Home / FAQ / How do I edit the auto attendant (also know as the virtual switchboard)

How do I edit the auto attendant (also know as the virtual switchboard)

Auto Attendant

On the¬†Auto Attendant¬†page you can program your own set of menus for auto attendant, from a simple message such as ‚ÄúI am on vacation right now, press 1 to connect to my assistant‚ÄĚ to a complex menu system with various options for small or medium-sized businesses. You can program the voice dialog from your web browser, record voice prompts using a microphone on your PC or upload professionally recorded prompts, create multiple sub-menus and define an activity period for each of them, program your company‚Äôs dial-by-name directory, construct multiple call queues, and so on.

 

Note, that this page is only active if your provider has enabled the Auto Attendant service for you (otherwise it will be grayed out). Depending on your needs, you may activate / deactivate the Auto Attendant by selecting or clearing the check-box on the top.

Basic Concept

  • The Media Server‚Äôs auto attendant is composed of a set of menus.
  • All the menus are identical in every respect, except for the¬†ROOT¬†menu, which is always present and cannot be deleted, and whose name cannot be changed.
  • When a caller dials the system, auto attendant will answer (connect) the call and proceed to the¬†ROOT¬†menu.
  • If a user tries to access a menu which is not currently active, the action specified in the¬†Not Active¬†configuration parameter will be performed; for instance, the user may be automatically forwarded to an ‚Äúafter hours‚ÄĚ menu.

Add / Edit menu

The auto attendant is composed of a set of menus. The main page lists all the menus available.

 

You can add a new menu by clicking the  Add icon. Also, you can modify one of the existing menus by clicking

the  Edit icon or by simply double-clicking the required menu item in the list.

 

 

To add a new menu, click the  Add button and enter the following information:

  • Name¬†‚Äď A descriptive name for the menu, i.e. ‚ÄėSales‚Äô for a sales department.
  • Active¬†‚Äď Time definition when the current menu is active.
    • To set the menu as always active, select the¬†Always¬†option.
    • To set the other time period, select¬†Only at the following time interval¬†and click the¬†Period Wizard¬†icon.

 

  • Allow callers to dial a known extension directly¬†‚Äď When enabled, this transfers calls to extension numbers entered by callers from their phones.
  • Interdigit timeout when entering an extension¬†‚Äď The maximum number of seconds the system waits until a user inputs the second and following digits of an extension. This is used to define whether the user wants to enter an extension or select one of the menu options. The default value is 5 seconds.

Note that the enabled Allow callers to dial a known extension directly option disables the Dial Extension Directly menu action. Therefore, when you want users to call extensions directly, select the configuration scenario that best meets your needs.

 

  • When the menu is inactive, then¬†‚Äď This defines the action that the system performs when the current menu is inactive.
  • Play Before Action¬†‚Äď This defines whether the prompt is to be played prior to the action or not. To play the prompt, select the checkbox.
  • Upload / Record a prompt¬†‚Äď This allows you to upload or record a prompt to be played. The option is active only when the Play Before Action is enabled.

Period Definition Wizard

 

The following example shows how to create a period that starts at 6 pm every day and lasts until 6 am the next morning. Another interval is used for weekends. We will also include major holidays, e.g. January 1 and December 24‚Äď26.

 

On the Period Definition page, select 18:00 as the Start Time and 06:00 as the End Time. Click the Select All Days button to include all the days of the week and the Select All Month button to include all the months of the year. Click the Include New Period button. This sets up the first period.

 

Now for weekends: select 00:00 as the Start Time and 23:59 as the End Time. Select the check box next to Saturday and Sunday to include the week-end and click the Select All Month button to include all the months of the year. Click the Include New Period button. This sets up the second period.

 

To include January 1st in the period definition, select 00:00 as the¬†Start Time¬†and 23:59 as the¬†End Time. In the¬†Day of the Month¬†field, enter 1 and select the check-box next to¬†January. Click the¬†Include New Period¬†button. Follow the same steps to select the December 24‚Äď26 interval. When you are done, click the¬†Finish¬†button.

 

 

The following should be displayed in the Only at the following time interval:

 

From 18:00 Till 06:00,

on Sunday-Saturday,

of January-December

or

From 00:00 Till 23:59,

on Sunday, Saturday,

of January-December

or

From 00:00 Till 23:59,

on 1,

of January

or

From 00:00 Till 23:59,

on 24-26,

of December

 

Click the Save button.

Prompts

After you have saved a menu, you can define the Intro and Menu prompts for it.

 

 

  • The¬†Intro¬†prompt (e.g. ‚ÄúWelcome to PortaOne, a VoIP solutions company!‚ÄĚ) is played when a user enters a menu for the first time.
  • After this, the¬†Menu¬†prompt will be played, listing all the available options (e.g. ‚ÄúPress 1 for sales, press 2 for technical support,‚ÄĚ etc.), and the auto attendant will collect the digits dialed by the user.

