3 Uses of a Virtual Assistant with VoIPPosted on: 2018-02-13 | Categories: VoIP Services
VoIP systems – whether hosted services or on-premise trunking solutions – offer a plethora of features for businesses. Even those who have used the systems for years may find something they have overlooked before. But all these choices can be overwhelming to organizations who are only now switching to VoIP. So let’s take a look at the virtual assistant or auto attendant features in VoIP.
One of the most useful features in a phone system is the virtual assistant. Often called auto attendant or digital receptionist, companies use them to project a professional image to callers. If you have ever called a bank or any other business recently, you will have encountered the auto attendant asking you to select from a menu of options. The typical recording will ask you to press 0 for information, 1 for customer support, 2 for sales and so on.
A virtual assistant ensures that your customers or anyone else calling in, are directed to the most appropriate resource. Even if you have a fully staffed call center (or don’t), the virtual assistant can save time and improve productivity.
How Does a Virtual Assistant with VoIP Work?
With the virtual assistant feature, you can program an entire directory of options for incoming calls. You can have multiple layers each of which has its own set of options. You have a lot of flexibility in how calls are directed – you can send them to voicemail, group inboxes, specific extensions etc.
Most people don’t know the extension number of their destination but they do know the last name of their contact. So one of your options in the auto attendant can be the dial-by-name feature. The virtual assistant will list out various names and the caller can press the appropriate number to automatically dial that extension.
You can also change the type of greeting based on variables like business hours or holidays. Most service providers allow you to select from pre-recorded styles or add your own. Unlike the rest of your staff, the virtual assistant will not need sick days or training. You can turn the feature on and off depending on your needs at the time.
Save Time by Answering Simple Queries
People will call your business for a variety of reasons. Customers may call for tech support, product feedback, complaints, account information etc. Reporters may want to contact your marketing department. Business partners, distributors, contractors and others will also call you. Some of these calls will require a staff member to handle the issue.
However, a significant proportion of calls will be simple queries that don’t actually need an employee. For instance, the customers of a shipping company want to know their order status. Someone calling a bank is most likely looking for their account information or their credit card balance. The virtual assistant can answer these questions by looking up the information in your CRM systems based on the caller ID, account number etc.
Offer Important Information Upfront
The virtual assistant is a great way to announce important information to callers. Some businesses announce their office hours, location or upcoming holidays so that customers don’t have to hunt for that information elsewhere. You can announce special offers, sales or any other pertinent information as well. You can choose to include this announcement at the beginning of each call or only during the times when the customer is on hold.
The virtual assistant is also invaluable in an emergency or disaster situation. Suppose you have a fire in the office or your computers have crashed. You can quickly give status updates to your customers without callers having to wait in line to talk with an employee.
Create Advanced Rules For Routing Calls
You can create advanced rules for directing specific groups of callers based on caller ID. So a customer calling the number would hear a different message than a supplier or investor. You can even change the number and type of options that different groups can access.
You can also be these rules on the type of phone number. For instance, you can create a VoIP number that is tied to a specific marketing campaign or promotion. Users calling that number will hear a different greeting or message than those who are calling your general business number.
These types of sophisticated rules can help you manage the large volume of calls your employees have to deal with every day. You can streamline workflows and make sure that customer calls are not ignored, missed or handled inappropriately.
There are clear benefits to using virtual assistants. Your trained technicians or customer service representatives don’t have to waste time answering simple questions. Their expertise can be put to better use handling more complex issues. It reduces hold times for customers as well. Virtual assistants in phone systems are not new but more businesses now have the option of using them without paying exorbitant prices for the privilege.