With your automated attendant (AA), you can have your customers directed to the proper departments without a live operator or receptionist. This auto attendant, commonly known as a virtual receptionist, may be the first interaction a prospect or customer has with your business. Assuming that you want every interaction to be efficient and effective with your customers, your business should invest a little TLC to improve your auto attendant.
The intention behind an auto attendant is to route incoming calls to the correct extension, department, or agent. You have the option of a day mode vs night mode and can play hold/connect music while your caller waits to be transferred. In the end the caller will be transferred to a call queue or voicemail box. That is the duty of this virtual receptionist, but your business should always stand out amongst the crowd. How do you do that with your AA? How can you really improve your auto attendant and spice it up without overdoing it?
Improve Your Auto Attendant By Staying Up-To-Date With Your Basic Information
The quality of customer service has grown in importance to people over the years. When you have a bad experience with a company, you are more likely to abandon working with that business again. The same will be applied to your company, no matter if the interaction is with a person or a virtual receptionist. One simple way to improve your auto attendant is to stay up-to-date with all of your basic information regarding your business. This means that if your AA recites your business hours. The hours need to be accurate and updated, especially when it comes to any holidays, days that your office will be closed or have shortened hours. Take it a step further by tailoring your greetings on holidays throughout the year. Consider keeping these other aspects of your automated attendant up-to-date:
- Office location(s)
- Employee extensions
- Website addresses
- Promotional mentions
Frequently Used Options
In order to improve your auto attendant, you should have clear, concise instructions and options for your callers. A great rule of thumb to follow for this is to list your most frequently used options first then describe a menu option before giving the destination number. Customers are listening closer to their desired destination; when you state that first followed by the number, they are more likely to hit the correct number. Plus, it avoids the caller from getting frustrated and just hanging up. You don’t want this to happen because a little under 35% of callers that hang up before speaking with a representative won’t call back.
As a side note, you should mention if you have multiple language options after identifying your business name. Do not proceed with the rest of the script until they have selected their language to continue. This will improve your auto attendant and customer’s experience overall.
Simplicity Goes A Long Way
The faster you can get a caller to a representative on the other end, the better for your business. You want to keep things brief and simple. Having more than five or six menu options is okay; however, it’s best to break them down into tiers that progress them to the correct department or person logically. Keep it quick, and don’t get caught up in manners of your machine. People care more about their time, so you don’t have to consistently say “please” with each menu option. Your goal to improve your auto attendant is made when you make it easier for people to reach a living being. So, minimize your number of items in menus to the essentials and keep your greetings brief. When your AA is short and sweet, most likely your customers will be too.
Personalize With Personality
You want your company to be represented well in all facets. It’s great when you personalize the tone of your virtual receptionist to match the culture of your company. This goes from your choice in hold music to the actual person of the voice recording. When you have found someone to do the recordings, have them smile during their recording sessions. No matter what line of work you are in, you want someone that is engaging. Their emotional state can carry through the recording. Some companies even hire a professional voice talent in order to get the correct tone and feel that reflects the business well. You will greatly improve your auto attendant when you have the right tone of voice to represent you and your company.
If you are looking for the perfect virtual receptionist or more ways to improve your auto attendant, Tri-Tel is here to help you. We love to find the best options that will work for you and your business’ needs. Call us today to find out more!