Businesses use an automated attendant (AA) to direct calls to the appropriate person or department best suited for the call. This allows a company’s staff to work more efficiently and be more productive; however, many companies do not use this application to its fullest potential. A customized auto attendant can be thought of as a virtual receptionist. It can transfer calls, direct calls to the appropriate people, and even take messages.
When designing your auto attendant, it is important to keep it concise and simple; otherwise, callers may get frustrated or get lost in a endless loop of options. The ease and flow of a call handled by an auto attendant will likely leave your callers with a lasting impression of your company.
A good rule of thumb is…
Have only about three steps or options for the caller to select before reaching a staff member. Navigating through more than five steps may cause callers to hang up due to frustration or impatience. Options should also be placed in order to frequency to which callers inquire. For example, if the majority of your callers are asking for directions to your location, you should consider “Option 1 for directions.” Likewise, if a very small percentage of callers inquire about your business hours, you might include “To hear our business hours” as a later option.
An auto attendant can be very useful in servicing your customers. When selecting a business phone system, be sure the auto attendant offers a wide variety of options, allowing customization to meet your clients’ needs. After all, it is the first impression your customers will receive when they call your business.