If you’re looking to report a crime or seeking information on community safety, your town’s sheriff’s office is probably your go-to resource. Whether a live dispatcher is available to assist you in your inquiry, or an auto attendant redirects your call, your request will most likely be answered in a timely and efficient manner.
A small town in Illinois recently implemented an automated answering service in the local sheriff’s office in reaction to recent dispatcher staff cuts and as an effort to serve the public more efficiently. While many of the area residents were initially up in arms over the new service, the newly installed auto attendant is proving its many capabilities.
The answering service, which has been up and running for several weeks, is intended solely for non-emergency calls. A call into the sheriff office’s main number will now provide callers with a menu of options to select from, instead of being fielded by a dispatcher. Of course, the first message to callers will urge them to call 911 in the event of an emergency. Next comes a list of extensions for the various departments within the sheriff’s office.
Following the message regarding 911, the caller will then be given the option to hear directions to the town’s county jail, followed by extensions for the civil processing department, investigations division, the town’s police department, the clerk’s office and administration.
According to the town’s online newspaper, the auto attendant will enable dispatchers to focus their attention on more pressing issues and tasks. Even further, callers will now have a more direct way of reaching their desired party.
It’s apparent auto attendants are reaching all facets of business and organizations, and it’s certainly hard to imagine what it used to be like when we relied solely on live agents to assist us in our requests. For many businesses, the auto attendant has become a crucial tool, helping to provide reliable and prompt customer service, accelerate internal communications, and lower the cost of telephony operations.
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 Stefanie Mosca