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What Is an Auto-Attendant and How Is It Different From IVR?

Auto-Attendant is a particular simplified application of IVR technology with the function of a virtual receptionist.  Its main purpose is to greet callers and transfer them to extensions or departments in a company without involving assistance from a human receptionist. 

An Auto-Attendant will typically prompt a caller to "enter an extension" to be connected or to make a choice from a menu system - "for sales, press 1, for customer service, press 2," etc. It may also offer the option to be assisted by a live operator by dialing a number, usually "0".  A dial-by-name directory is usually also available as to allow callers to locate particular employees or users. 

Auto-Attendant and IVR are terms that are often confused to be the same thing. However there is a distinction between the two in the sense that an IVR can perform more advanced functions and provide a more tailored interaction that an Auto-Attendant cannot. Where Auto-Attendant simply follows menu choices, IVR provides interaction based on a callers voice response or details he enters on his key pad. 

In addition to routing callers to Auto-Attendant can transfer callers to Voicemail or play informative messages (i.e., "Our opening hours are ..."). More advance Auto-Attendant come with the ability to route calls to destination outside the company such as mobile phones, VoIP virtual phones, and other IVR systems.

Telebroad's IVR has powerful options for both multi-level and multi-functions setup. It even includes secured options for the company's own users. Learn more about it here.

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