Auto attendants have been around for decades, allowing companies to route their calls. This saves them money as they do not have to hire a receptionist to manage their calls. Auto-attendant is a voice menu system that facilitates business VoIP communication by transferring their calls to their desired extension.
Anytime you call a company business phone and come across “Press 1 for Support, Press 2 for sales, Press 3 to talk to a manager”, you will know that there is an auto attendant in place. People often confuse it with interactive voice response (IVR), which is a technology that enables a computer to interact with customers by using the voice and dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) tone input using a keypad. It is important to understand that they are not quite the same as they serve different functions. Let’s briefly discuss how an auto-attendant differs from an IVR.
Though auto-attendant can be equipped with multiple parameters, its primary purpose is managing call queue. An auto-attendant automatically plays a hold or connect music while it is navigating the call. Hence, its functionalities are extremely limited. However, Interactive voice response (IVR) provides more advanced business VoIP functionalities and facilitates businesses to deal with tasks that involve numbers or simple answers such as YES or NO.
For instance, when you call a bank, IVR enables you to make a payment via phone by entering the numerical credentials of your credit card. Another example can be a restaurant, perhaps a pizza delivery service as it may recognize your identity by your number and allow you to place the same order as the last one. It may also let you choose to deliver your order on the same location that you provided last time.
In this digital era, receptionists no longer perform the function of routing calls due to advanced business VoIP auto attendants and IVR technology, except for higher management or selected VIPs. Many VoIP providers offer auto-attendant solutions with a graphic user interface which may allow receptionists to monitor the flow of calls much effectively. For example, normal calls may be routed using auto attendants, more advanced tasks may be performed by an IVR, and the receptionist will only cater to calls pertaining to VIPs.
If you need assistance in enhancing your company’s unified communications, contact Monster VoIP today to find out how we can help. Monster VoIP provides the best business phones for small business, which ensures effective communication throughout the organization with office phone systems.