Auto Attendant: Never Miss an Important Call
There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than calling a company for help and being placed on hold forever — or being routed to a desk that can’t help you with your needs. An automated attendant phone system from AccessDirect can ensure your callers always gets to the right person in your company without an extended waiting period.
You’ll be amazed at the way an “auto receptionist” will improve your business with a fast, professional, consistent answering system that routes calls to the right staff member, no matter where they are located. Give your staff the help they need too with voice-to-email and voicemail transcription options, enabling them to respond to your customers quickly and professionals.
It’s time to say goodbye to busy signals.
WHAT DOES AN AUTO ATTENDANT PHONE SYSTEM DO?
Auto Attendant Service is a telephony system that enables callers to be automatically transferred to an extension, eliminating the need for a live answer receptionist or operator. An auto attendant, also referred to as a virtual receptionist, answers all incoming calls with a professional greeting, and a menu of options to choose from. Your callers can dial by extension, dial by name, or choose from a menu to reach the correct department or person. With an auto attendant system, you can manage your calls efficiently, and improve your business operations.
Why Choose AccessDirect?
AccessDirect has been providing auto attendant phone systems to small and mid-sized businesses for the past 20 years. We ensure that you are creating a professional face for your company. You also don’t have to worry about contracts or long-term commitments, but get immediate access to our reliable U.S.-based customer support teams.
Our auto attendant phone system for small businesses comes with many powerful features that will give your organization a more professional image. We provide automated attendant phone answering services for small businesses to communicate effectively with existing customers, and project a quality image for prospective customers. The professionally recorded outgoing greeting gives your company the appearance of a Fortune 500 company, whether you have two employees or two hundred.
When you sign up for an auto attendant phone system from AccessDirect, you’ll benefit from:
- No service contracts or long-term commitments.
- Reliable U.S.-based customer support – talk to the same person every time you call us for assistance.
- A simple way to make changes to your auto attendant system through a user-friendly Web interface.
- A scalable phone system with an auto attendant that is capable of meeting your current and future communication needs.
- Cost-effective phone systems that can improve your business’s bottom line.
We Make It Easy
What probably appreciate the most, though, is that AccessDirect presents everyone with a custom game plan to get exactly what you want out of your new auto attendant phone system. Here’s how our process works:
- We have a conversation about what your needs are and what you want your system to do.
- We match your needs with an available package and service set.
- Together, we’ll create a script for your auto attendant to encourage your customers and reduce risks for lost leads, prospects or customers.
- You’ll also get help with additional features that may improve your customer service, such as connecting extensions, when to use a mailbox or voicemail, and how to forward different calls to different lines.
- We’ll give you a full recommendation based on what’s best for you if there’s anything you’re unsure of or want to achieve.
- Then you get the automated attendant system you need with web access to your account and a mobile app, allowing you to easily make changes.
- Your auto attendant system can be changed, updated or reconfigured at any time, allowing you to adapt to changing business needs.
That’s a little bit about our process. Let’s dive into the auto attendant itself so you can discover how it can improve your daily operations and customer service.
What Is an Auto Attendant Service?
An automated attendant phone system is a voice menu that gives callers information and provides prompts so callers can be transferred to the staff member or department they need. Using an auto attendant, they can also receive basic information without needing to speak to a receptionist. That’s why you’ll often hear these services called a virtual receptionist or auto receptionist.
You’ve probably experienced these systems in your daily life when calling a bank, your internet provider or any other business where you’re asked to press a number to speak to a representative.
Essentially the auto attendant uses recorded voice prompts and greetings to get your customers what they want — from information to specific desk phones — and puts them in control by asking them to select extensions, departments and more.
The best news is that a smart auto attendant service can increase business efficiency, improve customer satisfaction and drive greater customer engagement, all while reducing your workload.
How Does an Automated Attendant Work?
Automated attendant services operate by working with your existing phone systems. We create a digital menu, record professional greetings, link your phone extensions and incorporate your directory all in a digital platform that is connected to your phones but managed online.
When your customers call, they’ll receive a professional, studio-quality greeting that’s tailored to your business. This can be paired with custom hold or transfer music and other messages so that your customer feels personally welcomed.
After that, your customer will hear multiple options such as “Press 1 for billing” or “Press 2 for store hours.” When they hit a button on their phone, our system detects which button was pressed and then directs your customer to their preferred destination. Each feature you add from our virtual auto attendant phone system will be incorporated, and the extension options you have programmed will be presented to your customer.
If you want a dial-by-name directory, we will also include this in your phone system. It operates the same way, allowing customers to hit a few buttons and find the person they need. We digitize your extension list to create this directory and can ensure your customer reaches the person they want. Have two Mr. Smiths in your store? We can include options that help your caller select the proper Mr. Smith so everyone can avoid the frustration of a misplaced call.
