What is an Auto Attendant Phone System? - Reachify

Auto Attendants are automated systems that answer your phone and are the first line of communication with customers, forwarding them to the appropriate department. These are also known as virtual receptionists, self-serve phone menus, or digital assistants and are extremely helpful for busy companies that don’t want to devote a staff member fully to answering phone calls.

What does an Auto Attendant do?

Auto attendants answer the phone and allow customers to specify what questions or concerns they have, so the system can forward calls to either another automated system or a staff member better equipped to handle specific needs. 

Auto Attendant systems are very common in this day and age. You’ve no doubt had one pick up your calls, whether you were calling your bank, package delivery service, doctor, or grocery store. They usually inform you of business hours and availability, so the people who your call gets forwarded to won’t have to spend hours every day answering common questions like that. Perhaps you’ve even considered getting an auto attendant system for your restaurant.

What’s the difference between an Auto Attendant and a Chat Bot?

In the simplest explanation, a chat bot interacts directly with users based on responses, while an auto-attendant has a specific set of pre-planned responses based on a selected choice. But there is a lot of crossover between the two in our technologically advanced society. They are very similar and sometimes can be used interchangeably.

Do I need an Auto Attendant?

With very few exceptions, every business, however large or small, national or localized, could benefit greatly from having an automated phone system. Reducing the number of hours someone spends answering phone calls allows resources to be directed to more important needs in your company. And in fact, auto attendants are far cheaper than keeping a full-time receptionist.

Does an Auto Attendant replace my current phone system?

Well, it can, to a large extent. If you know the vast majority of questions and concerns that will be brought forward by your callers, it’s actually a simple job to program proper responses and let the system take over for you. There will, of course, always be people who will still be searching for an actual human being to talk to, but for the most part, an auto attendant should solve that.

Some auto attendant systems can be added on top of your normal business or restaurant phone system, but others, like Reachify, come as full all-in-one solutions and allow you to consolidate your phone system – including auto attendant and text messaging, into one easy-to-use system with one monthly bill.

Don’t people hate automated phone systems?

Naturally, no one wants to wait through a lengthy, boring, and irrelevant automated message to get a simple question answered. However, done right, people don’t mind. In fact, people are largely expecting it these days. In a recent study, it was found that 85% of transactions – of any kind – made in 2020 were done without any human-to-human interaction at all. Be sure to not have your auto attendant drone on or become irrelevant, and you’ll find that your customers won’t mind at all. Many of them might, in actuality, even prefer to not have to speak to someone. There will always be those that would much rather speak to a human, of course, and you can always let them ring through to a representative.

How long does it take to set up an automated phone system?

Surprisingly, if you have your commonly asked questions and preferred feature options already researched, you can set up one of these systems inside of a day. And it’s worth the time it takes to set it up, because it will start decreasing your workload immediately.

I love my Auto Attendant!

We’re so glad all restaurant and business owners can now make use of this startlingly easy technology. We’d love to hear your favorite features of your auto attendant, even if you don’t use Reachify’s system. We’d also love to hear your biggest obstacles in making an auto attendant work. The best way for us to improve is by knowing how well our technology is working for you!