Best Auto Attendant Phone Systems For Small Business in 2023

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There’s a lot that an automated telephone system can help your small business. From call forwarding to custom IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) Modern and well-designed system can transform the way you conduct business.

For small-scale companies, the cost is a major consideration. However, it’s okay to compromise on unique and beneficial features. Many top telephone systems are easy to operate, cost-effective, and feature-rich.

We will bring you some of our favorites underneath

What is a Auto Attendant?

It is a communication work in all Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP ) telephone frameworks.

Sometimes, you’ll hear it as a substitute for IVR (Interactive Voice Response), Virtual receptionist, auto-receptionist, and ACD. They are all similar features for call routing which allow your customers to navigate themselves to the correct individual or team.

Read more: Nextiva Vs. RingCentral: Which Is Best For Your Business? in 2023.

It’s particularly popular with businesses or call center groups generally that experience the majority of phone calls.

How Can Auto Attendent Telephone System Beneficial For Small Businesses?

Ultimately, the idea behind an auto attendant telephone system is straightforward. Customers dial in and select an option they want from the routing menu, whether verbally or using a keypad. The platform would divert calls to the appropriate Department or Agent.

If your company is overloaded with calls or your receptionist at work has to transfer calls manually, this is the best method of handling the management of calls.

Nowadays, numerous choices are cloud-based, which means you don’t need to have an assortment of desk phones that are on-premises or equipment stored in a server closet at your office.

The softphone application makes it possible to make calls via your laptop computer or any other mobile device like mobile phones and tablets.

Other features to look out for in a business telephone service

Beyond simply taking inbound calls and auto attendant functions, business phone systems can accomplish other things. Here are some of the most useful features that small businesses can avail of (at a reasonable cost!) by selecting the appropriate phone system.

Unified communications


Nowadays, learning of “unified communications” or UCaaS services is more common than just phones for businesses. The major distinction is that UCaaS service providers offer different communication channels apart from phone calls, such as video conferences, SMS/MMS messages, immediate messaging, and much more.

Dialpad is a good example. It offers all of these channels in one beautiful mobile and desktop app. It’s completely browser-based, too this means that when your customers or potential clients wish to join your conference call or video call, they need to click a link and join using a browser on the internet. No downloads are required.


Contact center system fully integrated (if you require it)

What happens if you’re an employee of customer support or a contact center staff? You’d require a cloud-based call center platform to manage many messages or calls.

Although contact center software is extremely beneficial for small-scale companies, they’ve traditionally been priced out because the tools were always too expensive and focused on the enterprise. No longer.

With Dialpad, for instance, even small-sized businesses can access a call center platform that lets teams handle customer inquiries and conduct high-speed sales.

Read more: Best Auto Attendant Phone Systems For Small Business in 2023.

It’s user-friendly and allows you to add agents to various departments, track telephone numbers, and much more from your dashboard on the internet:


The best part? The whole thing is integrated with the unifying communications platform. Everything is a seamless user interface, with one login and user account.

Flexible call routing

A handy phone routing option is essential if you run a business with many daily calls. In the past, you had to call your service provider’s tech support service and wait for up to days or hours until they adjusted the menus for your call routing.

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Today, platforms like Dialpad allow you to create phone routing and call transfer changes in minutes.

The versatility of Dialpad’s call routing system lets you define various parameters and have them directed to different extensions. It means better satisfaction of customers by routing them to the right agent to answer their questions.

If a call requires to be transferred to an executive in line, the agent could use to transfer the phone to either an internal or external number without the customer being unable to get their spot on the waiting list.

Built-in IVR analytics

Did you realize your IVR menu could be an important source of information on your company’s phone call experience?

How? How? Let’s say you have the IVR menu that welcomes clients when they contact. What are the best options that should be included in this menu? What are the steps to decide if you should allow someone to enter your Billing department or Bookings department via the main menu or bury it slightly deeper within the menu choices?

In the event you love prominent firms, you require more evidence to justify your IVR menu options. Don’t worry!

Communication platforms and cloud-based phone systems such as Dialpad will show you the options customers use that aren’t used in any way. It allows you to constantly improve your IVR experience and ensure it is the most efficient possible.


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3 Advantages of Having a Small Business Telephone System That has The Auto Attendant Function

Why must you upgrade your small-scale business to Virtual phone service with an automatic attendant? Here are some of the advantages.

There is Less Time Wasted on Phone Spam Calls 

Spam calls are frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you receive many of these daily. A caller ID system will filter these spammers for you without the office manager or the agents having to deal with the calls manually.

Some systems can stop robocalls or sales made by telemarketing before the first ring. Because of bots, spam calls cannot get through the round of auto attendants’ questions.

It Makes The Management of Call Flow Simpler

One of the greatest benefits of using the auto attendant feature is the ability to manage phone calls to you and direct your clients to the right location without the need for live employees or agents.

