Town to have auto attendant take calls

Duane Hicks

Callers to the Civic Centre soon will have the choice whether to be connected directly to the person to whom they want to speak or to speak to a live receptionist.
Currently, calls made during normal business hours are answered by a live receptionist when possible.
But at Monday night’s meeting, council agreed with a recommendation of administration to implement an auto attendant for the front desk.
With the town replacing its phone system at the Civic Centre, the manner in which the calls currently are handled, and the expanded capabilities of the new system, have been brought to light, Chief Building Official Travis Rob noted in a report to council.
“Currently, the calls are answered by the receptionist at the front desk and when that person is on the phone, an auto attendant with limited call-routing capabilities picks up the call or the person leaves a message in the general mailbox,” he explained.
“With the implementation of the new system, the opportunity to have a fully-functional auto attendant is easily accommodated, whereby the caller will have the opportunity to enter the extension of the person they wish to speak to, allowing them to directly be routed to that person regardless of the department they work for.
“Or press ‘0’ to speak to the receptionist through a comprehensive call-routing network.”
Rob highlighted the benefit of switching to an auto attendant.
“Over the last few years, the roles of the receptionist at the Civic Centre has expanded to include other duties,” he noted.
“Allowing customers to reach the extension they are looking to reach without accessing the receptionist will relieve some of the calls that have to be answered by the receptionist, giving that person additional time to tend to some of their other duties.”
This change also will have to be properly communicated to the members of CUPE, with ample notice provided, added Rob.
Once council has made a decision to move forward with the auto attendant option, administration will ensure proper notice, as prescribed in the collective agreement, will be sent to the CUPE members.
The matter was discussed June 21 by the Administration and Finance executive committee, which identified that the option to reach a live receptionist was “extremely important” and should be the first option once the auto attendant answers the call.