Should I Use an Automated Calling System?

Thinking of installing an automated calling system for your business? There are a lot of benefits to outsourcing the lines of telecommunication, especially when it comes to setting up call reminder capabilities. But there are often a lot of questions, too. Below, we’ll go over some of the most common questions that people ask about automated calling systems to help guide you to a smart decision.

What is an automated call?
An automated phone call, facilitated by an automated calling system, is an outgoing phone call or a response to an incoming phone call that does not require human-to-human interaction. A good example would be automated appointment reminders, which are used by many medical specialists and spa/salon providers to notify patients or clients regarding upcoming appointments without the need to set aside time at the reception desk.

What are other names for an automated calling system?
If “automated calling system” sounds like a new term to you, it may just be the phrase itself that is unfamiliar. There are many other terms for automated calling system that you might have heard, including automated dialing, automated phone system, automated calling service, call blast services, and automated call trees.  

What is an automated voice messaging system?
An automated voice messaging system is a voice menu that helps guide callers to the correct staff member or solution. Sometimes referred to as automated attendant phone systems, this type of voice menu technology routes callers through the use of voice prompts and/or keypad selections—think “Press 1 for store hours” or “Is this about an existing appointment?”

As the caller responds to each prompt they are quickly moved on to the next prompt until they receive the answer they need from the system or are directed to a staff member who can answer it for them.

What is an IVRS?
IVRS stands for Interactive Voice Response System. It is another name for an automated voice messaging system.

How do I set up an automatic phone system?
The precise setup process you will need to go through depends on the system that you purchase. In general though, you will be required to activate your account and then go through the process of adding users to the system. From there, each user will have to go through a prescribed setup process on their own line. Once everyone is onboarded, most systems will go on to have you set up your voice menu before finally connecting the system to a registered phone number.

What is a mass caller?
A mass caller is the outgoing version of an automated voice messaging system. Instead of heralding callers through a menu, the goal is to quickly reach many contacts with a pre recorded message all at once. With automated call software, you can dial your entire contact list without ever actually picking up the phone.

How do you send a mass call?
To send a mass call you will first need to install an automated calling system. From there, set up your contact list and choose whether you would like to segment your contacts into groups (for example: new clients and long-time clients). Upload the message that you would like to send, choose which group you would like to send it to (or send it to everyone), and you’re done.

Can you call someone’s voicemail directly?
Yes. Businesses use ringless voicemails to leave voice messages for recipients that are not first prompted with a ringing phone. On the recipient’s end, they will see a notification that they have a new voicemail, but no missed call will precede it. Keep in mind, however, that ringless voicemails are in a bit of gray area when it comes to consumer response. You’re usually better off sending a mass call.

The verdict: Automated calling systems—yay or nay?
Before making any major decision for your business it’s always a good idea to look through the pros and cons. With an automated calling telephone system, the pros are obvious: you can reach more people and reach them more efficiently. And when it comes to incoming calls, you can easily route callers to the appropriate place without needing to actually be on the phone yourself.

There are cons too to automated calls though, of course. Lack of human interaction or a canned message that was clearly sent out en masse can seem impersonal to your customers, and could receive some pushback. That being said, you could always choose to take the features of automated calling that you and your customers like and leave the rest.

If you think you’re ready to take the next step, start doing some research into automated calling systems to find a platform that meets your need and your budget. You should have no problem finding a system that you can easily integrate into your existing call processes. Grab a free trial of Appointment Reminder’s automated scheduling tool today.