A few important things to note:
- You can have subdirectories to make the experience better. For example, if someone calls a large company, the attendant can offer them a section for sales and then the submenu will allow the caller to contact a person in their local or regional sales office.
- Auto attendants can prompt someone to leave a voicemail if a transfer is unanswered.
- Messages can loop to ensure your customers hear their options.
- Standard functions are supported, such as pressing “0” for an operator or live attendant.
That’s a little bit about our process. Let’s dive into the benefits of automating your business with an auto attendant so you can discover what’s waiting to improve your daily operations and customer service.
How Automation Can Improve Business Productivity
It wasn’t that long ago that phones were answered by human receptionists employed by businesses large and small. Technology has changed that traditional model through offerings such as virtual phone systems, digital receptionists, automated voicemail and more.
Still, live receptionists remain employed in a variety of businesses, their numbers are even expected to grow according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Occupational Outlook Handbook¹. Here are some interesting statistics:
- 2016 median pay – $27,920/year or $13.42/hour
- Number of jobs in 2014 – 1,028,600
- Job outlook for 2014-24 – 10 percent growth (faster than average)
- Employment change from 2014-24: 97,800
However, many small businesses can’t afford the investment required to employ a full-time receptionist. Paying someone to answer calls is expensive, turn-over can be high and they must be well trained to properly represent your company.
Fortunately, these small businesses can turn to technology-enabled services like digital receptionists and automated attendants. For example, here’s how we worked with a busy hair salon, and a small furniture refinishing company, to help them ensure that incoming calls wouldn’t be missed while stylists and refinishers were busy working with clients and finishing projects for customers.
Other benefits of automation include:
- Being able to route calls to remote employees or contractors.
- A consistent, professional greeting for all callers, 24/7.
- Reduced wait time with direct call routing.
- Voicemail to email with automated voicemail transcription.
- Pre-recorded information options for frequently asked questions.
An automated attendant to answer and route calls can not only improve your productivity by freeing up your time to focus on other tasks, but also improve business results by ensuring that calls won’t be missed and that they will be answered promptly and professionally. Don’t leave the ability to respond quickly to potential customers to chance. We can work with you to select, install and manage a call answering service that will work in your small business setting.
What Are the Features of AccessDirect’s Auto Attendant Phone System?
- Dial by Name
- Dial by Extension
- Dial by Department
- Find-Me/Follow-Me Call Forwarding
- Voicemail to Email
- Fax to Email
- Voicemail to Text (NEW!)
- Simultaneous Call Handling
- 1-to-5 Digit Extensions
- Music on Transfer
- Do Not Disturb
- Call Routing
- Work-From-Anywhere support to provide extensions to your remote staff
AccessDirect believes virtual auto attendants are the cornerstone of any business phone system. That’s why our offerings move past the basics of an answering machine and can provide all of your customers with a professional, personal greeting and menu options to direct their business.
Your callers will get options to do things such as dial by name or extension, choose a department from a menu or be given information including hours of operation or location. We want to give you the system that meets your needs and answers your customer’s issues in the way that’s best for your specific business.
Some of the features available in our virtual auto attendant service plans include:
What Is an Auto Attendant’s Best Feature?
That’s a question we hear a lot, and it’s really up to you. Some businesses, such bakeries and restaurants, like a system that quickly gives customers a store’s hours. Large medical offices enjoy a digital receptionist that can direct patients to the proper department, and even bigger offices like the option to answer every call and direct customers to individuals through an automated directory.
The perfect feature really depends on you and your business. Contact us directly for help figuring out what that might be or use this page to select the right business phone system today. Tell us the features you want with this simple questionnaire, and we’ll provide you with the products that best meet your needs and your wallet.
What Are the Benefits of an Auto Receptionist?
For a small business like yours, an auto attendant phone service can make a major impact on your operations. Implementing an automated attendant will give your organization the feeling of a Fortune 500 company without the cost those companies are paying.
Here are some benefits you can expect right away:
- Transfers calls without a receptionist, serving as an “auto receptionist”
- Responds to all incoming calls.
- Ability to connect with remote extensions.
- Eliminates busy signals.
- Improves staff productivity and customer service.
- Saves time and money.
- Reduces caller on-hold time.
- No equipment to buy, install, or maintain.
- Always answers every call, quickly. No more customer losses due to ringing phones.
CASE STUDY: DOCTOR’S OFFICE
AccessDirect works with a lot of small businesses, because they can benefit the most from having a virtual auto attendant to start processing calls, freeing up receptionists to tackle specific business. This is beneficial at places such as your doctor’s or dentist’s office, where the receptionist also has tasks related to patient intake, billing and more. These are some of our favorite situations because it is clear we have truly helped. We’re able to relieve stress, improve workflow and help businesses be more profitable.
One doctor’s office found that a lot of their support staff’s time was spent answering simple questions about their hours, their location, their fax number and other basic information. Essentially, the staff spent time answering questions that a website or a simple, automated service could provide efficiently, taking away from the time they could use managing the services they provide.
