Virtual Auto Attendant
What are the Key Benefits of a Virtual Auto Attendant?
In the business world of the past, every office featured a switch room with live operators answering calls and taking messages. Today, those operators have been replaced by with sophisticated PBX virtual auto attendants that deliver economy, efficiency, and professionalism. We’ll explore some of the key features of a virtual auto attendant.
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Consistency & Professionalism
A properly implemented auto attendant system is efficient and consistent. It allows you to carefully manage and route inbound calls appropriately. Auto attendants follow rules, have logical routing trees, and deliver the same experience to all callers flawlessly, regardless of call volume. Because the right calls gets to the right agent with the right context, you can deliver better service. Many companies prioritize calls by type (e.g. sales calls over billing calls), which becomes especially important when the same workforce handles multiple types of calls. The auto attendant can be configured to put sales calls ahead of billing inquiries, and agents can be notified which type of call to expect.
Custom Voice Prompts for Branding & Sales Promotions
Auto attendants also help to build client relationships when used creatively. Hold music and messages are an opportunity for branding. Online services make it fast and inexpensive to hire voice talent to produce creative, professional, custom voice prompts. Custom recordings can also be updated continuously to help drive sales and promote new products. Current generation PBX systems make it easy to replace default messages with standard audio files such as WAV and MP3.
Call Routing & ACD Queues
A virtual auto attendant also makes it easy to customize inbound call routing based on individual caller and department needs. For example, a call to a sales department might ring individual representatives sequentially, while a call to a service department might ring all phones in that department simultaneously. Executives or outside sales reps might need a find-me-follow-me feature that rings their desk, then their cell, then routes to voicemail if other options fail. Advanced applications can even determine call flow based on live status of availability of resources. For example, if your sales team is overwhelmed with calls, you could configure the system to start routing calls to your support staff.
Virtual Auto Attendants are Better in the Cloud
Auto attendants are available in both premise-based and virtual PBX systems and offer several advantages for IT professionals and their organizations. An old adage in business is, “do what you’re good at.” Most likely, your company’s focus is something other than managing phone systems, and your IT infrastructure is there to support your company’s core business. Not only does a cloud-based virtual auto attendant give you better focus on your business, but it also simply works better in the cloud.
- Ensures business continuity. If the power and network connectivity in your office goes out, can customers still reach you via phone? With a cloud-based virtual receptionist, business continues normally, even allowing your sales team to route calls to their cell phones so customers are cared for.
- Conserves bandwidth. If your phone system supports a mix of at-home workers, extensions mapped to mobile phones, and traditional phones, a premise based VoIP system uses network bandwidth to route calls to any off-premise extensions since all lines must be managed by the PBX. A cloud-based system avoids wasting bandwidth for off-site connections because it only uses bandwidth required to connect the phones located in your office.
- Unites on- and off-site workers. Cloud-based phone systems are by far the easiest way to support a call group with remote workers.
- Makes configuration easier. The primary interface for cloud-based systems is web-based, making them easy to configure from any standard web browser. With a better user interface, you can create highly customized call flows and schedules that better match your callers’ needs.
- Makes off-site configuration possible. Sick at home and need to remove yourself from the queue for sales calls? With a premise based system, the IT department will have to configure that for you. With a cloud-based system you can make this configuration change yourself remotely.
- Integrates with third party apps more easily. Cloud-based systems provide standard API’s for integrating with third-party apps, such as CRM’s. With a premise-based system, you have to handle the integration and security issues yourself. With a cloud-based system, access is tightly controlled in a standard, tested way and integration is simplified via API’s.
If you’re buying a phone system and virtual auto attendant features are critical, you will find the real cost of ownership is lower than premise-based systems, and many key phone features work better.