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Virtual Receptionist

Every business knows that busy phones are a double-edged sword. Yes, more calls means more customers and, hopefully, higher profits. But too many calls can also be overwhelming, resulting in missed opportunities and frustrated customers who quickly become former customers.

Auto Attendants also make a company seem larger and more organized, so it will make the business more attractive to customers who not only get directly to the person they want to speak with but also know that they can get directly to other departments within the company.

An Auto Attendant is a service that anyone can sign up to and you don’t need a phone system. We can create an Auto Attendant in the cloud and point the menu options to various numbers you may already have.

How Does an Auto Attendant Work?

Historically, greeting and call routing functions were carried out by a live operator or receptionist. As technology progressed, relying on a single individual or group to manage multiple incoming phone calls became inefficient and costly.

West Quay Offices make it easy to direct calls through prompts and commands, via key selections or voice commands.

The work of an auto-attendant follows some steps, as mentioned below:

  • Call Arrives

    The call is initiated by the caller by dialing the business phone number of the company. The call is received by the auto attendant.

  • Caller is Greated

    The auto attendant starts the conversation by greeting the caller through a pre-recorded audio message.

  • Menu is Presented

    After greetings, the caller is presented with menu options by the auto attendant. These options are predefined and can be in the form of press 1 for sales, press 2 for support, press 3 for delivery, etc.

  • Caller Provides Input

    After listening to the menu options, the caller responds by selecting the desired option from their phone’s keypad.

  • Caller is Directed

    Upon receiving input from the caller, the auto attendant directs the call to the intended destination which could be an individual agent or department. In case, the destination is busy, the caller is put in the call queue by the auto attendant and listens to the hold music till his turn arrives.

  • Overflow and Fallback Options

    In case the destination is not available to take the call, the caller is provided with other options like voicemail or provided with alternate options for further assistance.

Benefits of Using an Auto Attendant

Improved Call Handling

The biggest advantage of implementing an auto attendant in business communication is that it simply eliminates the need of hiring a human receptionist or a live operator. An auto attendant ensures prompt response to incoming calls as well as ensures that callers receive a timely response every single time.

Enhanced Professionalism

With a human receptionist, a company cannot expect 100% consistency and professionalism for all their calls. The call-handling response of a human receptionist may depend on various factors such as incoming call volume, availability of the agents, working hours, and even personal attributes such as their state of mind. However, in the case of auto attendants, all these factors are washed away because it’s a technology. Besides offering consistency in every response, auto attendants ensure that callers are greeted with standardized audio messages.

24/7 Availability

Auto attendants ensure 24/7 availability to cater to customer inquiries, provide business-related information to callers, and direct calls to the right destinations. This means that they can handle customer calls around the clock. So, calls that arrive after regular business hours do not get missed enabling businesses to offer continuous customer service.

Why do Businesses Use Auto-attendants?

Seamless communication remains one of the topmost priorities for all businesses. The constant need to have effective and advanced communication tools is therefore imperative. Auto-attendant is one such tool that can help businesses in streamlining their communication flow.

Some highlighting benefits of using an auto-attendant for businesses are as below:

Customized Greetings

With an auto-attendant, you can create custom voice greetings for callers that will play on every call. You can create these greetings in coherence with your brand, its ethics, and its customers. Such greetings can be a pleasant first impression for the callers rather than an irritating repetitive sound or complete silence. We shall discuss more auto-attendant scripts later in this post.

Satisfied Customers

No one wants to wait. Just give a thought to the fact that when there are hundreds of businesses out there just like you, why would a potential customer wait to talk with you? With auto-attendants’ faster call handling, the call queues get eliminated.

The intelligent call routing function of the auto-attendant patches customer calls to concerned agents without any delay. Ultimately, it reduces the waiting time for callers to speak with the right agent.

Reduced Workload

Basic business query calls consume a lot of time for your agents. An auto-attendant can answer fundamental business questions such as business hours, office address, etc., without any difficulty. It’s a great time-saving tool for agents as they can devote their saved time and effort to other critical tasks.

