If you are a RingCentral Office customer, you have no-extra-charge access to RingCentral’s auto-receptionist. As its name suggests, the auto-receptionist (a.k.a. auto attendant) handles all of your incoming calls. It can route calls depending on time of day, called number, caller ID and more.
But how does the auto-receptionist work, and how can you configure it to suit your needs? Let’s walk through each section of the auto-receptionist to illustrate what it can do.
First things first – navigate to the auto-receptionist by logging in to your account as an admin, then clicking Settings > Phone System. Auto-Receptionist is the second section in the pane on the left side of the screen.
Once you’ve clicked the Auto-Receptionist section, you’re presented with several menu options. The first one, Company Hours, is important: it’s where you go to set the hours for your entire RingCentral phone system. Clicking the Company Hours button will open a new window in which you can set these hours.
If you want calls to always come through the same way, irrespective of time of day or day of the week, Company Hours are irrelevant. But if you want to route after-hours calls directly to voicemail or your personal phone (or to “whitelist” certain numbers after the close of business), you will want to set Company Hours accordingly.
It’s actually the next section, Greeting & Company Calls, that allows you to determine where calls go at different times of the day. (Company Hours simply establishes what those times are.)
Clicking Greeting & Company Calls opens a new pane on the right (illustrated above). Under the Company Hours tab, you can set the greeting that callers hear or force calls to connect directly to an extension. Remember, Company Hours are your ordinary hours of business.
The After Hours tab within the Greeting & Company Calls section looks identical but applies to times outside your normal hours of business. If your business hours are set to 24 hours, you can ignore this section.
The Advanced link on the right is more powerful than it looks: this is where you go to create advanced call handling rules.
Clicking the link will open a new window. Select Add Rule to create a new rule, and the rule wizard will launch.
As illustrated above, you can create rules on the basis of date, time, the number that’s calling or the number being dialed. Advanced rules are complicated, so we’ll defer to this page in the RingCentral Support Center for more detail.
Moving on within the auto-receptionist, you will see Dial-by-Name Directory. This is fairly straightforward: if dial-by-name is enabled, callers can “search” your phone system by users’ first or last names.
Next is Operator Extension. By default, extension 101 is the operator extension. Be careful when changing this setting, as the operator will be the default call recipient when no other extension is dialed.
Call Recording, the next section, will differ in appearance depending on the level of RingCentral Office you have. All Office plans include on-demand call recording, but only certain plans offer automatic call recording.
As the below image shows, automatic call recording can apply to whichever extensions and departments you choose. Note that automatically recording calls may not be legally permissible in your jurisdiction. Our recommendation is that you consult your local laws before enabling automatic call recording.
The final auto-receptionist section is Regional Settings – where you go to set your time zone. Typically, your time zone will be linked to the area code of your main company number. Mine is 650 (California), so my time zone defaults to Pacific Time.
If you’re not physically located in your area code, however, you may want to change your time zone. If I’m traveling to New York and want to be available during East Coast business hours, I would switch my time zone to Eastern in the Regional Settings section.