We’ve all been there: a caller calls a business, gets put on hold and hears on-hold music while trying to figure out who they need to speak with. That experience diminishes a company’s credibility and may prompt customers to hang up. An auto attendant eliminates this frustration by providing callers a clear pathway to take basic actions. Learn how this VoIP feature can help your business improve customer satisfaction.
It Gives Your Customers a Personalized Experience
Auto attendants are a great way to categorize departments and employees so callers can easily reach the right person. You can also include a phone directory, listing all the names and extensions of your team members, and provide callers with important information, like store hours or locations. Using an auto attendant, you can record and upload customized greetings for different times of the day. For example, you can create a custom business hours schedule and after-hours greetings that will play when your office is closed or the phone lines are unattended. You can also configure your dialing menu, which determines what action the auto attendant will take when a caller selects a number or symbol from the keypad (so, for example, calling “0” to get a representative or pressing a number or a star to speak with someone in a particular department). You can also choose whether to transfer the customer to an External Operator (routes them to a phone number that is not a User or Extension within the company; for instance, a third-party answering service or corporate call center) or to an Internal Operator with a Prompt (redirects them to a configured Operator without playing the selection menu and then picking up the phone for them). You can modify these settings anytime by logging into the 8×8 Admin Console and selecting the Auto Attendant you wish to edit.
It Answers Your Calls
An auto attendant is the first person your customers or clients interact with, so their experience with you must be positive. It’s also how many businesses get their name out to potential new customers, so the greeting and menu options you choose should represent your business’s personality and style. Finding a balance between the time spent answering phone calls and the other tasks that must be done can be challenging. With an auto-receptionist, you can free up employees to do higher-value work, like conversing with callers or tackling more complex questions. Auto attendants provide a series of choices for routing callers based on their needs. It allows organizations to give callers various options such as “For Sales, press 1,” or “For Services, press 2.” Call queues can be set up to connect callers with people with expertise in a certain area.
It Reduces Spam Calls
An auto attendant is a virtual receptionist who takes the place of your team members, and routes calls to your business numbers. It allows you to save money on hiring and training a full-time receptionist and reallocate those wages to other areas that need them. When a customer dials the number for the department they need, an automated menu prompts them to choose the right option, then routes the call to the right person without the cost and frustration of human error. No one wants to spend a lot of time pressing buttons just to be transferred to someone who doesn’t know how to help them.
With clear command prompts and menu options, your customers can get what they need while you’re freed up to focus on higher-value tasks like providing outstanding customer service. You can modify the dialing menu for your auto attendant to select which action is taken when a caller presses a particular digit or symbol on their keypad. You can also configure each auto-attendant’s language and time zone. The operator option allows you to redirect calls to a configured person within your organization (note that this user must be voice-enabled). You can also route callers to an external phone number if you choose.
It Increases Productivity
Many of us have experienced calling a company and reaching an automated system that allows callers to select from a menu of options. The recorded voice transfers the customer to a team or individual based on their selection. Auto attendants are great for businesses because they help them present a more professional image to their customers. They can answer questions your staff may need help with or send a message to your callers that lists important information, such as business hours or contact details for other locations. Using an auto attendant will also allow you to increase the productivity of your staff. Since the auto attendant will handle calls that your team can’t answer, you won’t have to worry about having too many rings on the line and distracting your employees from their work. With most modern auto attendant systems, you can choose which action to take when a caller presses a digit or symbol on the keypad (such as numbers 0-9, star (*) and pound (#). You can even assign a specific operator for incoming calls that time out after being routed by the auto attendant. For example, you can configure your auto attendant to transfer the caller to a third-party answering service or your corporate call center when it’s after business hours.