Most of us have adapted to interacting with a machine, rather than a live attendant, during calls to businesses. Quite competent in directing us to our desired destination, be it to someone’s extension or to find out business hours, auto attendants are replacing human receptionists to save on costs, streamline processes and make sure no call goes unanswered.
While it’s a seemingly new concept for us in today’s world, virtual receptionists are looking to be the future. For example, a college in Ireland recently implemented a virtual receptionist named Sam, which has been configured to provide useful information to passersby. Though it may be awhile until it becomes the norm for customers to be greeted by a kiosk, other companies are starting small – and on the more realistic side.
Hosted Exchange provider Intermedia (News - Alert) is now going virtual with the launch of a full-featured Virtual Receptionist, complete with an answering and call routing service.
Ideal for small businesses, the virtual receptionist will provide organizations with a hosted voice service that handles inbound call routing. Packed with customizable and functional features, this new offering will help businesses present themselves in a professional manner, right from the start.
“Virtual Receptionist transparently works with a user’s existing phone service by forwarding calls to the phones they already use,” says Manlio Carrelli, CMO of Intermedia. “Businesses can immediately professionalize themselves with an automated attendant and main company number, so regardless of company size, they never miss a potential sales or customer call.”
Users of the Virtual Receptionist will enjoy local and toll-free numbers for publicizing a business and answering incoming calls; and a voice menu that greets callers, routes incoming calls and forwards calls to an unlimited number of users, whom may also receive their own extension.
In addition, the Virtual Receptionist offers users the ability to handle calls differently after business hours; as well as customizable greetings, call groups for routing calls to the appropriate contacts or teams, and simple online administration for the management of settings and viewing call history.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell