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What is an Auto Attendant? Why do we need one?

What is an Auto Attendant? Why do we need one?

Thursday April 25, 2019,

5 min Read

Automatic attendants or auto attendants are telephony systems that act as digital receptionists. Telephony systems feature a voice menu system that transfers the incoming call and connects the caller to the appropriate extension without the intervention of human receptionists or operators. Auto attendants help businesses to accelerate customer service delivery by routing incoming calls to landline phones, mobile devices, or VoIP solutions.

Auto attendants route incoming calls efficiently and automatically by presenting the callers with a pre-recorded voice menu system. The caller responds to the voice menu system by pressing the appropriate key on his or her phone’s touch tone keypad. Based on the option selected by the caller, the auto attendant routes the calls to the appropriate customer support executive, extension, voicemail boxes, and submenus.

It further greets customers with a welcome message, plays standard pre-recorded messages, and repeat the options, if the customer opts for it. There are also a number of reasons why your business must invest in the right cloud-hosted auto attendant.

Auto attendant

8 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Cloud-Hosted Auto Attendant

1. No Need to Deploy a Full-Time Receptionist

Your business needs to deploy a full-time receptionist or secretary to handle incoming calls in a conventional way. Auto attendants help you to manage incoming calls by acting as digital receptionists. They can route incoming calls to both landline phones and mobile devices. Hence, you can respond to incoming calls without deploying a dedicated receptionist or operator. Many business leverages hosted auto attendants to save the salaries and benefits paid to a full-time receptionist.

2. Manage Incoming Calls Efficiently

As digital receptionists, auto attendants help your businesses to handle incoming calls automatically. They come with features to route and forward the incoming call to appropriate number, extension, department, or agent. Also, the real-time call monitoring feature provided by the telephony system helps you to check the status of calls and assess customer service quality. The hosted IVR solutions help you to ensure error-free customer service delivery by supporting call barging and call whispering.

3. Route Incoming Calls to Varied Destinations

While configuring a hosted auto attendant, you can choose from a wide range of call routing options. The call routing options help you to route the incoming calls to the most relevant location. For instance, you can route the calls to a landline phone, VoIP solution, or mobile device according to the time of the call. Likewise, the auto attendant allows you to the transfer the call to the right extension, route the call directly to voicemail, or provide information to the caller by playing a message. The call routing options help your business to handle incoming calls proactively 24 hours a day.

4. Handle Surge in Incoming Call Volume

Existing and potential customers these days call a business for a variety of purposes. Hence, the human receptionists or operators often find it challenging to manage a surge in incoming call volume. Automated attendant helps you to manage the surge in incoming call volume by routing the calls to various destinations. Many customers these days leverage the self-service options provided by the IVR solution to avail information and assistance without talking to a live agent. Hence, you are not required to deploy additional operators or agents to manage high volume incoming calls.

5. Allow Customers to Call Anytime 


Many consumers these days call business while conducting pre-purchase research. Your business cannot boost sales conversion without providing relevant information to the consumers when they are conducting pre-purchase research. The hosted IVR solutions help your business to provide relevant information and assistance to customers through self-service options. The self-service options help consumers to call your business and gather relevant information anytime. You can even use an auto attendant to route incoming calls to the appropriate number based on the time of the day.

6. Manage Customer Relationship Efficiently

Your business must be using custom software to leverage real-time customer data collected from diverse sources. It must be using customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage customer data efficiently. Cloud-based auto attendants can be integrated seamlessly with your SRM software using specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Integration will help your business to maximise business productivity and streamline customer service delivery.

7. Impress Callers with Professional Communication

Smart call routing and forwarding features provided by the hosted automated attendants help your business to keep corporate communication consistent. Also, the auto attendants allow you to make the communication professional and impactful by availing a set of customisation options. You can leverage these options to customise the welcome message and change the voice style. You can further boost customer engagement with auto attendant by tailoring the audio messages and greetings for specific festivals and holidays.

8. Enhance Your Business’s Reputation and Presence

Cloud telephony service providers enable businesses to use hosted auto attendants based on the pay-as-you-use pricing model. Hence, your business can leverage cloud-hosted auto attendants regardless of its nature and scale. But the auto attendant will make your business appear like a much larger company. You can further enhance your business’s presence and reputation using a multi-level IVR system. The additional options provided by the multi-level IVR system will make the callers feel like communicating with a large enterprise.

Your businesses can take advantage of cloud-hosted auto attendant without building and maintain onsite IT infrastructure. Cloud-hosted auto attendants are more comfortable to set up, customise, and extend than conventional auto attendants. Call management features and real-time call analytics provided by the cloud-hosted IVR solutions help your business to monitor and handle incoming calls efficiently. However, it is always essential for you to choose the right cloud-hosted auto attendant to manage incoming calls efficiently in the long run.

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