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What is an Auto Attendant?

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What is an Auto Attendant?
An auto attendant is an interactive menu that allows callers to make a selection to route their calls to the desired destination. Think of auto attendants as a virtual receptionist, rather than reaching a receptionist and explaining the reason for calling in order to be transferred, a recording is played for the caller and a selection is made based on the menu options given.

How many menu options can you set?
Auto attendants can have up to 11 different menu options that are associated with 0-9 and *. Auto attendants can also be set up to do a specific action, if no option is chosen or an unassigned key is pressed, such as staying on the line to speak to a representative or repeat the recording.

What are the available menu options and what does each menu option do?
To user
  • A user's extension is set and when this option is chosen, it goes directly to the extension
To conference
  • A conference bridge's extension is set and when this option is chosen, it will send the call to the conference bridge, where a leader pin or participant pin will be entered. To learn more about conference bridges, please click here.
To call queue
  • A call queue's extension is set and when this option is chosen, it goes directly to the call queue. To learn more about call queues, please click here.
To voicemail
  • A user's extension is set and when this option is chosen, it goes directly to the extension's voicemail
Play a message/recording
  • A recording is uploaded, and when this option is chosen, the recording plays
Company Directory
  • Customers enter in the first 3 letters of the last name (first name if set up) and the company directory finds a match and connects the customer to the user's extension
External Number
  • A 10 digit number is entered into the field and when this option is chosen the number is dialed
Repeat Prompt
  • When this option is chosen, the menu option recording prompt will play again.
Add a tier
  • Sometimes one option can lead to needing to choose a secondary option, this allows for it. Another recording would need to be set up for the secondary menu.

Do I need anything set up previous to creating an Auto Attendant?
You will need a time frame created for the auto attendant as auto attendants are associated with a time frame. A time frame can be set to always, specific days and times, and specific date ranges. This allows for time-of-day routing, or handling calls differently depending on what time the call is made. For example, many companies have an auto attendant for business hours that routes them to users directly, and an auto attendant for outside of business hours that routes them to voicemail boxes, so the caller doesn’t have to sit through the phone ringing when it won’t be answered anyways. To learn more about timeframes please click here.

How does the auto attendant play the menu options?
Recordings will need to be done to set up an auto attendant. The script for this recording should include all menu options and any additional information you would like to give your customers. The recordings can be done by an employee of yours, a computer-generated voice recording, or a professional recording. The employee and computer-generated can be done free of charge, but the professional recording will be an additional charge based on the number of recordings needed. Please click here to learn more about recordings. To learn more about recordings please click here.

To learn how to set up an auto attendant, please click here

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