What Is a Voicemail Auto Attendant?

Taking telephone calls is often time consuming for businesses, and it is generally difficult to have someone available at all times to answer a phone. Getting calls to the right person is also important for companies. A voicemail auto attendant functions like a greeting, but is usually able to route calls to a specific person, or directly access his or her messages. It can also reach an associate or sales person, for example, in a remote location away from the office. The most substantial benefit is that a voicemail auto attendant is typically functional no matter what time of day it is accessed.

Pre-recorded greetings can be programmed by a user, or by the company providing the voicemail service. The message can serve as an answering machine greeting. Companies are often willing to customize the message according to the type of business. Message systems with a voicemail auto attendant sometimes include call forward, save, and delete features available to callers. Business hours and locations can be added to the message so callers can hear the information without the help of a business associate.

A voicemail auto attendant can be used by a small business or a large corporation. In addition to providing a time-saving automated means to answer calls, it can include routing options. Callers can enter extensions to specific phone lines or even to phones outside the office. While transferring a call, a voicemail system can automatically drop a call from the company phone lines, so additional calls can come in without a problem. A voicemail auto attendant is sometimes capable of notifying someone of a call by activating their beeper or ringing their cell phone.

In some cases, a voicemail auto attendant can handle multiple greeting messages. This can be useful if more than one person or business uses the same phone system and the greeting features. The configuration can be done by the service provider or phone user.

Voicemail is a benefit if workers aren’t always at their desk or have important tasks to complete. Using a voicemail auto attendant typically requires a person to press the buttons on the phone to route their call to the right place. Combined with other voicemail features such as email forwarding, callers can not only leave their message, but reach someone that isn’t even in the office at the time.