To upload a prompt, click the Browse button. The native audio file format for the system is the following:

 

Type: NeXT/Sun (Java) file .au

Format: G.711 u-Law

Attributes: 8,000 Hz, 8-bit, Mono

 

Type: NeXT/Sun (Java) file .au

Format: G.711 u-Law

Attributes: 8,000 Hz, 8-bit, Mono

 

Here’s a short list of supported audio file formats:

 

Field Description

.aiff

AIFF files used on Apple IIc/IIgs and SGI

.au

SUN Microsystems AU files

.gsm

GSM 06.10 Lossy Speech Compression

.mp3

MP3 Compressed Audio

.ogg

Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio

.raw

Raw files (no header)

.wav

Microsoft .wav RIFF files

 

To record a prompt, use the following buttons:

  • ¬†Record¬†‚Äď Click to start recording your voice prompt. (You will need to connect a microphone to your computer‚Äôs sound card to use this feature.)
  • ¬†Stop¬†‚Äď Click this button to stop recording.
  • ¬†Play¬†‚Äď Click to play back the recorded prompt. When clicked, this icon will turn into a ¬†¬†Pause
  • ¬†Undo¬†‚Äď This button becomes available when the existing prompt has been recorded over, allowing a rollback to the previous state.
  • ¬†Blinking Play¬†‚Äď Indicates that the existing prompt is being overwritten, but changes have not yet been saved.

Each of the icons above may appear dimmed, meaning they are not available because some other task is active.

 

To give your auto attendant a professional sound, we recommend using a professional speaker and a digital recording studio when recording voice prompts.

Actions

On the Actions tab configure the auto attendant behavior. Define the keys that the user must dial on their phone keypad to assign actions to be performed by the system upon user input.

 

 

Field Description

Edit

Allows you to make changes to the current actions. To edit an action, click the Edit icon.

User Input

Shows actions that users must perform on their telephone keypads to trigger a menu action.

  • 0 – 9, #, *¬†¬†‚Äď The corresponding key that the user dials.
  • No input¬†‚Äď Do not dial any key. When selected, the¬†Timeout¬†option appears. It defines the maximum number of seconds the system waits until a user dials a key. If the system receives no key during this interval, it performs the defined action.
  • Fax¬†‚Äď Transmits the fax CNG tone.

Action

See the description of available actions below, under the table.
Additional Info Provides additional information. For example, whether the corresponding prompt will be played before either an action is performed or a timeout defined.

Play / Record Prompt

Shows whether the prompt has been uploaded / recorded or not.

 

The user’s input will be matched with the corresponding menu items, and the action associated with this item will be performed. The following actions are possible:

  • Do Nothing¬†‚Äď Performs no action. You can use this action to cancel the action that was previously used for the current user‚Äôs input.
  • Dial-by-name directly¬†‚Äď Launches this company‚Äôs dial-by-name directory. This allows a caller to look up a person by using the first three letters of their extension name.
  • Transfer¬†‚Äď Transfers the call to a given telephone number or extension. The phone number should be entered in the same format as the customer would use to dial it from an IP phone in his IP Centrex environment; for example, to transfer a call to extension 123, simply enter 123.
  • Transfer to E.164 Number¬†‚Äď Transfers the call to a given number. The number should be specified in E.164 format: the country code, followed by the area code, and then the number (e.g. 16045551234 for Canada).
  • Transfer to Voicemail¬†‚Äď Switches to voicemail mode. This should be designated as an action for the ‚ÄúFax‚ÄĚ event, in order to allow storage of received faxes.
  • Prompt for extension #¬†‚Äď You will hear the prompt to enter the extension number. You can specify the maximum allowed number of digits in an extension (Max Size).
  • Dial extension directly¬†‚Äď Transfers a call to an extension number entered by the caller. The extension number should start with the same digit as the ‚ÄúDial extension directly‚ÄĚ option. To prevent abuse (e.g. someone attempting to enter a long-distance number via this process), you can specify the maximum allowed number of digits for the extension (Max digits for extension number)
  • Disconnect call¬†‚Äď This disconnects a call. You can use this action to play a prompt and disconnect a call when the menu is inactive or when the caller presses / does not press a key. Note that if you do not enable the¬†Play Before Action¬†option for this action, the system will immediately disconnect a call.
  • Queue ‚ÄúName‚Ä̬†‚Äď Transfers the user to the selected queue. You can only select the call queue if you have previously configured it.
  • Menu ‚ÄúName‚Ä̬†‚Äď Transfers the user to the selected menu. You can only select the menu if you have previously configured it.

You can upload or record a single prompt for each menu action. To do that, first select the Play Before Action checkbox and then upload the file / make a recording in the Play/Record Prompt option.

 

Input Errors

On the Input Errors tab, you can record / upload prompts to be played when the system either receives no user input or the selected section is unavailable.

 

The On Timeout prompt is played when the system receives no input from the user within the set time interval. After the prompt is played, the dialog reverts to the previous step (i.e. plays the Menu prompt and collects the user’s input).

 

This prompt is played when you either:

  • do not configure the¬†No input¬†user input for the menu. In this case, the system waits the default time interval for the input and plays the prompt¬†On Timeout.
  • or when you configure the¬†No input¬†user input for the¬†Do nothing¬†action. The system waits the maximum defined¬†Timeout¬†interval for the input and plays the prompt¬†On Timeout.

 

The On Unavailable Selection prompt is played when a user dials a key that matches no action.

 

For detailed instructions on how to record / upload prompts, please refer to the Prompts section of this document.

 

When the system encounters an input error, it plays the corresponding prompt and waits for input. If no input is received, the call disconnects.

 

You can specify the number of prompt repetitions before a call disconnects. To do that, define the value in the Disconnect the call after … input errors (unavailable selections, timeouts or redirection to inactive menus) option.

 

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