Chapter 15. The Automated Attendant

Table of Contents

An Auto Attendant Is Not an IVR
Designing Your Auto Attendant
The Greeting
The Main Menu
Selection 1
Selection 2
Selection #
Selection 3
Selection 9
Selection 0
Dial by Extension
Building Your Auto Attendant
Recording Prompts
Using the dialplan to create recordings
The Dialplan
Delivering Incoming Calls to the Auto Attendant

I don’t answer the phone. I get the feeling whenever I do that there will be someone on the other end.

Fred Couples

In many PBXs it is common to have a menuing system in place to answer incoming calls automatically, and allow the callers to direct themselves to various extensions and resources in the system through menu choices. This is known in the telecom industry as an automated attendant (AA). An auto attendant normally provides the following features:

For anything else—especially if there is external integration required, such as a database lookup—an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) would normally be needed.