When people dial a number, they often expect a human voice to answer them in return. Unfortunately, due to the massive influx of calls that businesses often get, this can’t always be achieved. That’s where an auto attendant comes in.
An automated recording that greets callers and reroutes them to the proper extension, auto attendant is a feature that many businesses find necessary in order to handle all of the calls that they receive. Nevertheless, many businesses that equip auto attendant often don’t use it to its fullest potential. This is not only an inefficient business practice, but it can also infuriate customers trying to call into your business. If you’ve recently installed an auto attendant for your business phone system, then check out some of these best practices to make sure you’re getting the most out of this business phone feature.
Keep it updated
The most important part of an auto attendant is the information that it provides the customers. However, in order for it to remain useful, it also needs to be updated frequently whenever any changes in your business occur. Here’s a quick checklist you should go through to make sure your auto attendant is kept up to date:
Business days and hours
When your auto attendant greets a caller, it should inform them of what days and hours your business is open. This is especially important during the holiday season when business hours may change temporarily.
While it’s not always necessary to tell people where you’re located, if your location has changed or if you’ve opened a new branch, be sure to update your auto attendant to inform your customers.
Auto attendants provide a menu of options for customers to choose from. If a customer calls in frequently, though, they may automatically punch in the number without waiting to hear the whole list. This is fine most of the time, but when you change your menu options, you’ll need to prevent this by mentioning menu changes at the very beginning of the recording.
If an employee leaves or changes departments, then update your extension list immediately. If a caller dials a specific extension of a former employee, set it up to either redirect that call to another extension, or to play a recording explaining what has happened.
List frequently used options first
Few people enjoy sitting through an entire menu options just to hear what number they need to press. To cut down on customer waiting time, place the most frequently used options at the beginning of the menu rather than in numerical order.
Keep it short and relevant
Don’t waste your customers’ time with fluff. While announcing good news to your customers is always nice, but it’s often not relevant to why they’re calling. This causes customers to become frustrated when they’re forced to listen to it. Instead, keep the main menu short and to the point. If you want to use your auto attendant to announce good news, then save it for when a caller is on-hold.
Provide language options at the beginning
At the very beginning of the recording, before you list out your menu, be sure to provide any language options that you provide. If you have English and Spanish options, then you won’t want to force your Spanish speaking customers to sit through English menu options before they can finally make their own selection.
Keep the tone on-brand
In its own way, your auto attendant is a reflection of your business. In that respect, you want it to match the general tone and character that your business’ brand conveys. This not only includes the actual auto attendant recording, but also the on-hold music that you provide.
Remember—customers want to speak to human beings
As helpful as auto attendants are, customers are not looking to speak to them. Auto attendants are not replacements for their human counterparts, but rather tools to quickly and easily direct customers to the agents that can help them the most. Keep this in mind when setting up any of your auto attendant’s features, ensuring that nothing is too long or complicated.