Using Auto Attendant to Sound like a Multi-Million Dollar Company

By Jim Vassallo
Updated: February 09, 2011

Being a small business owner is incredibly hectic, stressful, and taxing for millions of people across the country. A small business can consist of one to five employees or even as large as 40 employees. Either way, the responsibilities of the owner weigh heavily on the outcome of the company’s success, and this includes the technology used by the company in and out of the office.

A sought after feature most phone systems offer today is the auto attendant. A phone system with an auto attendant feature makes your small business; no matter how small it is, appear to be a major corporation. The auto attendant removes the need for you to hire a receptionist because the system will answer phone calls, transfer phone calls, transfer to extensions, transfer to voice mails, provide a menu and a sub-menu and repeat choices.

Create a Polished Message

One of the main features an auto attendant system offers its users is the ability to record their own personal message. The user simply logs into the system after writing their message and begins recording what they want caller to hear. The message should read somewhat like the following example:

“Thank you for calling (company name here), (possible company slogan), if you know your party’s extension you may enter it now. For a directory of all employees, please press zero. At (company name here), we are dedicated to quick and quality customer service no matter the issue. Please stay on the line as someone will be with you shortly.”

Easy to Follow Menu

The second feature that many companies look for is the ability to create an easy to follow menu for the auto attendant. You do not want to use a menu that your callers get lost in, cannot follow, and get so frustrated that they wind up ending the call. This type of menu can cost you business from current or potential clients, dropping your profits along the way.

An easy to follow menu should have a main layer, numbered from 1-9, with each number having less than two features attached to it. If you need to operate with a sub-menu, this should not be a problem at all. The sub-menu can be labeled with numbers 1-9 as well but will allow the caller to return to the previous menu should they press the wrong number. You can return to the previous menu using the zero button in most auto attendant systems.

The numbered menu should include a sub-menu for an employee directory, the sales department, customer service department, ability to check previously placed orders, voice mail and many other options.

If you want your small business to shine just as bright as the major corporations in this country, consider using an auto attendant for your phone system.

Featured Research
  • Is Your Phone System Stealing Profits?

    Having the wrong phone system can dramatically cut into your profits. Despite this, many businesses just sign up for a plan or platform that seems ‘good enough’. If you haven’t carefully considered your options and the included features, there’s a very good chance that you are leaving money on the table in some way. more

  • Phone System Technology Showdown

    VoIP and IP telephony are often misconstrued as being the same type of phone system, but the truth is they operate on different technology and deployment methods. This guide will explain the differences between VoIP and IP, go into the pros and cons of both VoIP and IP-PBX, and give insight into which type of phone system will benefit your business the most. more

  • Why Enterprises are Making the Switch to VoIP

    Your phone system is your most important business communication system. It allows you to connect with your employees, prospects, and clients. And wouldn't it be great if there was a solution that helped drive down costs while providing a competitive advantage? more

  • Business Phone System Buyer's Guide

    Communication has been a focal point in business since inception, but the industry is changing drastically in how people connect to one another and what tools and systems they use to do so. Less than 15 years ago, 90% of people relied on landline phone systems for communication. Today, less than 60% of Americans even have a landline and 40% rely solely on their mobile phone. more

  • Ditch Your Fax Servers

    An in-house fax server gives an IT department centralized management and monitoring over the entire enterprise's faxing. This can help your company track usage and better maintain records for auditing and record keeping. However, there are serious drawbacks that come with utilizing an in-house fax server solution and these range from security to cost-prohibitive pricing. more