Setting Up an Auto Attendant
1.) Determine when you want your Auto Attendant to start.
Many people want the personal touch of a live person answering calls during a normal business day. If the phone is unable to be answered because all lines are busy the calls can then route to the Auto Attendant. This can be accomplished by having the main number ring a designated phone (such as a receptionist) and if unable to be answered it can go to the Auto Attendant. You can have a “Business Hours” and an “After Hours” greeting. If you want an announcement to only be used on holidays then a “Holiday” announcement can be recorded and programmed in advance.
2.) Write a script for Announcements.
What do you want your callers to hear when they reach your Auto Attendant? There is no time limit for your greeting. We strongly suggest having it typed out before recording.
Create the placeholder for each announcement and give them distinct names. The system will assign each announcement a 3 digit number beginning with 100. The red dot indicates a recording is needed. It can be recorded over the phone, through a computer with a microphone or downloaded from a .wav or .mp3 file. Once recorded the red dot changes to a blue arrow. There is no limit to the number of announcements you can have.
3.) Program the Menu Keys
The menu “keys” are what callers press to match up with your announcements.
It is suggested to match the name of the menu to the name of the announcement. It helps keep the relationships straight for programming. There is no limit to the number of menus.
- “Transfer to Phone” can be used to reach an internal extension directly or to transfer a call to an outside phone (such as an answering service).
- “Transfer to Voicemail” “Voicemail by Name” or “Voicemail by Extension” can only be used for transferring to internal extensions with voicemail on the Grid4 system. You can’t transfer directly transfer to a cell phone voicemail.
- To use the “Dial By Extension” feature you must choose a prefix (star or pound keys are good) in order for the caller to be directed to extension dialing. Once the caller presses the prefix the system directs them to “enter the extension of the person you are trying to reach” and then says “we will now connect you”.
- To use the “Dial By Name” Directory each employee must have their name recorded either by setting up their voicemail or someone recording their name in the Auto Attendant application. Also, a menu key must be designated for “Dial By Name”. Once the caller presses that option the system prompts them to “please enter the first few letters of the name of the person you would like to speak to”. When finished the system will say “there was 1 match” or “there were 2 matches. We will now play each in turn. When you hear the name of the person you would like to speak to press pound. To skip an entry press “star.” Once a choice is made the caller hears “We will now connect you”.
- “Intercept Mailbox” can be used for a General Mailbox. If a caller presses this key, they are transferred to the mailbox configured globally for Premium Attendant ( such as a Receptionist voicemail). The telephone number for this mailbox is configured using the Advanced, Other Settings tab.
- “Go To Menu” is used to take your callers to another announcement and menu for more choices. It can be used for a mini Auto Attendant within the main Auto Attendant.
- “Return to Previous Menu” does exactly that. Once chosen by the caller it will take them back to the previous menu choice.
- “Replay the Menu” does just that as well. The caller can hear the same options again if they missed their option the 1st time.
- “Announcement-Return” will take the caller to another recorded Announcement (eg. location and fax number). When the Announcement is done playing the caller will be taken to the menu they were just in.
- “Announcement –Hang Up will play a recorded Announcement and the disconnect the call. To hear the Auto Attendant again the caller will have to dial in again.
- “Hang Up” will disconnect the call.
4.) Program the Schedule
There are a total of 10 time periods for use in scheduling. 8 are color coded and can be used as needed. It is suggested to the names consistent with the Announcement and Menu names.
“All Other Times” and “Special Days” are uncolored and unable to be deleted. To turn the Auto Attendant on they must have a menu assigned to it. “Special Days” are a perfect choice for Holiday and emergency situations because they override a regular announcement and menu without having to go back in and remove it.
5.) Advanced Options
You can program incorrectly handled calls in the “Advanced” tab. Situations such as a caller not pressing any key at all is “Timeout”. Callers pressing a key that is not programmed is “Unknown Input”. Calls that do not transfer for whatever reason receive a “Call Transfer Failed” message. Callers dialing an extension that does not exist receive a “There are no matches” message.
The system automatically defaults all calls in the above situations to replay the menu 3 times and then will hang up. You can direct those calls to a receptionist or a voicemail.