If you’re like many businesses today, answering every incoming call just isn’t practical. To save time and staff requirements, many companies turn to an auto-attendant. But does the voice they hear sound robotic, uninterested, or is it welcoming and warm?
Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely had the experience of calling a business and hearing a monotone recorded voice on the other line. These solutions are automated phone systems that allow your customers to get where they need to go without talking to a team member.
Like many automated solutions, an auto-attendant can create a frictionless, positive experience for customers when set up correctly. Unfortunately, these systems often don’t get set up using best practices, leaving a long line of frustrated customers pressing zero and hoping to reach a human instead of another robotic-sounding voice.
Here’s what you need to know when setting up your auto-attendant system.
First Impressions Matter
Incoming calls are often made by first-time customers, which means your auto-attendant will set the tone for the rest of their experience with you. Consider the consumer experience when configuring these systems and don’t assume that everyone calling in knows where they need to go.
We recommend using messages that include a short welcome and instructions on what to do next. Using a professional voice over service that can record these for you ensures the message will be clear, friendly, and easily understood by callers.
Efficiency Limits Frustration
It’s not just new customers that have a reason to call, so the system needs to function efficiently. No one wants to sit through a long recording over and over when they know they just need to talk to James in sales.
Limit your welcome to one or two sentences, then go into the selections. You can also let callers know as soon as they can enter an extension, so if they call frequently, they can skip the message and get to the right place faster.
If you know that most customers talk to a specific department or team, list that option first. And if you have more than five or six departments that customers may be calling for, use a tiered system.
Even today, some customers may not have a touchtone phone or be comfortable using an automated option, so don’t leave them hanging. If no selection is made, it’s best to route the call to someone that can help.
How To Make Your Messages More Engaging
Ohio.net works with professionals in the area of phone messaging and offers these services through partners like Carlos Garcia with Please Hold Advertising, Inc. (www.pleasehold.com).
Garcia who runs a studio and voice talent service specifically for phone messaging makes it clear, “It’s important to communicate the information to your caller with a professional sound. It must be concise and to the point. The reality is that people do not want to listen to a long auto-attendant or voicemail greeting. Short and sweet, to the point with a professional sound, that’s what works and brings the highest level of customer satisfaction”.
Keep the Message Current
Some companies record one message and forget about it, causing a lot of frustration when customers can’t get through. Use a simple after-hours or holiday message to let customers know when you’ll be back to help them.
If you change your options, let people know upfront for the first few weeks. This will help avoid confusion when frequent callers select their regular options and end up in the wrong place.
To learn more about best practices for automated attendants or get help with messaging, give us a call. We’d love to help you implement this technology in a way that effectively supports your customers and employees. Reach us at 888-881-0805 or email@example.com.