An auto attendant phone system will allow calls to your business to be transferred to the correct extension without a human operator.
The system answers any incoming calls and then provides your customers with a menu of choices. So, in effect, your customer will hear: 'for sales press 1, for accounts and billing press 2' and so on.
This means only the correct member of staff will answer a call, thereby saving your employees time and giving the customer the impression that they are reaching a larger business. It is therefore a great choice for a small office.
This system can also be combined with a call queuing system which allows users to be held in a queue until someone can answer their calls.
Cisco Auto Attendant
The Cisco Auto Attendant works in combination with the Cisco Unified Communications Manager to direct the incoming calls.
The options provided when a call is answered are; 'press 0 for the operator, press 1 to enter an extension number, press 2 to spell by name'. If the selected option is busy or out of service the customer will be informed of this and redirected to the main menu to start again.
Alternatively, it can be combined with voicemail to allow the caller to leave a message for the employee.
Clear Span Auto Attendant
The Clear Span Auto Attendant can either be combined with other Clear Span applications or used as a standalone product.
It can be customized in a number of ways with common applications including; a front office attendant, a mailbox attendant, a multi-level attendant within departments, a support center attendant, immediate voicemail or a personal attendant which allows users to escape to the auto attendant menu if the user is unable to answer a call.
This means the caller can opt to leave a message or attempt to be redirected to someone else who can assist.
Ring Central Auto Attendant
Ring Central offer a comprehensive auto attendant service. Starting from a custom greeting recorded for callers (which can also be professionally recorded if you prefer the user experiences a high quality seamless process) options can be set to transfer to departments or specific individuals as required.
You can also operate regional settings for area code and hour formats across the company.
Mitel Auto Attendant
Mitel Auto Attendant is included within the MiCollab Unified Messaging System from MItel.
This system has some of the latest technology available and allows users to escalate the call into a video or email exchange if needed.
Auto Attendant Costs
The cost of an auto attendant system will depend on the level of features required in the system and the number of sites and users your business has.
A typical two message system would cost in the region of $200 - $300 for the initial set up with ongoing costs ranging from $50 to $100 per month.
Most suppliers will offer no obligation quotes and many auto attendant contracts operate on a month's notice period so you are not locked into any long contracts.