Over the years, startups across the globe have seen tremendous development. Advancements in technologies are more than ever and have turned in to an inspirational ground for new companies. From taxi-cab organizations, electronic health records to online retail business, the startups are wildly developing. As per the ASSOCHAM study, the US and the UK occupy the top positions followed by India in the third position in the number of technology driven startups. The US tops the rank with over 80,000 budding entrepreneurs, followed by India and China 10,000 each.
Embracing innovative technology for dealing with the everyday tasks and giving remarkable client service has a significant effect between keeping in front of the competition or falling behind. One of those most significant innovation arrangements that a startup must execute is call management system. Adapting to changing customer needs is critical for any startup to succeed. Customer responsiveness plays a crucial role.
Delivering higher standards of customer response and customer service has become imperative for old and new companies alike. To achieve this, having appropriate technology in place is of utmost importance. Handling timely customer calls and communicating relevant information efficiently is the need of the hour. An unattended call can destroy brand’s image and credibility in a big way. Thus, the companies should make an effort to align the call management using innovative technologies such as the cloud IVR systems.
Automated phone answering: A new way to enhances customer service
Almost every small business owner faces the dilemma of answering every incoming phone call as quickly as possible in order to tap the sale or give the best customer service. But that’s not as easy as it may look. Without a dedicated team and call management technology in place, this is simply not possible. This is where an automated phone answering comes handy.
Here is how it can help startups and small businesses in delivering quality customer service –
- Fewer dropped calls – With the help of an automated phone answering system, a call is never dropped, but answered promptly when you and team is highly busy. It also allows to route calls to any cell phone or landline phone.
- Professional greeting – A pre-configured greeting message to your caller signifies credibility and professionalism of an organization. A simple audio recording or an announcement can make the difference.
- Call recording – The auto call management can enable the customer to leave a voicemail and allow your team to get notified about the recording via an email.
- Cost effectiveness – The cloud IVR system facilitating automated virtual phone system can significantly reduce costs involved in call centre management by eliminating the need for human call assistance.
- Better customer experience – Studies reported that 55% of customers favor automated call service as seen in the larger telecom companies. Customers get the choice of how and where to direct their calls.
Automated phone answering from AutoAttend (https://autoattend.com) is a cost-effective and efficient solution for the startups and small businesses helping you sound like a fortune 500 company in a compact business budget.
Simply sign up with AutoAttend and you are prepared to make a first professional impression and associate your customer to your team regardless of where they are. No upkeep, no new programming to learn, only a virtual phone system that helps you to accomplish your business objectives.
We have been busy working on new features at Autoattend. All US phone numbers, and soon other countries, will now have SMS functionality. You can send and receive sms using the phone numbers you own at Autoattend.
Right from the dashboard, you now can send a SMS . The maximum character limit for a SMS is 160. So messages greater than 160 characters will be split and sent.
Incoming SMS to the phone numbers have an added feature. You can configure the incoming messages to be forwarded to another phone number, say your mobile. This will be useful to get instantly notified. This setting is under Advanced Settings > Forward incoming sms to
All the SMS can be viewed and exported from SMS logs section. The status of each sms can be seen here. There can be cases when a sms status can be ‘failed’. It implies that either the receiver’s number does not exist or the receiver might have enabled DND for incoming SMS. The charges for the incoming and outgoing messages can be viewed in the pricing page.
Number masking system is another new feature that has been introduced recently. It is a simple feature where the caller id of the IVR can be hidden during transfer of calls. This can be a powerful feature when you want to setup a platform where the customer and the vendor shouldn’t know each other’s phone numbers. This setting is under Advanced settings > Caller id .
Direct forwarding list was another often requested feature from our customers. This feature enables the IVR owner to connect certain callers, directly to a preconfigured phone number without them going into the IVR menu. These callers’ phone numbers have to be configured in Advanced Settings > Direct forwarding list .
In the above configuration, whenever the caller +12666966890 configured in the list ,calls the IVR phone number , he will be transferred to +12053901762.
All the above features will be available for all the plans in Autoattend.
We have made a ton of changes on the dashboard that I daresay regular users of Auto attend application will hardly recognize the site.
We are listing down all the historical data on the top strip – Total calls, incoming calls, outgoing calls and total billed minutes. These numbers tell you the data from day one when you started using our service.
Below it we display calls received , dialed out and recorded this month. For this graph, you can filter for the current week or the current month. Next to it we show the total minutes billed for the month in a pie chart.
If you would like to see a break up of calls received for previous months or a custom date range, head over to the analytics section. In addition to calls count, you get to see which key the caller often presses when he reaches your IVR.
Sales and leads. Certain things never change in the constantly evolving business models. Every business needs its sales and they reach out to every lead at their disposal to make it happen. They are constantly on the lookout for best leads. Quality leads are hard to come by and they are not cheap. They have to attract the best marketers to attain their ambitious sales plan.
The new age marketer has all the latest tools at his finger tips. He studies the market potential, he pores over keywords searched in Google, he obsesses over search engine rankings and loses sleep over click through rates. He has to bring in sales to get his bonus after all. Some of the leads he generates are lost in the wind because the company doesn’t know who was responsible for each and every lead. All it knows is the marketing division was responsible.
Auto Attend bridges this gap between companies and marketers. The marketer is recognized whenever a sales lead comes in. Better recognition inspires him to bring in more leads. It is a win-win scenario.
