Virtual Receptionist vs. Auto Attendant: which one is for you?

VV 3 Dec

Technology plays an active role in many aspects of our lives – may it be personal or business. Included in these innovations is the creation of Virtual Receptionist and Auto Attendant telephone answering services, with the aim of supporting communication requirements within a business environment. Both have their strong points but how do you know which service best suits your business?

Besides answering your calls, a virtual receptionist can also perform other admin tasks that include invoicing, faxing and scheduling, while an auto attendant can only provide a systematic call option that allows you to receive calls in any location on any of your designated numbers. So, how do you know which service to use?

The appropriate telephone answering service will not only give a good impression to your callers, it will also play an active role in the efficiency of your business. The right call answering service will also mean you’ll never miss out on an important call ever again. With this in mind, this blog aims to help you decide which service fits your circumstances.

Virtual Receptionist and Auto Attendant: The Difference

We have compared both of the telephone services, listed their advantages and disadvantages so you can make an educated decision.

Features of a Virtual Receptionist

– Live phone answering and conversational approach
– Response to general enquiries
– Appointment reminders
– Customised call handling for every contact

Features of an Auto Attendant

– A dial-by-name menu/directory
– Automatic call transferring and forwarding (find me, follow me)
– Voicemail

Pros and Cons of a Virtual Receptionist

– Returning calls on your behalf
– Can easily answer general information asked by customers
– Portrays a professional impression, especially for home businesses

– When there is an on-going call, virtual receptionists tend to miss other callers or put them on hold. According to research, 62% of callers don’t bother calling back after hearing a busy tone and 79% don’t call again after an unanswered call

Pros and Cons of an Auto Attendant

– Callers can be sent straight to their desired department at the touch of a button
– A language select option is available for different demographics
– Calls can be forwarded to a landline, mobile or other designated numbers

– Usually fail to provide a very friendly connection
– Important calls are missed when there are technical difficulties
– Impersonal service

Virtual receptionists and auto attendant telephone services both come with pros and cons, so you really need to consider your business and ask yourself which one you need the most.

What these Phone Services can/cannot do for a Business

To further help you decide which of these services you should go for, here are some key factors that you should consider:

Virtual Receptionist

Reduced Price
A virtual receptionist will cut recruitment, training and employment costs. You will only be required to pay a monthly fee for the services you receive.

 Increased Productivity
If your business receives high call volumes on a day to day basis, a virtual receptionist can be the perfect solution.

Customer Service
Most virtual receptionists are able to work extended hours. This kind of telephone answering service will more likely achieve positive feedback through meeting your customer’s needs more effectively.

Auto Attendant

Call Forwarding Options Reduce the Possibility of Missed Calls

Your auto attendant can forward calls to your phone anytime, no matter where you are. This keeps the business connections constant.

24/7 Service

Even after working hours, your auto-attendant is still running. There is a voicemail option that allows callers to record messages for you.

Group Messaging
For larger companies, group messaging can help save time that would otherwise be spent calling each employee individually. The group messaging feature allows you to leave a message and send it to everyone immediately.

Posted by The Secret Businessman