IVR / Auto Attendant
The 3CX “Digital Receptionist” function can answer phone calls automatically and present callers with an Auto Attendant or IVR (Interactive Voice Response) options menu, e.g. “For sales, press 1. For support, press 2 or wait to be transferred to the operator”.
You can configure digital receptionists with their own extension number and set these to answer calls based on the number called and the time the call is received, i.e. inside or outside office hours. For example, you can have a different prompt for out of office hours to not include the option(s) to transfer the call to unavailable groups/queues.
Recording a Menu Prompt
To create your digital receptionist, you must first write down and then record the menu options presented to the caller, e.g. “Welcome to Company XYZ. For sales, press 1. For support, press 2 or wait for an operator.”
📝 Note: It is recommended to announce the number the user needs to press after the option, i.e. “For sales, press 1”.
Creating a Digital Receptionist
Select “Digital Receptionist” in the 3CX Management Console and click “Add”:
- Specify a name and extension for the digital receptionist.
- Click on the “Record” button, enter your extension number, the “Audio File Name” and click “OK” to get a call to record the prompt. Do not use reserved characters (< > : ” / \ | ? * &) in the prompt filename.
- Alternatively, click on the “Upload” button and specify a file that you previously recorded as WAV in PCM, 8 kHz, 16 bit, Mono.
📝 Note: In Windows Sound Recorder you must use the “Save As” option to save to this format. Do not use MP3 format.
- Select a custom prompt language in “Digital Receptionist Language” if required. You can download additional prompt languages in “Settings” > “System Prompts” > “Updates”.
- Select the “Type” for this Digital Receptionist:
- “Standard” – specify actions for up to ten (0 – 9) menu options, i.e. connect to the extension or virtual extension number for a ring group, call queue, another digital receptionist or voicemail.
- “DTMF Input” – set user menu options based on custom DTMF codes with up to nine (9) digits each, e.g. “010”. For each option, select the action and destination, i.e. the extension or virtual extension number for a ring group, call queue, another digital receptionist or voicemail.
📄 Note: The initial prompt is repeated until a correct DTMF code is entered.
- “Launch Script” – for advanced users, to optionally collect the caller’s input, launch an external script and execute the defined action based on the script’s exit code. See more info in this guide.
- “Wake up” – creates a single Wake Up / Reminder service used by hotel guests to call and set automated wake-up and reminder calls.
- “MS Exchange” – use to delegate 3CX PBX voicemail functionality to Exchange server as described in the MS Exchange Server Unified Messaging guide.
- Optionally link a DID number to this Digital Receptionist.
- In “Destination for invalid or no DTMF input/script timeout” set the timeout in seconds and the actions to perform on timeout and on invalid input.
- Click “OK” to save the Digital Receptionist.
Callers Can Dial an Extension Directly
Whilst a digital receptionist prompt is playing, a caller can enter the extension number to call directly and connect to the extension without going through a receptionist. Simply instruct your callers in the voice prompt on how to use this feature, e.g. “Welcome to Company XYZ. If you know the extension number to call, you can enter it now. Otherwise, for sales press 1. For support press 2.”