How an Auto Attendant Handles Inbound Calls for Businesses


Whether you’re a large enterprise or a 1-person business, a hosted VoIP auto attendant feature organizes your incoming calls to provide top-notch customer care regardless of your company’s size, industry, or service need.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the features that come standard with auto-attendants offered through most VoIP providers. From basic call routing options to more advanced business continuity benefits, your company will get the tools it needs to provide timely and quality customer service to your callers, day and night.


The most prominent feature of auto attendants are the customized recording that greets all incoming callers with a set of dialing options. Callers will be able to press numbers or button combinations to find the user, service, or feature they’re looking for. For example, a standard auto-attendant greeting may sound similar to:

Hello! You’ve reached Brian’s small business. If you know your party’s extension, you may dial it at any time. To schedule an appointment, press 1. For business inquiries, press 2. To leave a voicemail message, press 3.

Companies have the opportunity to define, organize, and customize the dialing options as they see fit through their site-specific, web-based administrative portal.

Direct Extension Dialing

Direct extension dialing allows callers to dial his/her party’s extension at any point during the call to bypass the recording. Once an extension is dialed, the intended employee’s phone will ring until his or her voicemail is reached. If the caller leaves a voicemail, the recorded message will be stored and accessible through the employee’s user portal with the caller’s number, caller’s name, call date, call time, and fax number if available. The employee will have additional voicemail system features such as number of rings, voicemail notifications, message storage, and call forwarding (to name a few) to help with message organization further.

 Dialing Options (Enterprise-wide or site specific)

Enterprise wide and site specific dialing options refines the list of available users and extensions to include with the internal dialing options. Additionally, enterprise-wide dialing options stay constant regardless of branch office contacted, while some options may change depending on the site-specific information or services. A company branch in Phoenix, for example, may have an additional dialing option for inbound callers than the branch in Tucson. However, an inbound call to Phoenix can still be transferred to the Tucson branch (and vice versa) if needed.

Schedule-based Call Routing

Schedule-based call routing is a powerful option that allows businesses to create custom messages to accommodate special or changing business schedules. A specialized greeting during a holiday, for example, is a common application of this hosted VoIP auto-attendant feature. Scheduled-based auto attendants are particularly useful for multi-branch or multi-locational offices as well, as it gives them the opportunity to forward calls to a branch out of service (after hours) to a branch that is still open and operational. This ensures that inbound calls are routed to available callers as often as possible in order to maximize direct contact with a customer care representative.

Each DOTVOX VoIP service plan comes standard with an auto-attendant feature—so what’s the wait? Find the right VoIP plan for you here.


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