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How to setup Auto-Attendant extensions

A VIP VoIP Auto-Attendant (also known as the digital receptionist) is a voice menu that answers incoming calls and directs the caller to the right extension without the need for a human operator. This could be something like “Thank you for calling VIP VoIP. Press 1 for customer service, press 2 to make a sales enquiry or press 3 for our accounts team”. Each option then triggers designated extensions in a pre-set hunt group. For example, if option 1 has been chosen by the caller, the call will be broadcast to the agents’ telephone extensions until one of them answers the call or it will ring each of their extensions in a sequence until it reaches an available agent. If no one answers, the call will automatically be transferred to a voice mailbox.

Learn more about this feature and its benefits in our “VIP VoIP Auto-Attendant– A Simple IVR Solution” article.

To set up a VIP VoIP Auto-Attendant you will first need to create your hunt groups, then configure your extensions’ settings and which hunt group each of them will be linked to. When these two steps are complete, you’ll need to record the audio message that is played to the caller when the auto-attendant is triggered.
Start with setting up your hunt groups: Follow the steps in our “How To Set Up Call Hunting On The VIP VoIP System” article. Once you’re done, you can start configuring the auto-attendant extension.

Configuring the auto-attendant extension

Sign in to your VoIP online control panel and click on the “Add a new auto-attendant” link on the control panel main menu. You’ll then be asked to define an extension number for the auto-attendant and you can give it a name. Once you’ve made your choices, click the “Add Auto-Attendant” button. You’ll then see the below window in which you can edit the settings for the auto-attendant.
Select a key number between 1 and 9 and then fill in the extension number that each key will trigger. You also need to set a timeout period (in seconds). The system will ring the chosen extension for this period and then return the caller back to the selection menu. Remember, if the target extension is a hunt group, the timeout period that you’ll set takes precedence over the sum total of the Hunt Group timings. This means that you need to make sure that the timeout period on the auto-attendant exceeds the total time set in the hunt sequence or the caller will be returned to the selection menu before the completion of the hunt group.

In the above example, there are three keys defined in the auto-attendant. The caller would press key number 1 and the call will ring the sales HG extension, which in turn is a pre-set hunt group. The timeout for this option is not defined, this means that the call will follow the hunt group on the extension 400 to completion, which usually ends in a voice mailbox. On the other hand, the time out for key 3 is set to 5 seconds, which means that the call will only follow the hunt group on the extension 402 for 5 seconds and return the caller to the selection menu if no one answers their call.
After you have defined the target extension number and timeout period for the first selection number then press the “Update Auto-attendant” button. You can set up each subsequent selection number.
If you need more help in setting up the Hunt group, call one of our experts: 03300881394