When installing a business telephone system, part of the job is to script the auto attendant and create the menu tree. Here are some steps to take to ensure that your business phone system is easy to navigate rather than a source of frustration.
- Make sure the initial greeting is simple and easy to follow. Don’t get caught in the trap of trying to provide options for every type of caller or question. Keep the initial aspect of the AA to the fewest most common types of calls.
- Keep the option first and then the number. Many AA’s are set up backwards. “Press 1 for Service” should be “For Service, press 1”.
- No dead air when transferring! When an auto attendant transfers a call, make sure the caller is not listening to dead air! They may think they were disconnected and hang up. Take this time to play a recorded marketing message or just simply music would be a good choice.
- Keep the AA recorded voice consistent, cheerful and speak clearly. As callers move thru the system, they should receive instructions from the same voice.
- Check mailboxes – If you set up a general mailbox make sure it is checked on a regular basis. Program it so that the mailbox lights up or can be converted to an e-mail and sent to someone responsible for returning calls.
- Check your hours – Most companies set up day and night greetings. Make sure the clock and settings in your AA match your business hours.
- Make it simple for your employees to call in and check messages. If you don’t have voice mail to e-mail, program a number or extension that plays a simple message such as “to check your messages, press #”. You would be surprised how many people don’t check messages after hours because they don’t know how to navigate within the auto attendant.
- Make it a habit to listen to your greetings at least once every two weeks to make sure they are relevant. If you close a department or an employee has left, make sure it’s reflected on the AA.
Remember, your auto attendant is your businesses front door. Make sure it gives a great first impression so that your customers are not turned off by confusion!