Adding an auto attendant to your phone system gives you a great advantage over the typical system that simply rings your phones directly for a staff member to pick up your calls. For some organizations, sending calls directly to your phones works very well and suits the nature of the business; however, an auto attendant can, in many scenarios, save time for your employees and manage calls far more efficiently.
An auto attendant has many names. You might call it a phone tree, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), or as we call it at Talkroute, a Call Menu. Whatever you call it, the auto attendant was a groundbreaking innovation that provides businesses with massive benefits. These are a few.
Block Spammers & Robo-Dialers
One of the most common reasons that people want a service with an auto attendant is to use it as a first line of defense against solicitation bots. When one of these calls into a phone system with an auto attendant, they cannot reach an actual phone because they would have to press a number to ring someone’s phone, which they obviously cannot.
Direct Callers Without Picking Up the Phone
An auto attendant can also basically function as a virtual receptionist. In many scenarios, an automated menu can virtually replace a human receptionist.
Instead of one or two people answering every call, finding out what they are calling about, and forwarding them to the correct department or person, you can just set an audio message on your phone system that lists your departments or a personnel directory.
Then, they can decide for themselves and press the number of the correct option without taking up unnecessary time with a receptionist.
Send Callers to a Variety of Destinations
The menu options on your auto attendant are not only good for sending calls to your phones; they can also be used to route callers straight to voicemail, provide a company directory of all your extensions, or even play a message for the caller that simply provides information for them, such as your Hours of Operation.
Auto attendants have been used for a long time by businesses, but in the past, it was reserved for the massive corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees. This is not the case anymore, and in fact, you can be the sole proprietor of your business and create multiple options on an auto attendant (which actually all route to your phone) to give the impression of a much larger company.
It is one of the most useful, efficient, and versatile inventions ever to be created for phone systems, and it might be exactly what your business’ system is missing.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.