There are many names for this feature. Auto-Attendant, Digital Receptionist, and IVR are the most common terms used to describe a voice menu system. Most people have used this feature as it is commonly utilized in large companies. "Press 1 for sales or 2 for support" is the most common auto-attendant structure. It ensures that callers are routed to the correct department as quickly as possible while minimizing the human capital needed to drive calls.
Implementing an auto-attendant allows your business to serve more customers by efficiently routing them to the correct department. It is also very helpful in stopping telemarketers and robo-calls from reaching employees and causing disruptions. Programming a digital receptionist to answer as soon as a call is received allows your business to maximize its "audio brand" - what people think of when they call your company. It can be recorded in house or outsourced to a professional audio consultant. Utilizing background music or prerecorded messages (such as directions or fax information) can take your level of professionalism even higher.
Many business owners feel that a call should always be answered by a person. If your business operates this way, then an auto-attendant can be used as a "fail-over" when the receptionist is busy. The menu can be structured to route callers to the best mailbox or to ring whole departments. It ensures that the caller is routed to the correct department or mailbox even when the receptionist is unavailable. It can be programmed to automatically pick up when a call is unanswered for a certain amount of time.
Whether your business is big or small, an auto-attendant can help you to better serve the needs of your clients.