The majority of consumers are familiar with automated attendants and automated attendant systems. An automated attendant intercepts a business’s incoming phone calls and then provides a series of menu options for the caller to choose from. So if you’ve ever called a business and received an automated greeting asking you to, “press 1 for sales; press 2 for billing…” you’ve personally interacted with an automated attendant.
In order to get the most professional automated attendant greeting and voicemail message for your business, we suggest following these 5 expert tips when creating your automated system experience.
1. Brainstorm Automated Attendant Custom Features
The best automated attendant services and systems allow you to fully customize your automated greetings, messages and menu options. In order to create a streamlined and efficient automated caller experience, you have to figure out why your customers call your business.
Start your brainstorming session by speaking with your in-house team to find out your customers’ most frequently asked questions and reasons for calling. Remember, if you’re going to supply your callers with an automated feature, you have to be extremely detailed in your script and menu options.
Brainstorming your popular phone inquiries will allow you to quickly help a calling customer. If you don’t customize your automated attendant system, you run the risk of sending your callers into an endless loop of robotic prompts that don’t answer their immediate questions. No one wants to waste time listening to a long list of menu options that don’t apply. Be specific so you can be efficient.
To get you in the right track, here are some subject areas that our clients incorporate into their automated attendant service.
- Press 1 to learn more about our rates and fees
- Press 2 for our address and driving directions
- Press 3 if you have a question about your bill
- Press 4 if you’d like to place an order
- Press 5 for our employee extensions
- Press 6 to hear today’s menu specials
- Press 7 for instructions to assemble your product
- Press 8 to make an appointment now
- Press 9 to leave a message for a specific department
- Press 0 to speak with a live agent now
As you can see, you can get as creative and as targeted as needed when supplying your callers with easy access to the subjects they’re calling about. Remember less is more. So after you brainstorm, select your top menu options and try to group similar topics together when possible.
#BonusTip: Try to limit yourself to 5 or less main menu options.
2. Organize Your Popular Menu Options
Once you have all of your top FAQ’s grouped and drafted, you can begin creating sub menu options for each automated attendant feature. For example, if you decide that a main menu option about your fees is most beneficial, consider breaking that information into more targeted sub menu options.
For example, if you receive a lot of calls from leads wanting to know your standards rates, you may want an automated attendant greeting as follows:
“Hello and thank you for calling ABC Plumbing. Please press 1 to hear our standard rates now.” Once the caller decides they want to learn more about your rates, you can then create sub menu options that provide even more detailed information as follows, “Press 1 to hear our home inspection rates; press 2 for after-hour or emergency plumbing rates; press 3 to hear our hourly rates…”
By segmenting each service rate, you’re able to provide detailed information to help the caller with their specific inquiry. Automated attendants and automated systems have the ability to:
- Transfer a caller to a specific extension
- Transfer a caller to a designated voicemail box
- Transfer a caller to a pre-recorded message
- Transfer a caller to a sub menu option
- Transfer a caller to a live operator or on-call employee
Organize your main menu and sub menu options on paper before customizing your automated system features. Look at the big picture in order to provide the assistance and popular information in a clear and streamlined manner.
3. Create Scripts for Each Menu Option
There are 4 main parts of an automated attendant script that you need to design the language for: Your Greeting, Menu Options, Voicemail Message and Call Closing. Here are some basic tips to follow when creating a script for each section.
• Automated Initial Greeting
Your initial greeting should be short and to the point; 2 sentences tops. Start by providing your company name and show appreciation for your caller. A good sample greeting would be, “Thank you for calling ABC Law Group.” When writing your initial greeting script, keep in mind that you may have returning callers reaching out. Try to keep the greeting as short and simple as possible. If you have a company tag line or motto, feel free to include that as well.
• Menu and Sub Menu Options
In the previous steps above, you brainstormed your menu and sub menu options. Now is the time to create a universal menu instruction template for each option. You may opt for a familiar, “Press __ for _____” style. If you have a more creative and unique service, try a unique menu template to match your brand and culture. Just like your automated initial greeting, keep your menu and sub menu options short and sweet.
• Business Voicemail Message
Create a professional voicemail message script for your callers to leave a general message with your company. Take a little time to design a perfectly customized script to encourage your callers to leave a message. Be sure to let them know when they can expect to receive a callback. If you offer after-hour or weekend services, be sure to include an option for them to speak directly with an agent instead of leaving a voice message.
• Call Closing
After the endpoint of all menus and sub menus, be sure to close the call as applicable. So if your caller opted to listen to your standard rates, be sure to give them an option to schedule a service or place an order. If your caller opted to leave a message, be sure to let them know that they’re message has been received. You can never thank your customers too much for their business so be sure to include a “thank you for calling” at the end of all caller paths.
4. Choose a Clear and Pleasant Voice
Have you ever head of Albert Mehrabian and his theories of the importance of verbal and nonverbal communication? Professor Mehrabian asserted that in communication, “Words account for 7%, tone of voice accounts for 38%, and body language accounts for 55% of the liking.” Since your callers cannot see your body language, the tone in which you present your automated attendant is crucial.
Select an employee in your company that has the tone, diction and personality that best matches your company’s image. If you don’t have access to such a voice, you can easily visit a site like Fiverr to outsource the voice of your automated attendant.
5. Hire a Business Answering Service to Help
Since your field of expertise most likely isn’t in telecommunications, consider hiring help to manage your automated attendant system. Our digital call center has been providing award winning customer service since first opening our business in Orlando, Florida back in 1986.
Our highly trained virtual receptionists will work alongside our automated attendant system to ensure 24-hour telephone coverage and support. We’ll walk you through all customizations available and even help you write your scripts.