An automatic or automated attendant works in a business communication setting by redirecting callers to extensions without the aid of an operator. Many automatic attendants contain menus that allow callers to select the destination of their call from a directory of choices.
This is especially useful if you expect a high volume of callers for a diverse array of departments whose numbers and extensions are not well-known to the public.
Automatic attendants do not replace secretaries, however, and most include an option to speak with a live customer service representative by staying on the line or pressing a number. The automatic attendant feature simply and efficiently takes the workload off your receptionists and your call hunting program to allow callers to sift themselves through the company directory and often find their own destination through the automated system.