Tag Archive for Auto-Attendant

How an Auto Attendant Can Help Your Business

An auto attendant gives your business a special edge over your competitors by ensuring that all the incoming calls are automatically and professionally handled. This helps you in increasing productivity and reducing cost for business operations.  We understand that growing a small business is a hard job and no one will have the luxury to answer every call they receive on their business number. An auto attendant professionally answers all your incoming calls and directs the callers to the right person or department quickly. It is a luxury within a small budget. An automated attendant is part of a virtual phone system and has proved to be extremely beneficial for businesses.

Available Anywhere Anytime

Missing a call can prove to be quite expensive for any business. An auto attendant forwards calls to more than one phone number or to the voicemail box if you are not available to answer the call. The phone system sends out alerts as soon as there’s a new voice message. Using this auto receptionist you can forward and answer customers anywhere and at anytime – on a cell phone, office phone or home phone.

Reduces Cost

An auto attendant completely eliminates your need to hire an office receptionist. It works 24 hours a day 7 days a week greeting and routing callers to the right person/department.  In today’s time few businesses operate within strict time limits. So it is important to have somebody to answer and forward calls even after regular hours of business operations. This automated attendant is also perfect for this purpose. It can forward calls to your cell phone or to any other pre-defined phone number or to your voicemail box.

Complying with Corporate Standards

For mobile workers, an auto attendant is an important tool for maintaining the business’s corporate identity and complying with their corporate standards for business and security. No matter if you are answering customers on a cell phone, it is important that when a customer calls your business contact number, he should be professionally greeted and be presented with a list of interactive menu options. This is also important for your brand.  When you use an auto receptionist you can be sure that you (and your employees) are sticking to the corporate standards, which otherwise would be difficult.

 Easy to Use

An auto attendant is also quite easy to use. It is actually an important feature of a virtual phone system and is usually used along with a virtual phone. It does not need any software, installation or hardware. The message of an automated attendant can also be customized. You can edit or change it according to your need, business need or according to a particular season or festival.

 

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The Virtual Features of a Virtual PBX Service Help Your Business Grow

If you wish to make the communication system of your company as smart as that of any other big company, then you should try using virtual PBX service. It performs like any high priced telephone system – answering several calls and routing them simultaneously without sending out a busy tone ever, but never weighs too heavy for your pocket. This is an intelligent selection for your business that will help you in building effective communication, marketing campaigns, branding and can also help during your business expansion.  But before you make the switch over from traditional phone or phone system to virtual PBX, you need to know a few important features.

Virtual Office Receptionist

The virtual office receptionist (also known as auto attendant) is an important feature of a virtual PBX service that makes your business look professional and smart while boosting your business financially.  It answers and routes all the calls that you receive on your virtual phone system. The auto attendant quickly connects your prospects and customers to the right person or department thereby making call management more effective. It also reduces the chances of calls going unanswered.  The auto attendant completely eliminates your need to hire a human office assistant and works 24/7 answering and routing calls.

You can also customize the message of the auto attendant to suit the time of operation, season or festival. You can either record the message of an auto receptionist yourself or can hire a professional for the purpose. Nevertheless, it makes you sound professional and your business bigger. It also ensures effective call management so that you miss no important call.

Virtual Fax

Though internet and cell phone are important tools for communication today, fax continues to dominate the zones of business communication. This makes a fax machine essential in every company. But with virtual PBX service faxing is an easy affair. You do not need a fax machine for sending and receiving fax, neither do you need a dedicated telephone connection, paper, scanner etc. A virtual PBX allows you to send and receive fax via online interface. You just select the document that you wish to fax and enter your recipient’s number. Your fax is send within few minutes. It is also easy to send multi-page documents or to send the same document to multiple recipients.

A virtual PBX service is filled with features that make your business look professional, bigger and smarter and also help you provider better customer service. Using a virtual PBX your business can definitely enjoy an edge over your competitors. It also won’t be difficult to find a service provider who is ready to provide a free trial of this service.

1 800 Numbers to Boost Your Business Image

Way back in 1967 when 1 800 numbers were first introduced, they were considered nothing more than an act of novelty.  It was also a way businesses could help their customers reduce their spending on long distance call. But with time, toll free numbers (as they are popularly known) have changed their character. Now these numbers are used as a token of your professionalism and they also play an important part in boosting your professional image.

