Tag Archives: Auto Attendant

Why You Should Have a Business Phone System Auto Attendant


Business Phone System Auto Attendant
Here at Advanced Communication Systems, we understand the importance of a company giving their customers a good first impression. Typically, the first interaction a customer will have with your company is via phone, which is why it is vital that you have a great business phone system auto attendant greeting. The two most important aspects of an auto attendant is that it be professional and that it serve as an efficient conduit to whomever the customer needs to speak to; the last thing you want is to annoy the caller before you even get the chance to speak to them. Not only does it help the customer, but your employees won’t be tied up on calls that an auto attendant could handle. If you have a hosted voice business phone system, the auto attendant feature is something that can reduce a lot of aggravation in the office. 

Crafting a Business Phone System Auto Attendant: Step 1

            The first step in assembling a professional and efficient business phone system auto attendant is creating a call tree. The call tree is how you route a customer through your business phone system. The first rule of a call tree is to not have the caller jump through hoops to speak to someone. If you overload the customer with too many options, you will only frustrate them.

           As far as the greeting itself, you want to be sure that it is professional and simple. One example could be, “We appreciate you calling John Doe Company:  If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it now.  To speak to an Agent, press 1, for Office Hours press 2, for Accounting press 3, For the Company Directory press 4, or to speak with the operator press 0.  To hear this message again, press #.”

           It is important to allow the caller the option to bypass the call tree and speak to a live person by pressing 0. Too often, callers will get irritated and hang up if they aren’t permitted that option.

            Also, be sure to include the company directory feature; in many instances, callers know the person they want to speak to, but they can’t recall the extension. You shouldn’t force the caller to navigate the call tree or speak to the operator;  it is simply another unnecessary hoop that can be avoided with the company directory option.

Crafting a Business Phone System Auto Attendant: Step 2

            The last step to creating a functional business phone system auto attendant is an after hours greeting. The last thing you want is for the caller to navigate the tree only to have to leave a message! You should always let the caller know immediately that the office is closed and that you will return their call as soon as possible. A typical example is: “Thank you for calling John Doe Company.  We are currently unavailable to take your call.  Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM.  If you know the extension of the person you wish to leave a message for, you may enter it now.   To leave a message for an agent press 1…… etc.…”

            By crafting a superior auto attendant that gives your customers an impression of professionalism and efficiency, they will know that they have made a good decision in patronizing your company; the alternative will leave them searching for a different business instead. If you have any business phone system questions, please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Top 4 Business Phone System Aggravations and How to Fix Them

Business Phone System AggravationsYour business phone system is, perhaps, your most vital communication tool. However, sometimes Business Phone System aggravations make it seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Fortunately, for each of the following Business Phone System aggravations, there is a solution.

#1. When The Phone Lines Go Down, I Have to Fix the Problem

Hosted voice solutions are delivered via the Internet, which begs a valid question: “When the Internet crashes, what happens?” Unfortunately, when the Internet is down, your phone will go dark until Internet service is restored. In this scenario, your provider will work on finding the problem and fixing it as soon as possible.

However, that doesn’t exactly answer the question of what happens with the phone lines go down? If your company has a traditional business phone system, then you are accountable for power, uptime, connectivity, vendor management, and carrier services. If the lines go down, you will be completely without service until you can take care of the problem.

The upside to hosted voice is that if your Internet crashes, while your phone will not ring at your desk, other features will remain operational due to built-in redundancy:

  • Call Routing
  • Voicemail
  • Auto-Attendant
  • Soft Phone
  • Direct Inward Dial (DID)
  • Find Me Follow Me – also known as Mobile Twinning
#2. It is Very Difficult for Employees to Make Changes, and Yet it is Our Responsibility to Make the Updates

One of the biggest problems with a traditional business phone system is that they are not easy to alter after they have been installed. The biggest reason for this is because they are proprietary—meaning they require a qualified engineer to make the necessary changes and updates. For this customer, that means that they have to pay (typically be the hour) each time the technician visits.

The great thing about hosted voice solutions is that you can make most of the basic changes or upgrades without help. Your provider should make the large changes and upgrades.

#3. Scaling your Business Phone System is Difficult

Premise-based business phone systems aren’t easy to scale. Usually modular components and software licenses are needed if you want to expand your premise-based system. This puts a business in the challenging spot of attempting to predict what kind of phone system they will need 5-10 years down the line. Not only is that risky, but you can end up purchasing equipment you don’t need.

Hosted voice solutions remove this aggravation. Adding or eliminating users and services can be done without breaking a sweat by simply telling your provider when you need the change made. They can virtually make the change and adjust your monthly cost accordingly.

