- Last Updated: 09 Jun 22
- 9 min read
What is Auto Attendant & Why Do You Need It for Your Business?
- Last Updated: 09 Jun 22
- 9 min read
For every business, it’s crucial to answer customer calls quickly and courteously. But as the business grows and call volume starts to increase, maintaining that consistency is often difficult.
Having a receptionist can make things easier. But without the right knowledge of the agents’ expertise, calls pass through a long list of agents before reaching the right one.
If the calls are kept on hold for a long time or transferred between several irrelevant agents, customers can hang up without even leaving the message. That can cause a bad user experience. So to answer calls promptly and route calls directly to the concerned agent, it’s important to have an Auto Attendant.
But what is auto attendant, and how exactly does it work? Let’s talk about it.
What is Auto Attendant?
Auto Attendant or Automated attendant is a feature in many business phone systems in which there is a pre-scripted message and custom phone tree. Whenever a customer makes a call, they can hear an automatic greeting that provides keypad prompts to reach the right agent in your business with a click of a button.
How does an Auto Attendant work?
As implied by its name, an auto-attendant answers or attends the calls automatically. When it answers a call, it gives a voice message to the callers. It can be information about the company, new offers, or the path to reach the agent, who can help them with their queries.
A voice menu is programmed to route the call to the designated agent when there is input from the customer. Customers are made aware of this through a custom message. They can hear instructions like press 1 for sales department, 2 for technical department, 3 for finance department, all the way up to 0 for customer support.
It eliminates the need to remember the extension number. It also saves the hassle of requesting the receptionist to forward the call to a designated person or department whenever a client makes a call.
An auto attendant functions like a receptionist but does the work digitally. So it’s also referred to as digital receptionist or virtual receptionist.
What are the business benefits of an Auto Attendant?
Automated attendant is a useful feature to handle customer calls efficiently. But the advantage of having an auto-attendant feature is not limited to that. There are several other business benefits of Automated Attendant. Some of the important ones are discussed below.
1. Immediate and Effective Call Management
It’s just human nature that we hate to wait. So whenever a customer makes a call, they expect it to get answered and their issues addressed promptly. However, it’s not always possible when the business is busy.
It’s also not a good practice to leave their calls unanswered or keep them in endless call transfer/waiting loops.
But you don’t have to worry about such problems if there is an auto attendant in your business phone system. The auto-attendant quickly answers the calls, gives a courteous answer, and routes the calls if the agents are available.
2. Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Picking up the calls to answer the same questions repetitively can be dull and boring. It’s not particularly productive either. By setting up a custom message that answers FAQs related to offers, discounts, or new-launched products or features, you can save up your time.
Also, when a call is routed to the wrong department, it expends some employee time. An auto attendant prevents such misdirects, ensuring increased productivity and efficiency.
3. Cost Savings
A human receptionist requires a competitive salary, several leaves, healthcare, and insurance facilities, among others. Receptionists also work for just limited hours in a day, with occasional breaks in between. Whenever you hire a receptionist, you also need to train and retain them. So hiring a human receptionist is indeed a costly business.
A virtual receptionist does much of the tasks without taking a break. Even after office hours and during the holidays, it remains fully functional. So the shrinkage is 0%.
Also, most business phones come with an auto-attendant feature aboard. So you don’t have to spend extra for the feature. This contributes to significant cost savings.
4. Always Available
Some businesses can’t afford to be available for just a few hours of the day. But hiring employees for multiple shifts to remain always reachable may not be feasible either.
An auto attendant can fit in perfectly for such businesses. It remains available round the clock so you can program it to cater to the customers and prospects who call you after your business hours.
5. Improves Customer Experience
Customer experience plays a big role in every business. Support systems and customer care can also be a deal-breaker for most of your target audiences.
Nobody likes to be put on hold. For most customers, it can be immensely frustrating. Consistently failing to answer customer calls and provide support and assistance to them can also portray an image of incompetence.
An auto attendant can come in handy to avoid such situations. Since it automatically routes the calls to the right agent on the first go, customers can get the required support and assistance right away.
Through auto attendant, you can inform the customers about unavailability whenever you are away. This can help customers understand the situation and save them from passing any bad judgments.
6. Professional Image
With a courteous and welcoming message, you can create a good impression on the caller and a professional image for your business. Whether you have a large enterprise or a small startup working from a garage, the caller won’t notice a difference.
Unlike a human receptionist, virtual receptionists handle calls without missing a beat. So you won’t have to worry about missing a call. You can also leave a custom message to address calls after office hours or during the holidays.
After the business hour, you can also program your calls to go to voicemail. You can request your customers to leave a voicemail and answer their queries when you are available. When customers feel heard and valued, they start to trust your brand.
Human receptionists have designated office hours, but these digital receptionists don’t. They will be available to answer the calls 24/7/365. So whenever a customer contacts your business, an auto attendant answers the calls, politely gives the caller a message, or routes the call.
The automated receptionist conveys the message or routes the calls as programmed. So there won’t be any failed or mis-transferred calls. So human error is altogether eliminated.
Why do businesses need an auto attendant?
Auto-attendant is an important business phone feature, which is more useful for companies than for personal use. Following are some of the reasons why your businesses need such digital receptionists.
1. Customizable Options
The most important feature of the auto attendant is the customization option. You can change the message and even the routing menu on a timely basis.
You can keep one greeting message during office hours and another one for after-office hours. You can also inform about the new offers, and product/service launches through it. Also, if new departments are added or removed from your workspace, you can incorporate such changes in your voice menu without an issue.
2. Better Work Flow
You can set up a voice message answering the questions that are frequently asked in your business. It helps to remove customers’ reliance on the agents to get answers to their queries. It reduces the workload on your team, and the freed-up agents can work on different tasks.
3. Customer Experience
Customers can talk to the right person directly with a click of a button. As the caller can talk to the right person on the first go, it saves plenty of valuable time.
4. Improved Trust
A courteous and welcoming greeting message depicts professionalism. It also helps you make a good first impression on your caller. That followed by a good service delivery helps to gain customers trust in no time.
No matter the size of the business or the call volume, an auto attendant works well for all businesses without fail. It handles multiple calls at once and routes them to agents if required.
Making the smart choice
If you are struggling to handle a large volume of calls and are unable to answer the customers’ queries promptly, an auto attendant can be your savior. Human receptionists have their limits, but these virtual receptionists don’t.
An auto attendant can help you greet your customers with a welcoming message. So, in addition to managing the call flow, you can also create a professional brand image amongst your customers.
It also helps you convey important business information directly to the callers without having to go through agents. That way, an automated attendant helps to lighten up your team load.
As it ensures productivity, reliable and efficient call management, and a better customer experience, it’s indeed a useful feature for business. It’s scalable and flexible to be used in all kinds of business organizations, including large call centers and contact centers.
So if you value customer experience above everything, having an auto attendant is a no-brainer. However, they are plenty of business phone systems with auto attendant feature. So, making a choice can often be difficult.
But, not anymore!
You also get a multitude of other useful features like call recording, call transfer, call forwarding, IVR, Automatic Call Distribution, skill-based routing, etc., bundled in a single package.
If you are interested in KrispCall, you can explore it for free. For first-time users, KrispCall is offering a Schedule Free KrispCall demo now.
So why wait? Hurry up and sign up to KrispCall today.
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