It does not matter if you are a new entrepreneur or planning to expand your existing business, 1 800 numbers can be an important tool to showcase your credibility, professionalism and also for your marketing and advertising needs.

Needs no Hardware or Software

Yes! You read it right. 1 800 numbers do not need any expensive hardware, software or installation. You do not even need a dedicated telephone connection for using this number. It can be used with any of your existing phones. You pay your service provider a minimal monthly fee and can use this number for the benefit of your business. Your service provider actually hosts the number, much like the hosting of your website.

Using it in Conjunction with a Virtual Phone

Using your toll free number with a virtual phone system can help your business in more than one way. You get an automated attendant to answer the call, use voicemail box and other advanced services like call forwarding. When a customer dials your 1 800 numbers, an auto attendant answers him/her 24/7. An auto attendant works like an automated operator answering and routing your customers. An auto attendant can forward your calls to more than one number of your choice thereby minimizing your chances of missed calls. But if you are not available to answer the call, it forwards it to your voicemail box.

For Marketing and Advertising Needs

1 800 numbers also work as an effective marketing and advertising tool. But a vanity number is especially successful for this purpose. It is quite unreasonable to expect that your customers will remember your 10 digit number that they saw on a billboard while passing on a highway. For them, it is nothing more than random 10 digits. Why not give them a clue to remember your number? It can be beneficial for both of you. You will have the chance of getting more business and your customers can contact you easily at the time of their need. A vanity number exactly does this. It is an alphanumeric toll free number that contains a word or a phrase related to your business. For example, 1 800 ADULT CARE, if you run an adult care center.

A Virtual Phone for Online Sales Specialists

If you think that a virtual phone is not relevant for people engaged with online sales then think again! Countless surveys, statistics and studies have shown that people are more likely to buy from an online vendor who has a telephone number in its contact information. A telephone number provides credibility and confidence to your online buyers despite the kind of product or service you provide.

A telephone number and especially a toll free number can have immense influence on your business. But using a toll free number is just not enough.  Using it in conjunction with a virtual phone can actually help you build and nurture a relationship with your customers and you will agree that in business creating a relationship with your customers is half the battle.

Auto Attendant

When a customer calls your toll free number he is received by an auto attendant. The auto attendant works as an automated receptionist. It answers your calls and routes them to the right person or department 24×7 enhancing the credibility and professionalism of your business.

Affordable

A virtual phone is not expensive. Rather it is priced right to make it affordable for businesses of all sizes. You need no equipment to buy, gadgets to plug in or software to download. Moreover, the service providers of a virtual telephone offer flexible service levels. There’s no contract to sign and you can cancel the service anytime you feel you no longer need it. Also, most of the plans include a considerable number of free minutes and you pay only for overage minutes. Yes, it’s that straight and inexpensive.

Voicemail

A virtual phone actually makes you look bigger and smarter. With this phone system you can assign extensions to phones located anywhere in the country. If you are not available to answer your customer, he/she can leave a voice message in your voicemail box. You can either listen to your voicemails or read it right from email. So you have the flexibility to manage all your business communications from one place.

Call Forwarding

Program your virtual phone system in such a way that it forwards all your calls to up to three numbers of your choice. The first number could be your mobile number; the second number could be your residence number and you can add another number, if you have one. You can also set days of the week and even hours when you are available on each number and can customize exactly where and how you want your customers to reach you.

Do You Need an Auto Attendant For Your Business?

Why you need an auto attendant? Does it really make any difference to your business? Is it a better option than hiring a receptionist?  If you are still stuck with these questions then this write up is especially meant for you.

Automated Receptionist

The auto attendant is a flexible, powerful front office tool that acts like an automated receptionist for your customers. When a customer calls your office, he is received by an auto attendant. It greets your caller and routes him to the right person or department of his choice. This automated receptionist works 24×7 and completely eliminates the need for hiring a receptionist. This can have a considerable influence on your business because it helps your business to operate within strict financial boundaries.