#4. The Only Thing my Phone Can Do is Make Calls and Receive Voicemails

Unfortunately, most business phone systems friendly to your budget are typically lacking in features. Budget-friendly business phone systems often are only capable of receiving/making calls and getting voicemails.

Hosted voice, however, allows you a vast assortment of advanced features. Here are the most popular:

  • Voicemail to email/text
  • Caller ID business name and phone number
  • Personal Attendant and Virtual Auto Attendant
  • Find Me Follow Me: allows your desk phone to ring on 5 different devices at the same time (so wherever you are, you can receive calls made to your office)
  • Receptionist Dashboard: give your receptionist an all-encompassing view of your phone system
  • Soft Phones: no handset needed because you can make calls right from your computer or web browser
  • Move Your Phone: from desk to desk, to conference room, to home (work from anywhere)
  • Reporting: how many calls in and out; full call detail records; available at any time

Many premise-based Business Phone System aggravations are erased by a hosted voice solution, assuming it’s a good fit for your business.

If you have any questions regarding hosted voice, please contact Advanced Communication Systems today at 800-750-3624. You can also follow us on Twitter.

Big Problems That Can Be Solved With An Automated Attendant

9600_category_474x270Most business’ first interaction with a customer is through the phone, and thus, how many people perceive the professionalism of your business. If answering phones and routing calls is an issue for your business or if your receptionist needs some improvement, an automated attendant can help with some of the biggest issues your company has answering phones.

Your business operates beyond 9-to- 5 and in multiple time zones

Most receptionists are strictly 9-to-5, whereas other staffers are in earlier or later. The irony is that when someone calls in before nine or after five, the call is most likely going straight to voicemail–even if the caller actually needs to speak to an employee who is in the office!

This is where the automated attendant comes in to play; with the ability to automatically route calls to the appropriate employee it brings your business a step closer to being available 24/7.

You have multiple locations, but customers only want one phone number to call

Customers may or may not realize that you have multiple business locations. Either way, they certainly only want to have one number to dial when they need to get in touch with you. An automated attendant will seamlessly route calls to remote workers and offsite locations. If they have to hang up and call multiple numbers just to reach different departments, they will only get frustrated and give up. Automated attendants vastly improve the ultimate goal of easily connecting customers to employees.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Perhaps your business has a double duty administrative assistant who answers phone calls and oversees multiple projects. If your phone is ringing off the hook, that assistant will begin to treat incoming calls as an interruption and nuisance. If phone calls are beginning to sabotage your staff’s other duties, an automated attendant will greatly reduce the headaches in your office.

How to Set Up Your Business Telephone System Automated Attendant

9600_category_474x270Automated attendants are great tools to help businesses achieve a greater efficiency when helping customers. Most business phone systems come with this handy feature, but it is always important to utilize it correctly.  The difference between a professional automated attendant and a cumbersome one can lead to an annoyed customer base. Here are three things to consider when it comes to setting up an automated attendant:

Do Your Homework

That may seem obvious, but how many times have you called a business only to find the auto attendant so long and confusing that you simply hang up? It is highly advisable for business owners to call into your own office and hear what it sounds like from the customer’s point of view.  Does the script sound professional? Are the options presented clear and concise? These are things that all business owners should be aware of.

Map Out Your Script

Do your research! Ask your sales staff or technical team what common questions they get. This information will help you better formulate not only your script, but who your auto attendant should direct inquiries to.  For example, if the majority of your calls are for technical support, place them first in the auto attendant script (NOTE: many auto attendants are set up backwards, i.e., “Press 1 for IT” when it should be, “For IT, press 1”, otherwise when the caller recognizes what department they seek, the number will have already been said).

For efficiency’s sake, also be sure that everyone has a name recorded in their mailbox. Too often a caller will spell a person’s name in the directory and hear, “for extension 215, press *”. Using the person’s name as well helps a caller confirm that they have reached the right person.

Plan for Growth

When looking at business telephone options, always consider your company’s long term goals. When speaking to a business phone system provider, be sure to discuss growth and set yourself up for a plan to expand your call volume. If you plan too small, you can limit your options from the start. For example, some auto attendants are part of the voicemail system. In this case, the voicemail is liable to be port based and only a certain number of calls can be answered at one time, which may limit your business down the road.

Small Business Phone System Features: Get the most out of Auto Attendant

Last week, we explained the many benefits of utilizing the optional Auto Attendant feature for your small business phone system. These benefits included:

  1. Saving Money: Utilizing an Auto Attendant means you don’t have to hire a full-time employee to answer the phones.
  2. Efficiency: Auto Attendant greets callers and provides them with a menu of options to route their call to the appropriate extension.
  3. Additional Features: Auto Attendant features include: dial by name, dial by extension, dial by department, voicemail to email, 1-to-5 digit extensions, music on transfer, and Do Not Disturb.
  4. And so much more!

