Are your customers getting frustrated and hanging up before leaving a message or listening to the options? Your company’s auto answer features might be driving them away.
Often, small business owners set up their auto attendant with options like: Press  for Suzy, the President, Press  for Mike in Marketing, Press  for Mary in Accounting…Press  for Jake.
Callers to your company’s main phone line typically won’t know who they want to talk to by name, but do know what they want to talk about – Hours, Technical Questions, Returns, etc. By thinking about your company from what roles your employees function within, you’ll be able to decide who can best handle calls in these areas and then route callers accordingly.
Endless options aren’t ideal for good customer service either. Prioritize by the number of calls received for each organizational function and then set up your auto attendant so that the most frequently called are first.
Blaring music while the customer holds on the line. Out of control volume on music or shouting advertisements can cause friction with customers.
Keep music subtle and make sure the choice of music reflects your company’s brand and image. If you’re a massage studio, consider adding tranquil tunes with quiet nature sounds. For a surf shop, the Beach Boys might be appropriate. However, it is very important to note that not all music is fair game – you may need to seek permission (and pay fees) to use certain musical works. Make sure you find out before you use it as part of your virtual phone system.
Making customers listen to the entire line-up of 43 choices and then only giving the press [*] for more options or to begin the list again.
Customers need an opt-out option because there are times when they’ll need assistance. They may not understand how their question or need falls into the predefined options. You customer service skills can shine by allowing customers to reach a “real” person at any point. While it might be a minor inconvenience, helping customers, even if you’re not exactly who they need will be rewarded with increased customer loyalty. And, you have all of the other helpful virtual phone system tools to get the customer directed quickly and appropriately!
The Real “How To” in Halloo
In the Halloo system, you can get these auto attendant solutions started by following these steps:
- Organizing your team into key function areas.
- Logging into My Halloo and setting up each function or department as a group.
- Then, assigning users (employees) to those groups.
- Adding hunt group features so that additional routing is done automatically if someone is away from their desk.
If you’ve dealt with a company that has particularly effective or clever auto attendant service, we’d love to hear about it. Please post comments below.