Always Available

If you want to make your business big, you have to operate 24×7 because customers are no longer limited by geographical boundaries or timelines. Using a toll free number further enhances this. You can receive queries from your customers 24 hours a day and you need somebody to answer their calls and route them properly.  The role of an auto attendant becomes particularly pertinent in such scenarios.

Professional Voice Over

You can prepare the script of the welcome message of the auto attendant and can also record it. Alternatively you can also hire a professional for the voice over. Hiring a professional will make your greetings sound more professional.  You actually get the best of both the worlds – a professional will answer your customers all the time and that too within your budget. Now isn’t this incredible! You can also customize your greeting and message according to seasons and festivals or whenever there is a need.

Easy Instructions

Keep the instructions of your auto attendant simple so it will be easier for your customers to follow them.  For example, “Welcome to ABC Company. Press 1 for Sales 2 for Customer Service…0 to speak directly.”  This is the most popular format of any automated attendant and people are generally accustomed to this format. Using something different can confuse your customers.

So if you want your business to benefit from this special feature of a virtual phone system, use it in the most popular way. An auto attendant can help your business grow in more than one way. It is affordable and yet effective. It works round the clock attending your customers and routing them the right way.

Can’t Decide Whether You Need Virtual Telephone?

Is your phone system taking away a considerable amount of your profit? Are you looking for an alternative to your traditional phone system? Do you feel your business needs such advanced features like auto attendant, call forwarding, or enhanced voicemail? If you feel that these are true for your business as well, then this is the time for you to change to a virtual telephone.

A Virtual telephone is quite similar to a traditional telephone but with some striking features that help you in your business. It is also quite simple to use because it does not need any installation, hardware or software. Moreover, these are tailor made especially for the needs of business and you can customize it according to your needs.

Auto Attendant

Whenever a caller calls on your virtual telephone, the auto attendant answers the call. An auto attendant works like a human receptionist but with some amazing features. An auto attendant greets your caller and directs him to the right person/department he wants to speak to. It works round the clock and you need not hire a receptionist to do the job. You can also hire a professional who can record the voice for the auto attendant.

Call Forwarding

Your virtual telephone also allows you to forward calls to your colleagues or friends within the office or across the country. This gives your business an extra edge. In today’s business, it is quite common to have offices located across geographies. The call forwarding feature becomes particularly pertinent in such cases.

Enhanced Voicemail

The auto attendant directs the call to the right person or department but what if the person is not available at that moment?  The caller can leave a message in the voicemail box of the recipient and he/she will call back. This is another unique feature of the virtual telephone. Call forwarding and enhanced voicemail ensure that you miss no important call.

Toll Free Number

You also have the benefit of using a toll free number with the virtual telephone.  A toll free number is especially helpful in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

Your Auto Attendant Speaks to Your Callers through Your Standard Greeting

The first interaction your callers have with your auto attendant is through your standard greeting. You should make sure that the greeting sounds welcoming while at the same time is set up to guide your callers where they need to go.

Let’s say you have a business with a sales department and a service department. You probably have two extensions set up – one for each department. And let’s assume extension 1 is Sales and 2  is Service. Your greeting may welcome callers and instruct them to select 1 for Sales and 2 for Service.

But what about callers that just want to hear your business hours, or need to know your physical address so they can visit your place of business? Consider adding an extension for business hours and one for location(s) and even directions. Even better, you can include the option for someone to connect to you right from the standard greeting. Your greeting could sound something like this…

“Hello, and thank you for calling ABC company. Please select one of the following options. For Sales, press 1. For Service, press 2. Press 3 for our business hours. Press 4 for our location and directions. For any other requests, please press 0 to speak to us now.”

In this scenario, you would set up the main call forwarding number to the number (or numbers) you want callers to reach when they need to speak to someone when they press 0.  The Sales and Service department extensions would each be set up as PBX extensions with their respective call forwarding numbers.  The business hours and location extensions should be set up as greeting only extensions since callers will access them to hear information but not to leave a message or speak to someone.

The auto attendant is as useful and friendly as you make it by setting up extensions, greetings and call forwarding numbers to make the call flow as easy as possible for your callers.

