An Auto Attendant can be a valuable resource to route calls for your company. It can save valuable time for your employees by taking over the answer and transfer role. The most effective auto attendants are designed to give callers the most amount of information in the shortest time.
When considering the script to play when calls ring into your business, you should first consider your callers. Who is calling your business? What are the most common reason for calls, and then what are the 2nd most common reason for calls? This will help you to design the options to give your callers. You always want to start with a greeting, then stating your business name. Businesses typically then list the hours of operation. Then you can say something like: “If you know your party’s extension number, you may dial it at any time.” Or “If you know the extension of the person you are trying to reach, you may dial it at any time.”
Single Digit Menus: Options 1 through 9
The key to a good auto attendant is to keep it short and simple. Once you have determined why people call you, you can give options based on those reasons to get the calls directed in the most efficient manner. For example:
For sales, press 1
For service, press 2
For accounts payable, press 3
For accounts receivable, press 4
For our company names directory, press 5
and so on.
Each option can ring to one person’s phone, multiple phones, to a submenu, to an informational mailbox, or to an off-site number.
For sales, you may want to ring multiple phones.
For accounts payable, you may want to ring just one phone.
Then you can determine what will happen if that calls is not answered. If it rings to one phone, do you want the caller to hear that employee’s personal greeting? Or a generic department greeting? If it rings to multiple phones, what will the greeting say on no answer. Who will be responsible to check the messages? NOTE: If you have unified messaging, we can direct a general mailbox to a general email address that you provide.
Submenus can help to keep the main greeting short. If you have multiple options for a department, you can use a submenu to give those options out to callers for that particular section without clogging up your main menu. For example:
For sales, press 1
Submenu: For equipment purchasing, press 1
for rentals, press 2
for parts, press 3
for all other calls, press 4
Informational mailboxes are used for basic information that you give out to callers on a repetitive basis.
Typical uses for info only mailboxes are: mailing address/website/email/fax, directions to the office, commonly requested information such as payment requirements, or other regularly requested information. You can get creative with this – churches can regularly update info mailboxes to give special event or service times. Restaurants can share weekly specials. Retail businesses can share current sale information. The key is to keep the recordings regularly updated if they will change frequently.
Names directories are used to help your callers be directed to the person they need to reach. You can either request that the caller enter the first 3 letters of the first or last name, or you can do a verbal names list for your callers. Both need to be kept up to date as employees change.
Whether to give a “0” opt out from any of the menus is your decision. Some companies do not use the “0” to try to encourage callers to listen to the menu options instead of jumping straight to the operator. Others prefer to give that option to every caller. The “0” option can be programmed to ring one or multiple phones.
Once you have some ideas of what will work best for your company, let us know and we will help you design the script and options to be most effective for your business.