Articles

What is Auto Attendant and How to Set It Up

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

With all of the included features of OfficeSuite UC®, it’s easy to gloss over some and set up just the essentials for your small business. And one of those essentials for unified communications solutions is Auto Attendant.

So, what is Auto Attendant? Think of the feature on Kinetic Business by Windstream’s cloud-based communications system as having a digital receptionist who can answer every call that your small business gets. It can be used on the front end, reducing the need for hiring a receptionist, or on the back end if an incoming call to an extension or to a call group is unanswered.

Auto Attendants can be customized to provide basic company information, such as hours of operation or a physical address, to direct callers to a specific person or department and to handle unanswered calls.

Creating Auto Attendants

Note that only those with administrator roles or those with special permissions for this feature on your MyOfficeSuite portal can create or edit Auto Attendants.

To start, click the “Phone System” tab and select “Auto Attendants.” If you have used this feature before, you’ll see of the current Auto Attendants for your small business.

But, if this is your first time setting up the feature, select “Add Auto Attendant.” A box will then pop up, prompting you to select an extension. Once you choose the extension and click “OK,” you’ll have your first Auto Attendant, and you can edit or personalize the options.

Personalizing Auto Attendant Options

Next to all Auto Attendants that you’ve set up, you’ll find an “EDIT” button. Select it, and a pop-up box will appear. You’ll want to first rename your Auto Attendant, specific to its purpose. As an example, if you configured one for the holidays, mark it as such.

Next, under the first tab, “Menu Keys,” choose the options you want available to incoming callers, such as dial by extension or dial-by-last-name directory. (Note that for the dial by extension option, you must know the leading digit of all extension numbers, and, for the dial-by-first-name or dial-by-last-name directory, you must ensure that each extension has a directory name recorded.)

Once you select your options, type in a greeting script to direct the caller using a phone keypad. As an example, try “If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time” that callers can access by pressing the “1” button.

If you don’t assign all numbers on the keypad, mark the unused ones as “invalid key.” You can also assign the star key (*) on the keypad to “Voicemail Retrieval” so that employees can check their messages from any device, using only their extension and voicemail pin number.

Recording Your Auto Attendant Greetings

Under the next tab, “Set Receptionist Greeting,” you’ll be able to actually record the messages you’ve written as a script in the first tab. There are three ways to do so: uploading an audio file, call me to record audio, and use text-to-speech.

If you choose to upload, the file must be .wav or .mp3 and be less than 10Mb. The second option allows you to set an extension for whomever you want in your small business to record the messages upon answering. For both the second and third options, you can set the script for the messages. You can also preview the message with the text-to-speech option.

Hit “Save” and “OK,” and you’ll almost be set.

The next tab, “Greeting Playback & Forwarding,” lets you choose how many times a caller must hear the menu before the call is forwarded or disconnected.

Now that you’ve gotten the hang of Auto Attendant, you’ll never have a call lingering! And be sure to read up on all the other features of your MyOfficeSuite portal.