Let’s say there are 3 marketers Alice, Bob and Charlie. Each of them own a number at AutoAttend. All they do is divert the incoming calls to the sales division of the company with a call whisper and also records the call. The call whisper is the important feature here. When the company’s sales division receives the transferred call from the potential customer, they clearly hear the call whisper message which tells who was responsible for the lead. The customer is oblivious to the call whisper. Only the transferee hears it.
There it is. The sales division now can pinpoint each and every lead and recognize the work put in by the marketers. Call whisper is a simple yet a powerful feature that has already been leveraged by many marketers around the world. People have started using it at AutoAttend and are loving it. We are giving away this feature starting from our basic plan.
We have just released a feature that will allow you to use the IVR phone numbers to make calls. Right from your browser, you can dial any number in the world.
Once you have purchased our Gold plan, you will get the dialer in your IVR dashboard. You will be able to see a phone icon at the top . Click on it to pull out the dialer menu. You can choose the caller id from the list of your phone numbers before dialing out. The dialer is mobile and laptop friendly. So you can use the dialer on the go almost like a second phone.
As a token of gratitude, we have enabled the dialer feature for all existing customers. Call charges include a fixed price $0.0052 for every call and an outbound price based on the destination dialed. The outbound tariff for calling all destinations is available in the pricing section of your dashboard. The tariff is one of the cheapest in the market as well. Just take our word for it.
When we started our product offering , we were focussed in acquiring customers based in the USA. So our billing system based on minutes was in line and worked perfectly for US based phone numbers.
Gradually as our customer base grew, we realized that we can no longer ignore international customers. The minutes based billing was not working for the customers based out of US. So we have now come up with the traditional credits based billing system replacing the old call/minutes balance. Each IVR purchased henceforth will be having a credit balance.
We offer 3 credit packs for each IVR – $9.99 , $19.99, $ 49.99 . Recharging the IVR with these credit packs updates the credit balance of the IVR. For every incoming call and call transfer, the credit balance will be deducted. We haven’t yet introduced auto recharge option if the credit balance runs low. However we do send alert emails if the credit balance runs less than $1. Hence we strongly suggest our customers to recharge with $49.99 credit pack for having a stable IVR system.
We have made the billing more transparent by displaying the cost of each call under calls and recordings section of the IVR. The pricing section in the admin panel has been updated with the latest call pricing list. Please remember that the call pricing is dynamic and liable to change.
We have added new call forwarding features to all the IVRs . Now all incoming calls can be forwarded to another phone number without any prompts. This feature has been added as part of announcement.
This feature makes straightforward call forwarding possible without prompting the caller to press any keys in dial pad.
The other feature that all IVR users get is Call whisper. The receiver of the forwarded call can hear a preconfigured whisper text just before connecting to the caller of the IVR.
However this whisper will not be heard by the caller. It is exclusive to the called party.This usually helps the person receiving the call understand the context of the call better.The usual option of choosing the voice and accent apply to the whisper text as well.
The call whisper feature is available both at the announcement level and as well in the key configuration level.
We have also added call recording capabilities for either of the features. Again, this recording capability is available both at announcement and key configuration levels. The call recording kicks in after the call is transferred. As soon as the recording is completed, we send out a recording notification email to the IVR owner. The recording will also be available for download in the calls and recordings section of the IVR.
We have added the ability to choose between male or a female voice in Play text actions.
Additionally you can select one of the 6 language options as well for play text. The language options are
- English with an American accent
- English with a British accent
By default all the existing play text options will be set with male voice and ‘English with an american accent’. So effectively there will be no difference in the experience for the callers even if you choose not to use this feature.
Here is the screenshot of the feature in action in the settings page.
The feature is also available in the advance settings page where you can configure ‘after hours announcement’ and ‘announcement to caller after timeout’.
We have finally released the business hours feature for your IVRs at AutoAttend. You can configure the business hours from advance settings link inside your IVR.
Setting up is pretty simple. Pick your time zone, and then choose the day and time of business.
By default, the business hours is assumed to be Every day all day. This translates to the IVR being available at any time irrespective of the day or time in the week.
Let’s suppose you have set your business hours as 8 AM to 8 PM from Monday through Friday, this will mean the IVR is available only during these hours in the weekdays. Any call outside the business hours is termed as after hours calls.
For after hours, you have the option of either uploading a recording which will be played back to the caller , or setting a simple text which will be played back in a robotic voice to the caller.
We had been getting plenty of requests from customers for connecting an IVR to their existing twilio phone numbers. We just delivered the feature today.
This feature just costs a fee of $40/year. You get a fully fledged cloud IVR with all the features like speech-to-text, call forwarding , voice mails , multilevel submenus , custom audio playback, repeat menu, SMS to caller, call logs, call analytics and more. Your IVR gets immediately activated and will be live within seconds after completing the payment.
You just need to give us the twilio phone number , twilio account Sid and the auth token. You should be able to find the account Sid and the auth token in your twilio account’s dashboard.
Just follow these steps:
1)Sign up at AutoAttend and head over to the Dashboard. You should see 2 options for you there.
2)Choose the “Bring your own number” option and input the fields listed there.
3)Once done, it will redirect you to the paypal page for completing the payment.
4)Complete it and get your live IVR the next second.
The purchased IVR will now be in your dashboard and you can configure away to your heart’s content.