The auto attendant system enables the automatic transfer of callers to the proper department that can assist them. Some businesses seem to think that an auto attendant is just another answering machine service and that’s why they don’t put much thought into setting one up. They’re quite wrong, though. This system represents your company, and if it doesn’t work and sound right then you’ll create a less than ideal impression on potential customers.
So how should you set up your own auto attendant system for your business? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Sometimes automated attendant services are already pre-programmed with your phone system. But you need to customise it to make sure it suits the needs of your company.
- An auto attendant system offers several options for your callers, such as “press 1 for sales, press 2 for repairs”. You should keep the number of options down to 3 if possible, since people find it hard to remember all the options if there are a lot of them.
- There should also be an option for your callers to reach a real person on the phone. This is usually the “press 0” option.
- People can be very forgetful even if you limit the options to just 3. So offer a way to replay the options (“press 4 to replay the options”), or you can just repeat the options automatically. If you don’t, people will just press 0 to reach a person to help them, which defeats the purpose of using an auto attendant in the first place.
- Don’t keep changing the numbers of the various extensions. If you ask people to press 1 for sales, don’t change it to press 1 for repairs next month. This can confuse your regular callers.
- The voice recording needs to sound professional. If your recording doesn’t speak in a clear and modulated voice, it creates the impression that your company is unprofessional and incompetent.
- Make sure that words are uttered correctly and clearly. The words must be in a neutral accent so your callers can understand everything that’s being said on the recording. However, if your service is limited to a specific geographic area, then you should use an accent that’s familiar to the people in that area.
- For best results, you should commission a professional IVR voice over artist such as those offered by Evolved Sound to speak for your company. You can choose a gender and tone of voice that best represents the image of your company, whether you want it youthful and fun or somber and mature. You don’t want to use a cheerful teenage voice if your business is a bank or a funeral service provider.
It’s really very rare to have a homemade auto attendant system that works. That is why it’s always best to hire a pro, so that you can build the perfect auto attendant system that’s just right for your company.