Best Practices for Configuring an Auto-Attendant

More and more Canadian businesses are opting into hosted VoIP for its ability to provide an interactive and professional calling experience to clients through a myriad of features. Among the more popular features of a business VoIP solution are the auto-attendants. Auto-attendants, sometimes referred to as “digital receptionists,” are pre-recorded voice menus that give callers transfer options. Using an auto-attendant system is a cost-effective feature as it replaces or helps a human operator by automating incoming call transfer procedures.

Our Provisioning Specialists share their tips and best practices for optimizing your auto-attendant:

1. Prior to configuration, ask yourself ‘what is the best way to organize my team through phone groups so that our callers can most efficiently connect with the right representative?’ Whether it be by location, department, or by individual, there are plenty of options to choose from!

2. Alter your auto-attendant messaging based on your hours of operation to always provide callers with up-to-date information. Consider having one auto-attendant for when your office is open, and another during after hours.

3. At the beginning of your auto-attendant greeting, remind callers that they have the option to dial by extension at any time throughout the greeting if they already know the extension for the person they wish to reach. That way, they can save time and not have to sit through an entire directory.

4. When servicing clients in both English and French, it’s important to offer messaging in both official languages. Record your main greeting in the primary language of your clients and then create a sub-menu for the secondary language.

5. Consider the messaging guidelines and best practices within your industry and follow those rules if they pertain to your organization. For example, if you’re in the medical field, you should mention to your clients that if they are experiencing a medical emergency, to hang up and dial 911. Or, if your organization has opted into call recordings, mention that calls will be recorded for quality assurance.

6. Think about the most repetitive questions that your receptionist receives on a day-to-day basis and include those answers in your directory. For example, if people are calling to ask about hours of operation, holiday hours, or locations, you can include those as buttons to alleviate some of the non-emergency calls from your receptionist’s day.

7. If you offer an emergency after-hours hotline, configure your auto-attendant so that the calls are automatically forwarded to the emergency number.

8. Oftentimes callers get lost within your auto-attendant and dial a number that does not correlate to an action or forget to complete a dial following a prompt. If you have a live receptionist on staff, route unanswered prompts to their extension. That way, calls are less likely to get abandoned and callers are always able to reach your organization.

9. Some organizations are wanting to transition to an auto-attendant but are hesitant to lose that person-to-person connection with callers. In this case, you can configure your auto-attendant so that calls ring a live receptionist for an allotted amount of time (15 seconds, 3 rings, etc.), and route to an auto-attendant message if the receptionist is unable to answer. This enables callers to efficiently reach their desired contact without having to leave a voicemail and the possibility for that human touch is still there.

While the Versature Customer Success team is always available to provide a helping hand, your organization will be provided with the training and instructional articles on how to make changes to the auto-attendant following Versature’s Provisioning Team’s initial configuration. For more information on how Versature sets your business up for success, visit the Why Versature page!

About Danica Bateman

Danica Bateman serves as Versature's Marketing Specialist, creating social content surrounding cloud-based business VoIP communication solutions, helping to increase Versature's community outreach and marketing efforts. When she's not uploading posts to Versature's social, she's often baking treats or playing boardgames!