One of the most common features of any phone for large, modern corporations is the presence of an auto attendant to handle incoming calls. Replacing the need for a physical operator, this is a computerized and programmable system that allows a company to create a menu of options to direct callers. It helps prevent a caller from receiving a busy signal when they contact the business. While the general perception is that only large companies with multiple, heavily-staffed departments have auto attendant services, they can be of great use to small businesses as well. In addition to offering the convenience of a dedicated toll-free number and 24 hour service, an auto attendant can do many things to help you position yourself more prominently in the market.
Having an auto-attendant feature in the phone you use for business allows you to create multiple individual recordings. Thus, greeting can be different, one for day and night, or weekday and weekend. You can record and play messages at a specific time. This allows your customer to feel not only in control of their experience while on the line, but satisfied with the outcome of the call.
A business telephone with this feature also enables you to eliminate the possibility of missing important calls. You can now control your business from any geographic location. The system uses the ‘find me, follow me’ call forwarding feature to route business calls from the official business number to alternate phone numbers such as those used in mobile phones providing you a means to be constantly connected with your customers.
Another reason why managing your contact number is better with an auto-attendant feature is because no costly and large equipment are necessary. The required PBX equipment are maintained at the site of the service provider and the services are offered using high speed Internet or dedicated telephone connection. The PBX services are shared among numerous users and therefore can be obtained at reasonable monthly charges.
To maximize the efficient use of your phone with the auto-attendant system, consider the following points:
1. Limit Routing Options and Avoid Multiple Layers – As a general rule, your initial layer of customer options should have no more than four to five selections. If you absolutely need another layer, only implement that layer on one or two of your selections.
2. Keep Your Recordings Short and Clear – Your customers appreciate short, concise message. Speak clearly and provide specific and easy to understand directions.
3. Avoid Qualifications in your Message – An example would be: “if you are an existing customer and if you are looking to add new service…” If you have to segment your approach, such as “sales” to existing and new customers, do that in the second layer with two options.
With an auto attendant system, you need not worry about losing important calls as it can handle multiple calls simultaneously. If nobody attends the phone, the callers are redirected to the voicemail system, where they can leave their messages.