How to Configure your Auto-Attendant
Fewer companies than ever before are hiring dedicated receptionists to answer phones and direct calls to different parties within the office. Instead, the use of proper auto-attendant configuration and an auto-attendant script allows them to save money and better serve customers and clients with quick phone responses.
In order to decide if a virtual phone assistant is right for you, first, you must learn all the details that can make this method more effective than a human receptionist.
What is an Auto-Attendant?
Everyone has encountered an automated phone attendant. These are recorded messages that offer a menu of options to the caller and direct them to whichever one they choose very quickly. While some consumers express negative reactions to these systems, they are truly omnipresent in the world today and offer major benefits.
For example, they allow consumers to instantly get an answer to their call and begin to get help right away. No more being placed on hold for extended periods of time the instant the call is connected. Also, they can provide basic information automatically such as hours of operation or even some technical support information without waiting to be connected at all.
Auto-Attendant Configuration Tips
If you would like to use proper auto-attendant configuration for your company’s telecommunications and customer service lines, there are several things to consider.
- Different messaging should occur during business hours, off hours, holidays, and when there are special circumstances.
- Options should be easy to understand and cover all the common problems callers may have.
- The auto-attendant configuration should give basic information in a quick but thorough manner.
- Selections such as extension forwarding, voicemail, a live operator, and message replay should be available right away.
Design the Best Auto-Attendant Script
With all the above auto-attendant configuration tips in mind, it is time to design an effective auto-attendant script that will put your company in a good light and give excellent customer service to anyone who calls up with a question or concern.
Always begin the script with a professional but friendly greeting and identify the company immediately. “Hello. Thank you for calling Generic Company.” The next words should identify the automatic-menu-driven nature of the assistance and invite people to hit an extension if they know it. This allows people who have inside knowledge to get where they want to go even faster.
The menu options you choose depend largely on the type of business you run and the types of questions that people are likely to ask. Some of the most common auto-attendant script menu options include:
- Hours of operation
- Directions to the brick-and-mortar shop or office building
- Orders or questions about an existing order
- Technical support
- Scheduling a service call or repair
- Talking directly with an operator who can help you with additional options
Each line in the menu should be clearly stated and the number for the option mentioned at the end. For example, “For questions about your existing order, please press 3.”
After the business closes for the day and people can no longer get an employee to help them with shipping questions or technical support, the script must change to reflect that. Instead of giving the usual options, the system should automatically limit them to hours of operation, directions, any other basic information and voicemail.
No matter what, choose a friendly and easily understood voice for the auto-attendant recordings. Keep things short and to the point but not so quick that people get confused or lose their place in the menu. Configured correctly, auto-attendant scripts can benefit both the company and the consumer.