Please Stay on the Line

Do your customers hang up before leaving a message or listening to the phone tree options? Your company’s phone greeting and auto attendant features might be driving them away!

Issue #1

Often, small business owners set up their phone system’s auto attendant with employees listed by name. For example, Press [1] for John, Press [2] for Mike in Marketing, Press [3] for Mary in Accounting…Press [43] 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, e.g., Hours, Directions, Returns, etc. By considering the roles your employees function within, you can decide who is best to handle calls in these areas. Then, you can set up your company’s auto attendant system so that callers are greeted with options that match the reasons for which they are calling.

A long list of options isn’t ideal for good customer service either. Prioritize the auto attendant so that routing for the most commonly asked questions are listed first.

Issue #2

Many organizations wind up blaring on hold music while the customer waits on the line for the next available customer service agent. But, out of control volume on music or shouting advertisements can cause friction with customers.


Keeping music subtle and reflective of your company’s brand and image can go a long way in providing a better customer experience. For example, a massage studio might want to consider adding tranquil tunes with quiet nature sounds while a surf shop might consider tunes by the Beach Boys. Note! It is very important to realize that not all music is fair game to use as part of your phone system. You may need permission to use certain musical works (and some may require a fee). Make sure you find out about the licensing for your music selection before you use it as part of your virtual phone system.

Issue #3

Too many choices for departments, employees, etc., with no ability to opt out of the list if you want to speak to an operator or already know your party’s extension.


Often, callers may not understand how their question or need falls into the predefined options. Your company can showcase its customer-oriented approach by allowing callers to reach a “real” person at any point. Your organization can also showcase customer service skills by empowering employees to answer questions, even if they are not exactly the right person to handle the call. This type of helpful response can help generate increased customer loyalty.

The Real “How To” in Halloo

Hunt group routing

In the Halloo system, you can start using these auto attendant solutions with these steps:

  • Organize your team into key function areas on paper.
  • Log into My Halloo and setting up each function or department as a group.
  • Then, assign users (employees) to those groups.
  • Add hunt group features so that routing is done automatically if someone is away from their desk or tied up on another call.

How does your company greet customers via the phone? We’d love to hear how you use Halloo in your business! Please post your comments below.

For more on this topic, check out our Ultimate Guide to Auto Attendant Phone Systems.