Voip & Unified Communications f Robert Pepper hSeptember 28, 2012

9 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Auto Attendant and Virtual Extension

Many small business VoIP system solutions offer many virtual extensions, or virtual mailboxes. Here are nine possible ways to get the most use out of your auto-attendant and virtual extensions

“To make an appointment…Press 1”
Using an extension specifically for making appointments is perfect if you have voicemail transcription. But even if you don’t, you can customize the message to ask for specific information, and leave what hours are best. If you have a script that is well thought out, it might even be better than answering the phone yourself.

“If this is an emergency…Press 2”
Any business can have an emergency. To best use an extension for this purpose, set the call rules to ring all of your phones at once, and override any day/night rules. If none of your customers ever dial this extension, that’s great! Your customers will feel secure and confident in you knowing that if the worst happens, you’re available.

“To listen to testimonials…Press 3”
Testimonials are awesome. Who better to tell potential customers how great your product/service is than satisfied customers? There’s no need to limit testimonials to your web site. Here’s how best to do this: First, record testimonials from satisfied customers, and have them edited into a music file. The file can be an outgoing message or hold music on a loop.

Frequently Asked Question...Press 4
This will vary from business to business, “What is the difference between Plasma, LED, and LCD?” “What is the difference between a Fixed Rate Mortgage and an ARM?”  “Why did the chicken cross the road?” If you find yourself answering the same question or questions over and over again, maybe you should consider leaving a “canned answer” extension. You’ll be saving time and making money without even knowing it.

“For hours, directions, and my web address…Press 5”
This is self-explanatory.

“For instructions on how to send me a fax or email…Press 6”
Businesses today have faxes, scanners, email addresses, SIP addresses. How can a customer know how to send you a document? Have an outgoing message explaining the best way to send you a file. Remember to annunciate clearly and to repeat the phone number or email at least once.

“To skip right to my voice mail...Press 7”
With all these different options, you’ll want to have an express lane right to your voice mail. Once your customers have heard all these options more than once, they’ll likely want to save time and go right to your voicemail. Make sure to give them the option

Secret extension
This can be for your VIPs, or for your sweetie. This is a virtual extension or button press that you don’t leave on your outgoing message, but you tell only the most important people in your life. It’s like being part of a secret club.

“To hear these options again…Press 9”
Did they miss anything? Don’t make them hang up and call again.

Related Articles:
- What is a Virtual Extension?
- What is SIP Forking?
- Small Business VoIP Startup Guide

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