Auto-Attendants: All you need to know

Dinesh V

Oct 18, 2023 | 6 mins read

Let’s suppose you order a dining suite online. Let’s also assume that it arrives with a few defective pieces, so you dial up the company’s customer service. Now, you connect to a landline phone with a distorted voice, talk to a clueless support attendant, and slam the phone down after a few minutes out of frustration. 

Why? Because the system on the opposite side already receives too many calls. Way too many calls to be handled by human attendants. And this leads to poor customer service and frustrated customers. Quite the opposite of what you want your customer service department to achieve.

Now, let’s think of the opposite scenario. First, you dial the customer support’s number, and just after the first beep, a clear, automated voice greets you and instructs you about the different services associated with different numbers. 

You enter the complaint department’s dial code, select a number from the submenu, and voila! A warm, crisp, and clear human voice deals with your query within minutes. No phone-slamming, no distorted voices, no disappointment, no frustration!

If you ask what an auto-attendant is, this is the simplest way to understand this modern marvel. From gas companies to fashion brands to online florists, all sorts of businesses tend to receive hundreds of phone calls each week, if not each day. 

Some of these callers inquire about their orders, some first-time customers argue about your menu, and every once in a while, there may be a difficult customer who demands refunds on years-old used products. 

However, this rainbow of callers can be challenging to handle through manual operations, which is why these calls can get messed up so often. This can turn out to be a significant loss for businesses with a customer base that interacts through voice calls. 

What is the solution to this daily flood of callers? Auto attendants! 

What Is an Auto-Attendant?

An auto-attendant is a voice channel service that receives, answers, and distributes calls to different customer support branches or business departments. So, instead of a few human attendants directly facing a thousand different calls, an auto-attendant software can efficiently deal with the influx of calls, no matter what the circumstances. 

Auto attendants are everywhere, from the local restaurant to the national electric supply, and you have most likely been greeted by them at least once this year, if not this month!

Why Do You Need an Auto Attendant?

An auto-attendant does more than just say, ‘Hello, how can I help you today?’ 

In fact, if you only ask what an auto-attendant greeting is, you’ll get more than a couple of answers. For some businesses, auto attendants are a chirpy, friendly voice. For others, the answer to ‘what is an auto-attendant in VOIP’ is this: a reassuring, serious voice dealing with emergency calls at the hospital.

When it comes to auto attendants, it’s a unique profile for every business. In other words, auto attendants are the ones that set a flawless first impression in customer support.

Other than this, the other reasons to have an auto-attendant are:

It is Cost-Effective

Having an auto-attendant is cost-effective in not just one but two ways. Firstly, thanks to cloud telephony options, installing an auto-attendant is free and easy. You generally pay a monthly subscription fee that answers unlimited calls and takes care of service, maintenance, and regular upgrades. It costs far less than a pool of human attendants to deal with when you include individual salaries, healthcare etc.

Secondly, the cost can seem much more in a human-operated system because they’re way less effective than automated ones. Customers may have to keep waiting, hanging up, and then finally give up. That could be a hard blow to your repute, right? On the other hand, an auto-attendant is programmed to great multiple callers simultaneously with the same personalization and immediacy. 

It Prevents Any Mess-Ups

Another great advantage of having auto attendants is that they do not deviate from the path you set for them. They receive calls, narrate department-wise menus, and connect the caller to live customer support attendants. 

Whether someone calls during the day or night, once or ten times, auto attendants are always flawless at their job. And yes, if someone being too much of a pain, you can ask the attendant to block their contact as well!

After-Hours Calls

For businesses, the question of how to keep away any after-hours calls is a big puzzle to deal with. Sure, you may mention the timings along with whatever product or service you offer, but will that stop the few odd-ones-out from ringing you up at all the odd hours of day and night? 

Fat Chance

Usually, customer support departments in large organizations have live call attendants for days and nights, which is especially necessary if they entertain an international clientele. But that also means you must double the investment. 

So, if you’re unable to hire after-hours live call attendants, an auto-attendant is the best alternative available. Even if there’s no live attendant to connect to, the auto-attendant will politely guide the caller to dial at the right time or record their message for voicemail. Much better than constantly dialing up to a dead phone!

Call Record

The last but one of the most useful qualities of an auto attendant: call record! The auto-attendant maintains a record of each call that’s redirected, and each call gets a callback. The number of times a caller dials, the country and network service, the time, the duration of waiting, the duration of the live call, the department where any call is connected, and the overall quality of the call. Your auto-attendant knows it all!

Give It a Go!

Here at Ozonetel, we have spent uncountable resources on developing the best auto-attendant facilities that there can be. Our Interactive Voice Response (IVR) software with a drag-and-drop menu and numerous customization ideas make it possible for you to have your perfect auto-attendant all set in an instant.This is because we know just how useful automated help can be in business, especially if you’re starting out new. Contact us for a 1:1 demo of our product today. Or see what features an Auto-attendant should have here.

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