How Auto Attendants Improve the Customer Experience

Despite the various new ways to interact with companies online, 48 percent of consumers still prefer to use a phone for their initial contact with a company.

This means that overall customer satisfaction greatly depends on the quality and consistency of a company’s telephone service. One of the best ways to improve a company’s telephone presence is to implement an auto attendant.

With an auto attendant — otherwise known as a virtual receptionist — companies can have 24/7 call answering services without a physical attendant to answer the phone. A separate message could be used after business hours to assure customers that their issue will be handled the next business day.

Put yourself in the place of the customer: would you rather call a company after-hours and get sent directly to a mailbox — which for all you know is a blackhole of messages from distressed customers lost forever — or receive a friendly message asking you to please leave a message and assuring you that your call is important and will be address ASAP? We know which option we would choose.

The bottom line is that auto attendants greatly improve customer service.

Auto attendants improve customer service

First, by making it easier and more expedient for consumers to get the help they need. Following a short greeting, the customer is present with a short list of menu options — the most common of which will be presented first. The customer hits the appropriate number on the keypad, and is on his or her way to solving the problem.

Second, by making consumers happier: Consumers hate being bogged down by tedious processes — especially over the phone. They want a fast and efficient phone service so they can move on with their days.

Third, by answering common questions and freeing up employees for more complex and important customer service tasks. This improves the overall quality of customer service because it lets companies accomplish more with the same number of employees. For instance, a customer service representative can spend less time answering basic questions and more time with targeted customer service based on call data analytics.

Fourth, because companies can collect data on consumer behaviour and rearrange the auto attendant menu options in real-time to present the most common issues more prominently and therefore reduce the amount of time it takes for the average consumer to find a solution. The more you know about your customers, the more helpful you can be.

An important component of any customer service strategy

A survey sponsored by the Purdue Research Foundation found that 92 percent of consumers report that their call experience influences their image of a company; moreover, it was demonstrated that customer satisfaction is positively linked with a company’s ability to address the caller’s issues on the first call.

Using an auto attendant is one way to make sure that the customer service experience is a positive one. It helps connect customers with the right person or department, avoiding unnecessarily long calls and multiple transfers between departments. Many routine issues or common questions can be dealt with by the auto attendant, so customers don’t have to wait on the line for a customer service representative.

Interested in learning more?

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