Auto Attendant

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Setting up an auto attendant is one of the simplest ways to ensure your callers stay with you through the duration of your voicemail menu. If you've ever called a billing or service center and been greeted with a laundry list of inapplicable options, you know the sense of frustration it can cause. You may only have a quick question that any human being at the company could answer with a yes or a no, but you're forced to sit through a litany of generic choices.

An auto attendant lets you customize your greeting to accommodate all of your callers, be they clients, leads, or prospects. At the end of your menu, a dial-out option ensures that even if your callers' needs aren't met, they can transfer to an operator who can put them on the right track. There's no guessing which category your query might fall under, no backtracking, no waiting on hold at the wrong extension.

Tips for Setting Up Your Auto Attendant

Your customized message can say just about anything. It may give general information about your business, a list of voice mailboxes in your directory, or buttons to push for customer service, billing, or tech support. Either way, your auto attendant is the first "person" your prospective customers will talk to, which means you have a unique chance to sell yourself. If the menu is easily navigable, most customers will take notice and probably call back for future business. Likewise, if your automated attendant is confusing, you can say goodbye to your lead.

You can even add a flexible greeting to your attendant so that no matter what time your callers get through there's a relevant message waiting. If you run a phone company, your menu can alert subscribers to outages in certain areas as well as status reports on their repair. As changes occur throughout the day, you can customize your attendant so that your callers always know the latest state of affairs. They'll be impressed with your timeliness, and are likely to be more forgiving of any problems they've encountered.

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