Automated attendants are great tools to help businesses achieve a greater efficiency when helping customers. Most business phone systems come with this handy feature, but it is always important to utilize it correctly. The difference between a professional automated attendant and a cumbersome one can lead to an annoyed customer base. Here are three things to consider when it comes to setting up an automated attendant:
Do Your Homework
That may seem obvious, but how many times have you called a business only to find the auto attendant so long and confusing that you simply hang up? It is highly advisable for business owners to call into your own office and hear what it sounds like from the customer’s point of view. Does the script sound professional? Are the options presented clear and concise? These are things that all business owners should be aware of.
Map Out Your Script
Do your research! Ask your sales staff or technical team what common questions they get. This information will help you better formulate not only your script, but who your auto attendant should direct inquiries to. For example, if the majority of your calls are for technical support, place them first in the auto attendant script (NOTE: many auto attendants are set up backwards, i.e., “Press 1 for IT” when it should be, “For IT, press 1”, otherwise when the caller recognizes what department they seek, the number will have already been said).
For efficiency’s sake, also be sure that everyone has a name recorded in their mailbox. Too often a caller will spell a person’s name in the directory and hear, “for extension 215, press *”. Using the person’s name as well helps a caller confirm that they have reached the right person.
Plan for Growth
When looking at business telephone options, always consider your company’s long term goals. When speaking to a business phone system provider, be sure to discuss growth and set yourself up for a plan to expand your call volume. If you plan too small, you can limit your options from the start. For example, some auto attendants are part of the voicemail system. In this case, the voicemail is liable to be port based and only a certain number of calls can be answered at one time, which may limit your business down the road.