Important Points about Auto Attendants for Business
One of the greatest advantages of having a professional virtual phone system is the ability to give callers options as soon as they call your business line. Menu options that direct your customers to the right person or department is beneficial to the caller, as well as the business. The caller gets right through to the help they need, and your staff doesn’t have to spend valuable time fielding calls and connecting customers with other departments.
Also known as a call menu, phone tree, or IVR, the Auto Attendant serves as a virtual secretary that is not only a more efficient way to manage calls, but it makes your business sound professional to customers calling in. With a Talkroute virtual phone system, you can customize the Auto Attendant with your own main menu audio prompt, to list for the caller what each of the options are, as well as set custom announcements to each menu option. You can set each menu option to forward to any of your phones, to play an informational message, or even forward directly to voicemail.
An Auto Attendant is the mark of a professional phone system, an essential tool for call management. It’s easy to set up, it saves your staff a great deal of time, and it’s the perfect delivery system for informational and promotional items. As your business grows, it’s just one of those things that you can’t do without.
3 Essential Tips for the Perfect Auto Attendant
Use multiple, specific options.
Imagine for a moment that you are calling into your own business, and when the phone system picks up, you hear the main menu prompt begin to play. What’s one of the things that frustrates you the most? You listen to all of the options, and none of them apply to the issue about which you are calling. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to add a few more options that deal with each specific issue, so that they caller is more likely to hear an option that applies directly to their question or problem.
Record quality audio.
Adding an Auto Attendant to your phone system instantly makes your business sound more professional, but you can diminish that professionalism by using poor-quality recordings. Recording your own audio for the Auto Attendant is a totally viable way to go, but if you do, make sure that you take your time, write and practice the script beforehand, and record in a quiet environment. If you want to be sure that the recordings are top quality, it’s fairly inexpensive to have them professionally recorded. Here is a great resource for professional voice overs: https://www.stephanieleevoice.com/
Make your menu prompt concise.
Even if you have more options on your Auto Attendant than the average business, it’s good to clearly and quickly go through the list of options in as short a time as possible. An extra-long menu prompt recording will drive people nuts; that is, an extensive message that goes way off the reservation with promotional information, and just over-explaining the material. People are calling you to speak to someone or to get a quick question answered; the last thing they want is to sit on the phone listening to a recording for longer than is necessary.
Auto Attendant Samples You Can Use
Standard Auto Attendant
“For sales, press 1.” “For support, press 2.” “For hours of operation, press 3.” “To speak with a representative, press 4.”
Energetic Auto Attendant
“For information about our outstanding products, press 1!” “For expert help with any trouble you’re having with your product, press 2, and we’ll get to the bottom of it.” “To find out what hours we’re open, and when we’re closed, press 3.” To speak with a real live person, press 0.”
Formal Auto Attendant
“For all inquiries related to sales, press 1.” “For all technical issues concerning your product, press 2.” “For information regarding hours of operation and location, press 3.” “For assistance with your account, press 4.” “To speak with a customer service agent, please press 0.”
A New Twist on the Standard Auto Attendant
“If you want to buy something from us, or have questions before you buy, press 1.” “If you already bought something, and you’re having issues with what you bought, press 2.” “Are we open, or closed? Press 3 to find out.” “To hear about our next big thing, press 4.” “If you can’t stand the sound of my voice anymore and want to speak with a real human, press 0.”
Detailed Auto Attendant
“If you are new to [your business] and have general questions about products, including pricing information, press 1.” “If you are already a customer and have questions about your purchase, press 2.” “For help with setting up your account or to revise account information, press 3.” “For problems with product performance or quality, press 4.” “To reach technical support, press 5.” “For hours of operation, press 6.” “For the location of the store nearest you, press 7.” “To reach our automated suggestion box, press 8.” “For alternate channels to contact us, press 9.” “If you need to speak with a representative about anything else, please press 0.”
Auto Attendant FAQs
Is it possible to have sub-menus or multiple Auto Attendants?
Sub-menus are not a standard feature, but they can be added with an additional account. Only (1) Auto Attendant is included with each account. If you require multiple Auto Attendants or sub-menus, contact Talkroute Support and our team can assist with the setup that your business needs.
Do I have to use the Auto Attendant on my Talkroute account?
No. The Auto Attendant is included with Plus plans or higher, but it is an at-will feature. The Auto Attendant may be activated or disabled at any time.
What happens when a caller does not choose an option?
If a caller reaches your Auto Attendant and decides not to select an option, the main menu audio prompt will repeat. If no option is selected, then the call will disconnect. It is very seldom that a caller does not choose an option.
How many menu options can we have on the Auto Attendant?
The Auto Attendant has 10 available options (0-9).