Auto Attendant

Auto Attendant: A Cornerstone of Virtual Office Business Phone Systems

As a customer told us: “Just for the image, when prospects or customers come by the office, it would be nice to have a receptionist, but let’s face it – we cant afford one… But look what our Virtual Phone Attendant can do!”

Indeed. It does a lot. The Virtual Office Virtual Auto Attendant stays on guard night and day, weekends and holidays. It remains your ever-vigilant virtual gatekeeper – a 24-7 receptionist that never runs out of steam. The fact of the matter is, a virtual receptionist never gets sick; never asks for a raise or a bonus; doesn’t need health coverage; and never bolts for the door at 5:01 PM. Never, in fact, bolts for the door at all!

For example, let’s say you and you team are not in the office regularly; perhaps rarely – or not at all. It’s quite possible that you don’t even have a physical office… A perfect scenario for’s technically superior Virtual Office and Auto Attendant to prove its worth.

Let’s also say you receive a lot of calls. Sales calls, or customer relationship management calls, with sales and customer reps or tech reps often out of the office, traveling, on calls in the field. Calls that need to be transferred or routed right away to the proper person. Calls that require a quick response time. Callers that prefer a live person 10 to 1 versus voicemail. Callers upon which your livelihood depends.

So it’s no joke how their phone call is handled, how easy and smooth the virtual menu enables them to get where they’re going on that call – how smoothly the call is routed, how pleasant the music is that they hear for the few seconds they are on hold… and so on.

At the end of the day, it’s all about how the overall call experience is remembered – when prospects and new customers think about your business in retrospect, whenever it comes time for them to take out their credit card or check book, to renew, to make an initial purchase, subscribe to your offer, sign the contract, or in some other way ‘close the deal’ and convert from – “first time caller”… to “customer”, or “client”.

Since this is how you generate revenue, how you make your living – your phone system is, quite literally, your “virtual lifeline”. And your Virtual Auto Attendant assumes the key role of telecommunications supervisor, who takes over when you go home at night, and never lets you down.

The first thing to understand is that when you become a customer, day-to-day management of your most important tool, your phone system, becomes easier, more reliable and more stable – and you are finally able to customize a phone system that accurately represents “you” and your business.

When calls comes in on your main line, you know your customized ‘main greeting’ will play your personalized message, complete with the music you picked out to represent your business exactly as it should be represented; and there will be no botched calls or lost messages.

Auto Attendant: 3-Dimensional Virtual Menu

Here is where your virtual Auto Attendant comes in…

Each caller hears a menu of different options to choose from. These options are exactly what you have decided your customized menu should consist of, and how they should sound.
Occasionally, the virtual attendant menu is even used for personal matters… has a customer, Andrew, who has his auto attendant managing his personal home phone set up – to accommodate his mother in law, who insists on being able to reach her daughter, Vera, no matter what or where or when.

Hence, his virtual attendant offers the following menu, with heavy metal music heard, loudly, in the background:
“If no one picks up the phone, we’re not home – Push #1 to be connected to Vera’s cell phone. Push #2 to be connected to Andrew’s work number. Push #3 for Andrew’s cell phone. Push #4 for Vera’s work number. Push #5 for Andrew’s Gym.

The calls bounce form number to number until the mother in law finds her daughter. However, most customers use the system to help run their business.

In the case of another customer, who is a soccer coach in CA, he uses his auto attendant menu to allow for a different extension (“Push #1; #2; etc.) for each team member. Each player is able to call in to his own extension to therefore call the number for the coach if they are going to miss practice, if one is late for practice, if one is able to car pool, or whatever the case may be.

In the case of a customer who is a musician with his own Jazz group – his toll-free 800 number is used strictly to receive bookings. So the jazz musician’s Auto Attendant is his virtual receptionist – but in this case is also his virtual booking agent! This is what his customized virtual booking agent sounds like:

“Press #1 if you wish to make an immediate booking for Thursday night; Press #2 for Friday through Sunday night; Press #3 if you have already made a booking and need to change it. #4 if you need to cancel a booking; #4 for future bookings, 30 days ahead.”

The entertainer is able to organize his entire week’s bookings and related business via his electronic Auto Attendant options.

Moreover, his Follow-Me-Calling settings are programmed to bounce the caller (usually a club owner or booking rep) from number to number, until the virtual system finds the band leader – to make a booking.

For the band leader, voicemail is to be avoided whenever possible – because if he doesn’t speak to each club owner directly, as quickly as possible, he runs the risk of losing out on bookings. Club owners don’t wait, they quickly book another group to cover the weekends, as weekends are when clubs generate 90% of their overall revenue.

Weekends are also when the band leader’s phone greetings change, because he’s working on the weekends, and must control call-back expectations: “Sorry I won’t be able to get back to you until tomorrow. Thanks!”, as opposed to his customary week day greeting, which comforts the caller with: “Thanks for calling. We’ll be sure to get back to you – within the hour!”