IVR / Auto Attendant
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The “Digital Receptionist” function enables 3CX to answer phone calls automatically and present callers with a menu of options. For example: “For sales, press 1. For support, press 2 or wait to be transferred to the operator.” A digital receptionist is also known as an Auto Attendant or IVR.
You can configure many different digital receptionists, each with their own extension number. Depending on your preferences you may configure these to answer calls based on the number receiving the call, as well as the time the call is received, i.e. inside or outside of office hours. For example, you can have a different prompt for outside of office hours to not include the option(s) to transfer the call to groups / queues that are not available to take calls.
Recording a Menu Prompt
Before you create your digital receptionist, you must first write down the menu options you wish to offer the caller and then record the announcement. A simple example would be, “Welcome to Company XYZ. For sales, press 1. For support, press 2 or wait for an operator.”
Note: It is generally recommended to put the number the user should press after the option, i.e. “For sales, press 1,” rather than “Press 1 for sales.” This is because the user waits for the desired option and only then understands which number to press for the option.
Creating a Digital Receptionist
To create a digital receptionist select “Digital Receptionist” in the 3CX Management Console and:
- Click “Add” and specify a name for the digital receptionist.
- Now click on the “Record” button, enter your extension number, the “Audio File Name” and click “OK” to get a call to record the prompt.
- Alternatively, click on the “Upload” button and specify a file that you previously recorded. The audio file format must be WAV in PCM, 8 kHz, 16 bit, Mono. (In Windows Sound Recorder you must use the “Save As” option to save this format). Do not use MP3 format.
- Select a custom prompt language in “Digital Receptionist Language” if required.
- Now specify the menu options, selecting from the available actions for the appropriate key. Specify the extension number or virtual extension number for a ring group, call queue or another digital receptionist.
- You can optionally link a DID number to this digital receptionist.
- In “Destination for No or invalid input” specify the timeout in seconds and the action to perform if no valid input is received.
- Click “OK” to save the digital receptionist.
Callers Can Dial an Extension Directly
Whilst a digital receptionist prompt is playing, a caller can enter the extension number to call directly and be connected to an extension immediately, to avoid going through a receptionist. Τo make use of this feature simply instruct your callers by explaining this in the voice prompt. For example: “Welcome to Company XYZ. If you know the extension number to call, you can enter it now. Otherwise, for sales press 1. For support press 2.”