Let Your Auto Attendant Guide Your Callers

Do you know how easy it is to use the Auto Attendant feature in iTeleCenter? It allows you to create customized greetings and menus for your callers to hear. Callers are greeted by a personalized message, tailor-made to meet the needs of YOUR business, and then are seamlessly routed where they need to be. You can prompt them to visit different extensions to hear recorded information about your products or services, or to connect with a specific person or department – all defined by YOU – the business owner.

With the Auto Attendant feature, even small and remotely operated companies appear professional and highly organized. The service uses a recording that instructs the caller about which key to press to reach a particular person, department, extension or voicemail. You can record the greetings and menu options yourself, or you may choose to use iTeleCenter’s Voice Studio professional recording services.

Callers who are greeted by the Auto Attendant will be routed as directed by you. The number and variety of call forwarded extensions and voice mailboxes are limited only by your chosen configuration. The flexibility of the feature allows you to create a telephone system that is as sleek and impressive as an expensive corporate telephone network.

An integral part of a iTeleCenter, Auto Attendant is the perfect solution to manage telephone traffic for any small or remotely operated business.

Why Use an Auto Attendant

There are few things more annoying than waiting on hold to speak with a representative at a company, only to find out you have been transferred to the wrong department. This is where an auto attendant can really make the difference. An auto attendant is that automated voice that directs you to the appropriate extension or department without you having to speak with a live person.  These automated voices can cut out the need for a receptionist and free up time for the “real” people in your business to complete more important tasks than directing calls.

The benefits of the auto attendant are numerous. Not only will the auto attendant remove the need for a receptionist but it will also help to cut down on your clients’ frustrations. If your client can easily be directed to the appropriate line, they are more likely to stick with you. Customer service means a lot and by simply adding the auto attendant, you will show that you are going the extra mile to please your customers. There are also times when your business will be a lot heavier and callers may experience a small hold time before speaking to a representative. By using the auto attendant, your callers will be sure they get the best service they can get in a timely manner.

For those customers who prefer to skip the auto attendant, there is usually an option to dial “0” to speak to an actual representative. There are plenty of grandmothers who cringe when they hear that automated voice come on the phone. By making it as simple as pressing “0” to speak to a live person, you are working to please those customers who like the convenience of the auto attendant, as well as those who prefer working with a live person the entire time.

By utilizing the auto attendant, your business will be putting forth a small investment that will cause great benefits. Whether you are trying to get by without a secretary or just trying to simplify your phone system, the auto attendant is a great choice.

The Importance of the Auto Attendant Feature

What is the message that you want to convey to your customers? When you have many different people answering phone calls for your business, then are you sure that they are all treating your callers in the same, friendly, courteous, and professional manner? If not, then it’s time for you to consider having an auto attendant. 

What is an Auto Attendant? 

Imagine having a single person designated to answer all of the incoming calls for your business, and then directing those calls to the appropriate extensions and people. That’s what an auto attendant does, except that you won’t have to pay an entire year’s salary and benefits for that person. The auto attendant is a part of the virtual phone system that you receive through iTeleCenter. 

For today’s businesses, the message that you convey to your customers, as well as your partners and potential customers, is vital. When someone calls your business for the first time, the first impression that they receive will be from that initial answer. While you may want to forego the normal expectations of an automated attendant because you believe that the warmth of a live person is invaluable, the auto attendant serves a far more important purpose than you may realize. 

Yes, having an actual live person answer calls can be wonderful; it puts a personal touch to your business. But think about the usual scenarios of our modern world for a moment. The phone rings first thing in the morning. Your cheerful attendant greets the caller and obtains information about why they’re calling, and dispatches the call to the appropriate employee. Everyone is happy. A minute later, the phone rings again. While this person is fielding the call, another call comes in, then another. It is, after all, the early morning rush. Now your attendant has to place people on hold.  

Now, would you rather have your callers placed on hold while a live attendant gets back to them just to direct their call? Or would you rather have an auto attendant field every single call the same way, in the same time frame, and with the same precise results? No more waiting on hold just to be connected to the right person. Your callers will experience efficiency when they call; they will feel important to your business and not just another person who can be placed on hold. 

In a perfect world, every business would have enough people to answer all calls personally. We don’t live in a perfect world; we live in a world where customers want results. With the auto attendant feature, you can bridge the gap and enjoy higher customer satisfaction with every call.