How do I set up an Auto Attendant?
An Auto Attendant allows incoming calls to be transferred automatically to the extension the caller chooses without the need for an additional receptionist. Auto Attendants are unlimited, free and include a simple or complex menu system (“for sales press 1, for support press 2,” etc.), as well as the ability to dial by extension or by name. Auto Attendants commonly include the ability to reach an operator by pressing 0.
- As an administrator, you can access the NextOS portal by clicking HERE.
- Log in to the portal with your admin credentials.
- From the main dashboard, hover over Advanced Routing and select Auto Attendants (Figure 1-1).
Figure 1-1: Auto Attendants
- Select Create auto attendant on the left side of the screen (Figure 1-2).
Figure 1-2: Create Auto Attendant
- Enter the required information on the Auto Attendant profile section as indicated below (Figure 1-3):
Figure 1-3: Auto Attendant Details
- Auto Attendant name: A descriptive name for the Auto Attendant.
- Location: The location to which this Auto Attendant belongs. Additional options may be set to allow callers to reach extensions at another location.
- Regular schedule: Select a business hours schedule for the Auto Attendant. This is necessary to get calls to route to an after hours menu at night. If a schedule isn't selected, the same menu and greeting will play 24 hours a day. For more information on how to set up schedules, click HERE.
- Holiday schedule: The holiday schedule for the auto attendant. Applying a holiday schedule to the Auto Attendant will get calls to route to the after hours menu during the holidays. For more information on how to set up holiday schedules, click HERE.
- Phone number: The phone number that rings directly to the Auto Attendant. This is optional.
- Extension: The extension number for the Auto Attendant. This is required.
Select Advanced settings and enter the required information in the advanced settings section of the Auto Attendant profile screen as indicated below (Figure 1-4):
Figure 1-4: Advanced Auto Attendant Settings
- Caller ID First Name: (together with the Caller ID Last Name) should be the name of the business or Auto Attendant.
- Extension Dialing Scope: specifies whether callers can access users at more than one location. The default setting is Location, which restricts the extensions that callers can dial to this physical location. To allow callers to dial extensions at all locations, select Enterprise.
- Name Dialing Scope: specifies whether callers can dial by name for a user at another location. The default setting is Location, which restricts the caller to being able to enter only the names at this location. To allow callers to dial by name for a user at another location, select Enterprise.
- Time Zone: the time zone for this Auto Attendant.
- Department: the department for this Auto Attendant. Departments are used to organize an account. Examples include Accounting, Sales, Support, etc.
- Name dialing entries: this specifies whether callers can enter the first name of a user, or just the last name. To allow callers to enter the first name of a user, select the LastName+FirstName and FirstName+LastName radio button.
- Transfer to the operator after _ seconds of inactivity: this specifies the number of seconds (after the auto attendant message plays) before the call is forwarded to the operator (option 0). This only applies to callers who do not select an option from the menu, or dial an extension.
- Select Save & Continue to create your Auto Attendant menu.
How do I customize my Business and After hours menus?
After saving the profile information for the Auto Attendant, you will be able to set up the Business hours menu and the After hours menu for the call tree. Follow the steps below to accomplish this:
- Select Business hours main menu to expand.
- Select Default Greeting from the Greeting drop-down list.
NOTE: This is necessary to upload a custom greeting for the Auto Attendant.
- Select the Enable first-level extension check box (Figure 1-5). This allows callers to dial the extension of the person they want to speak to, if they know it.
Figure 1-5: Greeting Drop-Down
- Create your menu for the Auto Attendant using the fields below (Figure 1-6).
Figure 1-6: Auto Attendant Menu
- Key: The numbered option that callers will press (“for sales, press 1, for support, press 2,” etc.).
- Description: A description for the numbered option.
Action: This specifies what should happen when callers press that key. The most common option is Transfer Without Prompt, which immediately forwards the call to an extension or external number. Here's a list of actions:
- Transfer With Prompt: sends the call to an extension or external number, but plays a short message before doing so. If the call is being transferred to an extension on the same account, the message that will play is “Transferring to…” and the recorded name from the voicemail box. If the call is being transferred to an external number, the message that will play is “Please wait while your call is transferred.”
- Transfer Without Prompt: sends the call to an extension or external number without playing any messages.
- Transfer to Operator: sends the call to an extension or external number after playing a message that says “Please wait while your call is transferred to the operator.” Callers who do not dial an extension or press a numbered option on the Auto Attendant will be transferred to the operator. This should be the 0 option on the menu.
- Name Dialing: sends the call to an automated menu, which prompts the caller to enter on their phone the name of the person with which they wish to speak.
- Extension Dialing: sends the call to an automated menu, which allows the caller to enter the extension of the person with which they wish to speak. This is not necessary if the Enable first-level extension dialing check box is selected.
- Voicemail Box: sends the call to the voicemail box of the Auto Attendant.
- Recorded Message: plays a message, then sends the call back to the main auto attendant menu.
- Repeat Menu: replays the message.
- Disconnect Message: ends the call.
- Action data: the extension or external number the call should route to when callers press that numbered option. This does not apply to actions such as Exit or Replay the message.
TIP: To send a call to the voicemail box of an extension, enter *55, followed by the extension number (e.g. *551000 for extension 1000).
- Select Save when complete.