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What is an Automated Phone System for Business?

Competitive businesses need to constantly look for tools and strategies that allow them to be ahead of competing organizations at all times. Balancing between caring for your customers, acquiring new leads and increasing your business productivity, at the same time, is usually a struggle for many companies of all sizes.

Thankfully, tech advancements can make these tasks easier. In past years, for example, you needed to have one receptionist per phone system in order to deal with call traffic. 

Now, this process has become much easier thanks to automated phone attendants; you no longer need to have tons of agents, each on their own device, making and receiving phone calls. Automated phone systems can deal with thousands of phone calls simultaneously and efficiently.

This useful tool might lack a human touch, but it’s efficiency and contribution to client satisfaction is assured. This technology is becoming increasingly more popular and its evolution is speeding up. If you’re looking for an option to reduce costs while increasing client satisfaction, then keep reading and find out the advantages of automated attendants.

What is the Automated Phone System?

An automated phone system interacts with your callers without input from other humans. It allows callers to be automatically transferred to an extension without the intervention of an operator/receptionist. It can also answer frequently asked questions, provide directions or set up a call back.

The usual process starts by playing a message to the caller, then asking them to  say their request or question out loud or press a button. Then, depending on the system and the flow you establish, the automated phone system may play some pre-recorded information, route the caller to the appropriate department, or connect them with a human.

Types of Automated Phone Systems

An automated phone system can either be inbound, outbound, or hybrid:

  • Inbound phone systems receive calls from customers while giving automatic responses. 
  • Outbound systems, rather than receiving calls, make calls to existing or potential customers, establishing interaction or cold-pitching to them. 
  • Hybrid systems, which are more common, make automated phone calls as well as receive calls. 

How do Automated Phone Systems work?

Automated phone systems work similarly to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology, which depending on the system, allows for a range of input from calling customers. 

By using the IVR technology, messages and instructions to callers are pre-recorded before any calls are made. This way, customers can choose solutions by navigating through the pre-recorded menu. Customer responses can be entered by pressing directed buttons on the keyboard, or by speech recognition.

On the other hand, outbound automated phone systems work by bulk dialing a database of phone numbers. The system places calls and listens for answers, and when it detects a human answer, it can either play a pre-recorded message or connect the dialed party with an available human agent.

On top of all these great functions, these auto-responders can also be integrated with other software. For example, if you are using a cloud based phone system for small business, or a CRM database, you can integrate these tools for seamless processing of your call traffic, data collection, as well as analysing and improving future interactions according to the system’s input.

What Are the Benefits of Automated Phone Systems?

APS offer a lot of outweighing benefits to both small and large businesses. Here are the key reasons why they have remained a staple among businesses and are only going to increase their popularity and capacities. 

1. Cost reduction

This is the most common reason driving the adoption of automated phone systems such as cloud-based ones and other cloud services offering automation. 

By automating a large percentage of phone calls, businesses can significantly save costs usually accrued to labor, infrastructure and maintenance. This leads to fewer costs and more productive hours. 

Automated calls also free up employees to work on other important tasks rather than facing ones that would have been better avoided.

2. Availability 24/7

In a globalized world, companies that have a market share in other countries need to offer a 24/7 availability to their customers and prospects. Imagine how consuming it would be to have agents 24 hours a day dealing with thousands of phone calls. With APS you can do this effectively and with no extra cost. 

Your prospects’ and customers’ concerns can be acknowledged and many times solved immediately.

3. Payment Processing

Payment processing is one of the tasks that can be carried out by APS. Taking into consideration the 24/7 availability benefit, it’s easy to picture why payment processing through cloud-based phone services with auto-responders can increase your business’ ROI.

Payments are made right away as systems are equipped with sanctioning orders without the need for any human input. More time. More orders. More money!

4. Cloud Integration

Lastly, the introduction of the phone system completes the seamless transition of many small businesses to the cloud. A phone system in the cloud not only offers automated responses with the IVR technology but also takes the automation industry one step further by providing a platform that allows for easy automation of messages (Automatic messages systems) and AI-powered conversations between humans and machines.

And what does the future hold for business answering phone systems?  It is only going to get better. Businesses want more control over their branding and first impressions so that automating the perfect response to potential customers is virtually a dream come true. 

With the exponentially growing pace of  AI technology and its successful role in automation, the results and its influence on the APS industry are therefore limitless.

Key Takeaways

  1. Automated Phone Systems require very few human input.
  2. Automated Phone Systems employ IVR technology to reach productive conversations with customers.
  3. The lasting benefits of automating phone calls will only cement automation of Customer-to-Business interactions for years to come
  4. Cloud-based automated phone systems make for easy future integrations with lasting benefits.