This week, we are going to focus on Tips to help you get the most out of Auto Attendant. These include:

  1. Optimizing your Greeting Menu: For starters, it is important to identify your business right away. Secondly, remember to keep your greeting and the subsequent menu brief. Your customers and clients do not want to listen to a long recording, especially if they call frequently. And try to avoid using technical jargon. Just because you are a tech-based company doesn’t mean your customers/clients are tech-savvy.
  2. Give them what they are looking for: Make sure your menu options are clear and are what your customers/clients would be looking for. As a failsafe, have the option at the end to press “0” for any other questions. And give callers the option to repeat the menu. Nothing is more frustrating than having to call back to hear the list again.
  3. Benefit Frequent Callers: Give callers the option to enter their desired extension at any time. This will benefit frequent callers who do not want to have to listen to your greeting each and every time they call.

Interested in Auto Attendant? Then call ACS Today!

At Advanced Communication Systems (ACS), our team of communication professionals will help you understand the available phone system features and technologies and will help you choose the solution for your business. We thoroughly analyze your requirements and devise a solution flexible enough to grow and change as your business evolves.

If you have any questions about Auto Attendant please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

 

It’s for you…Opportunity is calling! Hosted PBX Systems & Auto Attendants

As a small business owner, you are constantly striving to get the most out of your employees. You are constantly striving to improve customer service. You are constantly striving to save money. And you are constantly striving to grow your business. Unfortunately, these are not always easy tasks, especially in today’s economy.

The good news is that we at Advanced Communication Systems have the answer…Hosted PBX Phone System with Auto Attendant.

  1. Hosted PBX Phone System: Hosted PBX phone systems offer small business owners, like you, you the same benefits as traditional PBX, but for a fraction of the cost (typically an affordable per month cost). Plus, there is very little upfront investment and no on-site server. All of this makes a hosted PBX system a much more affordable solution for small businesses.
  2. Auto Attendant: Instead of hiring a full-time person to answer your phone, opt for the much more cost-effective auto attendant. It greets callers and provides them with a menu of options to route their call to the appropriate extension. Auto attendant features include: dial by name, dial by extension, dial by department, voicemail to email, 1-to-5 digit extensions, music on transfer, and So Not Disturb.

Interested in a Hosted PBX Phone System with Auto Attendant?

If so, then call Advanced Communication Systems (ACS) today! Our highly trained team will help you understand the available communications technologies and help you choose the best phone solution that fits your needs and your budget. We are committed to your organization both present and future. At ACS, we thoroughly analyze your requirements and devise a solution flexible enough to grow and change as your business evolves.

If you have any questions about Hosted PBX and Auto Attendant please contact Advanced Communication Solutions by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.

Is it Time to upgrade the Office Phone System? What Features will you need?

Believe it or not, the telephone is probably the most important piece of office equipment that most companies will ever purchase. Just think about how much your office relies on its current phone system for in-bound and out-bound calling, conference calls, customer service, lead generation, interoffice communication, and so much more!

So how does your current phone system stack up? Is it time to upgrade?

Business Phone Features to Consider

  • Auto Attendant: Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on a receptionist when you can get the same functionality from an auto attendant? This feature presents callers with a list of extensions to allow them to find their party.
  • Conferencing: Are conference calls an integral part of your business? If so, you need to ensure that your phone system allows for the correct number of extensions to connect together (the default is two).
  • Paging: This feature allows the speaker to address the entire office over a public address system.
  • Backup Power: Just because you lose power doesn’t mean your clients will too! Backup power allows 10-16 minutes of usability in case of a power outage.
  • Remote Location: This feature allows simple connections to offsite employees or small remote offices by simply dialing an internal extension.
  • Find Me / Follow Me: This feature allows users to forward their office phone to another phone, including cell phones.
  • Computer Telephone Integration (CTI): This feature lets your phone system interact with the computer system.

Interested in Upgrading? Then call Advanced Communication Systems!

At Advanced Communication Systems, we will help you understand the available communications technologies and help you choose the solution that best meets your needs. Our highly trained team of sales engineers will design a Business Telephone System and determine the most cost-effective voice and internet solution that will allow your company to take advantage of the rapid advancements in today’s telecom market.

If you have any questions about Business Phone Systems, please contact us by calling 1-800-750-3624 or visit BuyTelephoneSystem.com today!

About Advanced Communication Systems:

Advanced Communication Systems is a National vendor of, Avaya and Cisco telecommunications products. ACS offers solutions and services that help you leverage the value of your business’s communications investment. From traditional voice to Voice over IP (VOIP), ACS gives you more options for voice and communication technology and solutions than any other provider.

ACS has experience in every major industry sector and business size, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

You can also follow Advanced Communication Systems on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Google+.