3CX Month: Digital Receptionist for 3CX

Every business day for the month of November, we will be posting a useful tip for 3CX, a powerful SIP-based unified communications platform.

Digital receptionists (or auto-attendants) save customers a lot of time and headache. When you set it up properly, the process of directing customers to the correct extension becomes automatic.

3CX’s digital receptionist lets you select from either a rich selection of default actions or upload your own voice prompts.

How to set up 3CX digital receptionist?

Setting up the 3CX digital receptionist from the 3CX Management Console is simple, but requires a bit of organization and planning on your part.

From the 3CX Management Console, select “Digital Receptionist,” select “Add,” then enter a name.

Now, you’ll need to either record or upload an initial prompt for the customer. Make it a clear menu of options, like: “Hello, welcome to ACME Corporation. For information about coyotes, press 1. For information about roadrunners, press 2. For information about anvils, press 3. To speak with an attendant, press 0.”

If you use your own recording, it must be a PCM 8 kHz 16-bit mono WAV file. Note: You can’t use an MP3.

(By the way, it’s easier for people if you put the prompt after the option: “For information about roadrunners, press 1” rather than “Press 1 for information about roadrunners.” This way as they listen to the option they can decide if they want to take that option and the prompt is right there, instead of them having to remember what the prompt is while deciding if they want to take the option.)

At this point, you enter the extensions that you want to direct customers to. For each key, you select if you want an action associated with that key and what action you want to occur (e.g. connect to ring group). Enter the appropriate extension on your phone system for each key.

If you want nested digital receptionists, that is, if you want sub-menus, you can direct a key to another digital receptionist. Make sure, though, when you’re naming your receptionists that you keep it clear for yourself which one is which!

The “Timeout” function lets you select an action for people who don’t choose any action, for example, if they don’t know which choice they want. In general, you want the menu listing to repeat after not too long.

The “Non-existent Extension” function lets you select an action for people who, say, press 5 when 5 isn’t an option.

You can also give customers the ability to reach extensions directly from the initial prompt by dialing the extension. This function is on by default. Make sure you let your customers know that they can do this, though, if you want them to use it!

And that’s all there is to it for a basic 3CX Digital Receptionist! Of course, 3CX has much deeper levels with self-identification messages, call-by-name functions, Microsoft Exchange Server integration and more. If you have a question about any of these, get in touch, and we’ll answer it for you!

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