of reasons, and you don’t want them to feel like they have to be computer geniuses to use your auto attendant. Similarly, your employees should be able to use it effortlessly. Depending on the software and hardware you select, the interface should be intuitive with easy-to-navigate menus. It should also offer helpful prompts to guide users to their desired destination or action.
It must have the right functionality for your business
When it comes down to it, your business phone auto attendant system should have the right functionality for your business. For example, if you’re a healthcare provider and regularly interact with patients and physicians, you may want an auto attendant that allows you to create and manage customized company codes. This way, you can create company codes for different groups, like patients, physicians and staff members. This will allow callers to enter the appropriate code and navigate the menu to get the help they need. This functionality can help you control the type of information that certain callers have access to. Plus, it will keep your staff members on the same page by giving them access to the same information.
Determine how many people will use the auto attendant
Depending on the number of employees who will regularly use the auto attendant, you may want to look for a system that has the ability to provide call logging. This feature will allow you to record who accessed the system and what they did, which can be helpful if you ever need to troubleshoot or review activity. If you have a large office with lots of employees, you may want to consider an auto attendant with a large capacity, such as one that can store hundreds of extension numbers. This way, everyone will have a place to be directed to and won’t have to share. If you only have a few employees who will use the auto attendant, a system that stores just a few extensions will be plenty.
Decide whether or not you want callers to be able to leave a message Find out how many extensions you’ll need
If you decide you want callers to be able to leave a voicemail, you’ll need to make sure your business phone auto attendant has this feature. Some systems will allow you to integrate a voicemail system into your auto attendant, while others will let you choose from several different voicemail providers. If you want to allow callers to leave a voicemail, you’ll need to select an auto attendant with a large capacity, as well. You’ll need enough extensions to accommodate callers who might be put on hold and have time to leave a message, as well as enough to accommodate the number of people who will be using the system regularly.
Check compatibility with your current equipment
Finally, you should make sure your business phone auto attendant system is compatible with your current equipment. Although many auto attendants will work with most types of systems, you’ll want to make sure the one you select will integrate well with the existing equipment you have in place. You can also look for an auto attendant with a modular design, which will allow you to add on additional functionality at a later date. This can help you future-proof your system and avoid investing in an entirely new auto attendant when your needs change.
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