Your computerized automated attendant greeting on your business telephone system is the first thing your customers and business associates will hear when they call your company. For first time callers, you only have one chance to make a good first impression and that will be your automated attendant. For people who call your company frequently, you will want to make your automated attendant process as efficient as possible so that they don't waste time listening to your entire automated attendant script every time they call.
The fastest and easiest way to program and record the automated attendant feature of your phone system is to write a script on a word processing program. Select a person to record the script who has a friendly voice, can speak without stuttering or hesitating and can pronounce and annunciate each word and name clearly.
Automated Attendant Greeting
The first part of the script will be the greeting. This is your opportunity to present your company to your callers and verbally welcome them into your company.
Automated Attendant Greeting Do's
- Begin with an appreciation for their call or business
- Do keep the greeting short so returning callers are not delayed each time they call
- Use your tag line, company slogan and/or website name if you have them.
Automated Attendant Greeting Don'ts
- Don't use more than two or three sentences to greet your callers
- Don't promote your website if it doesn't have anything of value to offer to your customers
- Don't make up a slogan or tag line just to fill the greeting.
Automated Attendant Options
The most important part of the automated attendant is presenting the options that your callers have to select to get to the person that they need to speak with. There are basically two types of callers: (1) people who are unfamiliar with your company and will need guidance and (2) callers who know exactly who they need to speak to and know their extension.
Automated Attendant Options Do's
- Use options that are commonly accepted. For example, "Press zero for the Receptionist", "Press the pound key to return to the previous menu."
- Do tell your callers as soon as possible when they can dial their party's extension if they already know it.
- Do let your callers know up front if your menu options have changed recently. Remove this notice after three weeks.
- Do put the most frequently called options first.
- Give the option description before you give the option number. For example, "For Customer Support, press '5'."
- Do check your systems documentation for reserved menu option numbers. (e.g. all extensions begin with the number "8" and therefore "8" cannot be used as a menu option).
Automated Attendant Options Don'ts
- Don't say "Please" before you present each and every option (e.g. "Please press 1 to ... Please press 2 to... Please press 3 to..." etc.)
- Don't present more than six options at a time. If you have more than six options, create a multi-tiered menu structure. For example, "For sales and service options, press 5."
- Don't assume everyone has a touchtone phone. If a menu option is not selected within three seconds of the end of the greeting, connect the caller to the receptionist.
Sample Automated Attendant Scripts
- Thank you for calling The Operations Tech Company, where "Technology and business come together." If you know your party's extension, you may dial it at any time. Otherwise choose from one of the following options. For Customer Service, press '1'. For Technical Support, press '2'. For our regular business hours, press '3'. For accounting, press '4'. For Purchasing, press '5'. To find a location near you, press '6'. Otherwise press '0' for the receptionist or stay on the line and somebody will assist you shortly.
- Welcome to The Operations Tech Company. To check your account status, visit us on the web at www.operationstech.about.com. If you know the person's extension, you may dial it at any time. For the company directory, press '1'. For Technical Support, press '2'. For Customer Service, press '3'. For Sales and Marketing, press '4'. If you would like to talk to the receptionist, press '0' or stay on the line and one of our friendly staff members will assist you. Thank you for calling The Operations Tech Company, where "Technology and business come together."