5 Best Practices for Implementing an Auto Attendant

Follow our guide to benefit from increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

We recently released a free guide with the best practices for implementing an auto attendant (also known as a virtual receptionist). We felt that it would be helpful for our readers because the implementation process is really critical for getting the most out of an auto attendant service. If companies don’t execute the implementation properly, they won’t benefit from the increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction enabled by auto attendant services.

The most important consideration is this: will the auto attendant actually reduce the amount of time that customers have to spend on the phone? If the answer is no, then the implementation process needs a rework.

To make sure that an auto attendant service achieves its purpose of increasing customer satisfaction, companies should carefully consider the length and format of the greeting message, the number and order of menu options, and whether to include a quick auto attendant bypass option to speak with a real person.

Below are five examples of best practices for auto attendant implementation taken from our free guide:

Best Practice #1

Make the voice recording sound personable, not artificial. This is very important because research has shown that customers prefer an authentic voice to a computer-generated voice. It’s a good idea to use a professional audio recording service for a top-quality recording.

Best Practice #2

Give customers the most important information first. Remember, the goal is to save time. Assign the most requested menu options to the first three menu options. That way, most customers will find what they need almost immediately.

Best Practice #3

Don’t use too many menu options. Don’t make callers wait through a lengthy list of options before finding what they need. Limit the number of options and use sub-menus for more detailed requests. You probably should not have more than five primary menu options.

Best Practice #4

Limit the length of the voice introduction. Cut to the chase! Most consumers (71 percent) prefer short introductions that last just three seconds or less. You can include a company catchphrase, but don’t bog down customers with your company’s backstory.

Best Practice #5

Always (ALWAYS) provide the option to press ‘0’ to speak to a real person. This is critical. Make it very easy for customers to speak to a real person if that’s what they want to do. Customers with uncommon troubleshooting issues will already be frustrated when they call — don’t make them more frustrated.

Want to learn more about best practices?

Download our complete list of best practices for auto attendant implementation.

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