Dialpad, for instance, allows you to configure and make adjustments regarding your routing of calls, forward users to voicemail, and more directly from your online dashboard.

Read more: Trello Vs. Todoist: Which Task Management App is Better?.

For small-sized businesses with limited resources and teams of a smaller size, it is a better (and cost-effective) approach to handle inbound calls than hiring an employee to do this monotonous and low-value task.

(And this can be especially pertinent in case you’re getting an abundance of business calls per day!)

It Decreases Wait Time For Callers

Most people are frightened of being placed on hold whenever they make an appointment with a business or contact center.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s always an enjoyable experience, however (especially when you have poor hold music or no music in any way).

Since auto attendants can quickly direct customers effectively to the correct departments, these people can solve their issues quicker.

It also reduces the time others might need to wait in line!

In the end, this will reduce your wait time and will result in improved overall customer service.

The Top Six Small-Sized Business Phones With Built-in Auto Attendants



Dialpad is a truly unified communication platform that has all of your essential business telephones

Technically speaking, Dialpad isn’t just a business phone system. It’s a cloud-based unified communication platform and is undoubtedly one of the considerable adequate.

Read more: Best Enterprise Job Scheduler Software For 2023.

We’re slightly biased, but Dialpad is adored by companies of all sizes, with an excellent reason. It’s extremely simple to use.

It has everything you need for your UCaaS essentials, including telephone calls video conferencing, Instant messaging, SMS/MMS messages, and much more. 

You can also contact someone via the desktop or mobile apps simply by entering their number or by pulling into the directory of names.

However, Dialpad has every feature you’d think of (and even some new ones) in a highly advanced enterprise phone service. You can also customize Caller ID, which allows you to make calls for business from your mobile phone while protecting your number from being traced:


You can configure up to five numbers for call forwarding (to the mobile number, a friend, or a landline number, whatever you’d like) and have simultaneous ringing so you don’t miss a phone call:


Dialpad’s team can assist you in transferring your existing phone numbers.

However, it all returns to an intuitive interface that is simple for everyone. It works across iOS, Android, Mac, and PC. Your clients and potential customers can participate in video or call conferences without downloading apps or programs.

A few of our small-business customers’ favorite products (available in the lowest-priced plan, at just $15 per month per user):

  • Unlimited calling within Canada, the US, Canada, and your country
  • SMS and MMS
  • Auto attendants with multiple levels and customized off-hours routing
  • Support for toll-free numbers
  • Controls for calls (call forwarding hold, transfer, and mute)
  • Custom voicemail greeting
  • Transcripts in real-time of calls as well as video calls
  • Transcription of Voicemail–also in real-time
  • integrations with CRMs such as Salesforce and HubSpot, along with various other tools like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) and Microsoft 365
  • 24-hour customer support available via live chat and on the web globally (you could upgrade to 24/7 support via the phone, as well with the next-level-up plan)

Price (per user per month): Standard ($15), Pro ($25), Enterprise (custom). All charges are annual.

RingCentral MVP

RingCentral can be described as one of the most popular cloud-based communication platforms, which includes VoIP phones, and is similar to Dialpad. Although they advertise as a cloud-based telephone system, the company has operated for many years as its tech is based on a traditional PBX system.


(That’s an example of one the most significant distinctions between RingCentral and Dialpad in that Dialpad is cloud-based and built on modern and flexible cloud technology.)

In any case, RingCentral offers the main communications channels you’d expect, such as calling via voice and text message.

Read more: Smart and Powerful -3 Most Advanced AI Systems Overview.

However, for some reason, the very basic package, Essentials, does not include video conference or basic integrations such as Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams. It’s the reason it’s a little further down on this list.

Although it can meet some of the essential small-business needs, it could be better with Dialpad regarding user experience and ease of administration. (If you’re looking to test it yourself, we suggest joining for a free trial to compare the two!)

A few of the features you receive with RingCentral’s cheapest plan include:

  • Team messaging
  • Voicemail-to-text
  • Voice phone, VoIP, and toll-free numbers assistance
  • Unlimited calls in both the US and Canada
  • Mobile apps

Price: Essentials ($19.99 per user per month), Standard ($27.99), Premium ($34.99), Ultimate ($49.99).1


Vonage is another well-known provider of phone systems that target small-sized companies. It has basic features like local and long-distance calls, a desktop application, and a mobile app.


One of the main negatives of Vonage is the absence of scaling. Most basic unified communications or cloud phone plan features are extras you must pay for, such as a multi-level automated assistant, call recording, or messages.

These are only some of the most advanced options, but they should be part of the basic plan. (At the very least, if contemplating similar plans.)

Some of the features that you receive with Vonage’s cheapest plan are:

  • A desktop and mobile application
  • Unlimited calls and SMS (They state, “Reasonable use and usage acceptable is allowed to Unlimited calls as well as unlimited SMS”–we’re not sure what it means, but we’ll try to figure it out.)
  • Unlimited team messaging
  • 20+ integrations from third parties

Price: Mobile ($19.99 per user per month) Advanced ($39.99), Premium ($29.99) Advanced ($39.99). 2


Similar to Dialpad as well as RingCentral, Nextiva is similar to Dialpad and RingCentral. Nextiva is a UCaaS service that provides one platform to make phone calls and hold video conferences.


