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Ben Holmen

October 22, 2018

How to Set up an Auto Attendant

Learn how to create an auto attendant, and get best practices to improve call center productivity and customer satisfaction.

What is an Auto Attendant?

An auto attendant is software that enables a business to create greetings on their phone system and automatically route callers.

As a business grows and your customer service calls increase, an auto attendant phone system can offer a reliable and efficient way to route calls to your team. A phone call is often the first impression a new potential customer receives from your business, so how those calls are managed can directly impact your sales. With a virtual auto-attendant, you can be sure all your business calls are being answered and handled exactly how you want them to be.

As consumers, we interact with auto attendants on a regular basis. When you call a service provider or merchant, you’re typically greeted by an automated voice prompting you to make a selection from their menu options by pressing a key on your touch-tone telephone. Typically the options will be to speak to sales, customer service, or a live operator. Based on your selection, you’ll then be routed to the appropriate person or department.

An auto attendant system is an efficient tool for call centers, as it works around the clock to distribute incoming calls to the right place without human intervention.

Best Practices for Auto Attendants

Auto attendants can improve the caller experience and increase call center productivity. Here are five tips to keep in mind when designing your attendant system.

  • Limit the menu to a handful of options and keep the greeting concise
  • Provide a dial-by-name directory for callers to search for extensions by employee name
  • Use a professional voice recording, or use our auto attendant greeting generator
  • Keep the information current with updated greetings
  • Use multi-level auto attendants to answer frequently asked questions

With Telzio's automated phone systems, you have control over implementing these best practices.

Here's an overview of what the setup process looks like.

5 Steps to Setting up an Auto Attendant

Personalize your phone system without any heavy lifting. The auto attendant feature is managed online and can be ready to go within a few minutes.

Setting up an auto attendant is easy. Here's how it's done.

1. Choose a Phone Number

First step is to determine which phone number you want to be routed through your auto attendant. You can have multiple numbers forwarded to the same auto attendant if you have more than one call center or campaign.

If you already have a phone number, you can configure it to work with an automated attendant. You can also get new local and toll-free numbers.

Next, you'll create the settings for your auto attendant.

2. Record a Greeting

After you've decided on what you want your greeting to say, you can have it professionally recorded or simply record it yourself.

There are three ways you can add a greeting:

  • Upload a greeting with an audio file.
  • Record a greeting directly through the browser using your computer mic.
  • Type in a greeting using our text-to-speech tool.

With our user-friendly interface, you can easily update your greeting anytime.

3. Create Menu Options

Next you'll create phone menu options corresponding to the greeting you just created. It can be simple or you can make it into a multi-level auto attendant. This is where our drag-and-drop call flows make designing auto attendants a breeze. Activate menu options with one-click.

Each option creates an additional path in your call flow, where you can implement additional call routing features such as a queue, hunt group, dial-by-name directory, voicemail, or even another phone menu. From the menu, you can forward calls to office phones, cell phones, and even third party answering services. You could have simultaneous ringing, or ring each in a specific order.

4. Add Call Routing Rules

Once your caller has selected an option in your phone menu, you can create routing rules to direct call transfers and how it's filtered. These pre-set rules serve as a switchboard for the auto attendant, which you can modify online at any time. Telzio provides a full suite of features to filter and route calls, including:

  • Business hours - route calls based on employee schedules and opening hours
  • Call Queues - keep callers on hold until the next agent is available
  • Hold Music - upload custom hold music and announcements
  • Hunt Groups - ring employees or groups in a certain order

5. Choose Phones

With an automated phone system that's cloud-based, you can route calls to desk phones, computers, and mobile devices on any internet network.

  • Office Phones - Purchase preconfigured desk phones and cordless phones from our shop, and bring existing desk phones.
  • Webphone - Use our web-based softphone to make calls directly through your browser. There's no installation required.
  • Mobile App - Route calls to employees on their mobile devices so they can field calls from any location.

Leveraging Auto Attendants to Improve Customer Service

An auto attendant is a critical component of any business phone system, particularly for companies with customer service and call center needs. The benefits include:

  • Reducing costs on operators and virtual receptionists
  • Connecting callers to the right place quickly and accurately
  • Freeing up employees' time to focus on more important work

You can do more with an automated attendant than just having a greeting that sends calls to employees. You can add more call management tools to optimize your automated phone system with a few clicks, including a search-by-name company directory, call waiting queues, hold music, and much more.

Set up an Auto Attendant in Minutes

Get started with a free trial to customize an auto attendant phone system, and go live within minutes. Have more questions? Talk to our sales team about your requirements.