Setting up an auto attendant phone system from AccessDirect was an affordable solution. With the auto attendant phone system in place, callers could get this information with just the press of a button. This meant callers spent less time on hold, and freed up staff members to deal with more important matters — such as scheduling appointments, refilling prescriptions and more.
One of the challenges associated with growth in any industry is knowing when it’s necessary to hire new staff. The above example demonstrates how the right phone system or auto attendant service can improve productivity by prioritizing incoming calls and making basic information available without having to hire a live attendant. In a doctor’s office or medical facility, this translates to a noticeable increase in the quality of service your team can offer its patients.
The right auto receptionist is designed to help your staff as much as your customers. That’s why AccessDirect positions our auto attendant phone systems to address both groups, prioritizing inbound calls and handling information that you don’t need a full-time receptionist or staff member to provide. In a doctor’s office or medical facility, you can improve the quality of service your team offers your patients.
How Do I Know If My Business Needs an Auto Attendant Service?
Now you’re probably wondering, “What is an auto attendant’s benefit for my business?”
Let us ask you two very important question. Does your staff waste time answering calls for basic information or routing calls to your most popular departments? Are you missing out on business because phones go unanswered?
Your business needs an auto attendant if you’re losing valuable time or customers, both of which can hurt your company image. Reputation is everything for a small business; it’s how you maintain customers and grow. The better the experience you provide, the easier it is to retain customers for the long haul. Customer retention is one of the best ways to enhance your company’s value.
Don’t lose money by losing business. According to a recent survey by SoftwareAdvice, 48% of people prefer the phone for their first interaction with a business and 42% of customers say a bad experience can send them to a competitor. You can significantly help your business by spending wisely on an automated attendant service that delivers high-quality customer experience, never needs a lunch break and even works weekends.
AccessDirect is a big believer that the service you choose should help you improve and expand your business. We can help your business today by providing a program created to inform customers and quickly get them to the best team member to answer their call.
We grow with you by offering expanded service options that can include connecting with employees in the field or in remote locations. If you’re one of the many businesses that is turning to home-based assistants, media teams, marketers and sales reps, our Direct Receptionist and Direct Enterprise packages can include those workers on their home or smartphone lines, without your customers ever knowing the difference.
Always Look Like a Fortune 500 Company
AccessDirect auto attendant phone systems for small businesses come with the powerful features your organization needs to project a professional image, helping you win more business and improve sales.
We deliver automated attendant phone answering services specifically designed for small businesses to communicate with their customers and give them the impression you’re a giant among the competition. Professionally recorded greetings ensure a welcome, friendly message is always available even if you’re running the entire operation on your own.
Have a small but robust team? Give your staff department extensions and then use transfers to deliver calls to their office, home, VoIP or cell phone, allowing them to be accessible, active and ready wherever they are. Customer service never has to suffer just because you don’t have a large staff.
Where Do I Start Now?
Wondering why you should choose AccessDirect for your new automated attendant phone system? It’s because we work hard to prevent the problems that are common in the systems of many of our customers.
We do a lot of internal research about what works and what doesn’t, making recommendations to ensure customers enjoy their interaction with the phone system. We also pay attention to industry research and provide you with advice to address common problems, like these found by SoftwareAdvice:
|Key Findings||Our Response|
|48% of people prefer the phone for their first interaction with a business.||Virtual auto attendant software means you’re not missing these calls and have the opportunity to provide great customer service.|
|The top complaint is that automated attendant scripts are too long.||We recommend keeping intros under 8 seconds and limiting menus to less than 5 options.|
|Switching between a receptionist and automated service can confuse customers.||We recommend you rely on an automated attendant for all initial messages during business hours, providing a consistent, high-quality experience for your customers.|
|A bad experience can send 42% of customers to a competitor.||We establish, research and share best practices to help you create an experience customers appreciate.|
|Confusion is possible because there’s no one to ask a specific question to during the initial call.||Our scripts help you be as descriptive as possible, while staying brief, so your callers have all the context they need to make a decision.|
|Auto attendant services are common and often expected.||We tell you about industry trends, including the fact that more than 80% of retail, banking and property management companies use auto attendants.|
Auto Attendant Phone System Products
Get the Services You Need for Your Growing Company Today
Want to improve the performance of your small business? Our commitment is to improving the operations of the businesses we work with. AccessDirect takes every opportunity we have to refine our operations because it makes our job easier and more enjoyable at the end of the day.
You do the same, and you deserve every chance there is to make your job better for you and to make your business experience more pleasant for your customers. We think an auto attendant phone system is the way to do just that quickly, efficiently and affordably.
Call us right now to learn more about our call attendant service options and find what’s right for you. For a free consultation, call us at 877-599-6500 today!
- “Occupational Outlook Handbook: Secretaries and Adminstrative Assistants.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. BLS.gov. 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2017.