Nextiva is another name that’s been in use for several years; however, for small-sized enterprises, the main thing to remember is that you can only be able to record calls or mobile SMS/MMS once you upgrade to the top-tier plan. 

Read more: How To Automated Lead Generation: Winning Tools and Practices.

Another thing to be aware of regarding Nextiva is that it sells or white-labels its call centers 4 and Unified Communications systems. 5

A few of the features that you can get with Nextiva’s cheapest plan are:

  • Basic features for call management, such as auto attendant
  • Team messaging
  • Toll-free support number 
  • Integration to Outlook as well as Google Contacts
  • Desktop and mobile app

Price: Essential (from $18.95 per month, per user), Professional (from $22.95), enterprise (from $32.95), Ultimate (from $57.95).


Of all the choices in this listing, Grasshopper, Vonage, and Ooma Office are the two most specifically designed for small business owners as a target customer base.

At its heart, Grasshopper is an excellent basic service that allows you to keep your business and personal phone in separate locations since a separate business phone number hides your normal phone number. It’s easy to set up, granting you access to a telephone system with features like IVR and SMS.

However, it must be equipped with more sophisticated features, like video conferencing and various integrations. The most basic plan is costly compared to similar plans offered by other companies, and there are better choices for small-sized businesses on a budget.

A rare of the attributes that are incorporated in the cheapest Grasshopper plan are:

  • A mobile app
  • Virtual receptionist
  • Local or toll-free number
  • Text messages and voicemail transcription
  • Transfer and forwarding of calls

Price: Solo ($26), Partner ($44), Small Business ($80). All plans share the same features. The price differs based on the number of extensions and numbers. The prices are for a single cost that is not per customer. 6

Ooma Office

Ooma provides small business telephone systems that use VoIP technology. This has mobile software which functions on Android and iOS. The basic plan has an auto attendant, which lets you make custom messages and route calls to extensions and Ring groups.


To access certain other services like video conferencing screens sharing data-preserver-spaces=”true”> text messages, voicemail transcription, and recording calls, you’ll have to increase your budget and select one of the more expensive payment plans.

Compared to other options in this list, like Dialpad, whose base plan costs $15 per month for each user. Ooma’s plans need to be equipped with more features and will cost you more, making it in the lower tier.

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Another thing to be aware of regarding Ooma is that it’s an enterprise-focused service. Yes, it does target small-scale entrepreneurs. However, there’s also a residential division of the company that concentrates on the home phone.

It’s not a huge dealbreaker in any way, and plenty of small-scale businesses use Ooma, but if you plan to grow your business and believe you’ll require more advanced phones, you might have better options. Learn more about the way Ooma and Dialpad are compared here.

Here are a few of the features you can avail of with the Ooma Office plan that is the cheapest:

Price: Office Base ($19.95 per month for each user) and Office Pro ($24.95). 7

How Do You Begin With The Automatic Attendant Function of Your Company Phone System?

Setting up an auto attendant to greet and guide your customers to the appropriate location is simple.

Step 1. Ensure that your cloud or VoIP phone system has automatic attendant features. It is only sometimes included in their standard plans. Make sure you read the small details.

If, for instance, you’re looking for alternatives currently, sign up for an initial trial of Dialpad to test it. Signing up takes some minutes, and you’ll also be established with a company telephone number.

Step #2. You can set up your auto attendant through an online dashboard if you choose a reliable VoIP service. You can choose the duration you’d like the auto attendant in service. It will usually be during your working hours unless you want them to go beyond the time and then send transcripts of voicemails via email.

You can then create or upload your custom greeting. It is what customers will hear when they call your company.

Step #3. You can create your IVR menu and the flow of calls you’d want your clients to use, like, “Press 1 for sales, 2 for technical support,” and so on.

Step #4. If someone in your organization handles the phone, ensure they’ve been instructed to utilize an auto-attendant feature. It’s helpful if the communications technology or telephone system is simple to use; naturally, it’s common for older legacy systems to require a few days or even weeks of instruction to grasp the basics truly.

You should ensure they can complete daily tasks such as setting up voicemails or changing the routing options.

Improve Customer Service By Automating Your Phone System.

In addition to helping an office phone system with automated features help your employees’ lives be more convenient, it could enhance the customer experience.

Whatever it is that people claim that phone calls are not working, Customers typically make calls to them because they’ve explored other methods of contact, such as your live chat or website, and discovered that they prefer to talk to an individual.

Read more: Best Integration Testing Tools To Write Integration Tests in 2023.

It is especially prevalent in businesses that are service-based. Sometimes it could be because the information they sought needed to be more readily available on your site.

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