Professional Impression

Imagine having a human receptionist handling multiple calls at the same time. It can create confusion and irritation among the callers. The image of your business can get spoiled easily. However, an auto-attendant professional voice recording poses an impression of a bigger organization for your business.

Cost Effective

An auto-attendant can not only help in savings but also boost sales and thus generate revenue. How? Well, first of all, investing in a business phone system with an auto-attendant feature is one investment with many benefits. You get so many advanced communication features along with the phone system significantly simplifying your business operations. Read our post on How to Select the Right Small Business Phone System? Secondly, with the help of an auto-attendant, you can direct callers to your business phone number, especially those trying to reach the sales department, instead of sending them to voicemail.

An auto attendant greeting represents the voice of your company. Much like a receptionist would answer the phone with a basic greeting or welcome, an auto attendant does the same and then provides information or options to a caller. Every caller routed through an auto attendant can experience the same greeting, creating across-the-board consistency. Greetings vary from company to company. Typically, your business can customize the voice and initial impression of your company. In some cases,  automated greetings can provide important information, like business hours or other notifications, that may be pertinent to inbound callers at any given time.

Your VoIP virtual receptionist is the gateway to your small business and allows you to:

Show customers that their calls matter.

When you or your staff can’t take a call, you can program your VoIP virtual receptionist to take over.

Instead of hearing a busy signal or being put on hold (by your busy human receptionist), callers will listen to a message and choose an option for how they’d like to proceed.

Create a positive call-forwarding experience.

When a customer calls your business and reaches a recording, the immediate options they hear are critical for creating a good impression and keeping them engaged with your business.

Whether a caller wants to leave a message with a specific contact or talk to someone in the sales department, you can program your virtual receptionist to:

Greet callers with a customized message.

Your personalized message will let callers know that they’re in the right place and guide them on what they can do next:

“Welcome to Our Company. If you know your party’s extension, please dial it at any time. To speak to one of our sales associates, please press one. To speak to an operator, please press zero.”

Provide callers with the most efficient forwarding route possible.

Each second counts from the time a caller hears your initial greeting to the last action they take before ending the call. You can tailor your forwarding functions to get callers where they need to be in the shortest time possible.

Ultimately, their calling experience and the feeling of “being taken care of” reflect directly on your business.

Stop soul-sucking spam and robocalls

One of the most annoying aspects of this is the constant intrusion of spam calls. Business owners who manage their own phones need to be responsive, as they can never be sure if the call is a potential sale or networking opportunity.

But with the proliferation of robocalls and telemarketers, these calls often end up being useless intrusions that interrupt workflow and pull you away from your work. 

Breaking concentration can cause you to lose great ideas and make it harder to stay in a flow state, slowing down your work and increasing your stress.

How Virtual Receptionist Works
It works as a virtual receptionist and can serve as the main phone line to your business. With auto attendant, not only can you record a message to greet your callers, but you can also provide them with a dial by name directory, dial by extension, or the option to leave a message.

Private Office & Dedicated Desk Members

Our Private Offices and Dedicated Desks are already equipped with Cisco phone systems, and virtual receptionists are included in our paid VoIP plans.

Virtual Receptionist + Phone Number

Local phone number + Call Forwarding

$15

monthly
Choose any local number and forward calls to your mobile or any number.

Virtual Receptionist + Local Phone Number

$20
monthly
Welcome customers with a greeting, inform them, and forward them to your mobile or any number.

Virtual Receptionist + Toll-free Number​

$25

monthly
Let customers call you for free and welcome them with a greeting, inform them, and forward them to your mobile or any number.

The plans above are without outgoing calls. These plans are suitable for Coworking and Virtual Office members, while non-members can also benefit. Private Office and Dedicated Desk members may want full VoIP plans, which can be found here. 

Phone Numbers

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