It is said that you never get a second chance at a first impression. When your customers call your business, what is their first impression? How many buttons do they need to press to answer the question they are asking? Do they get lost in the key pad maze of voice mail prompts and computerized voices that is all to frequent as companiesAuto Attendant Maze try to offload customer service to the auto attendant? It is very important to pay close attention to what your customers experience when they call your business.

Below are 10 good items to think about when setting up your business incoming call flow and your business auto attendant:

  • How many options are you going to provide in the prompts?
  • Is your auto attendant a backup to calls being answered by a live person when they are busy or otherwise?
  • Does the auto attendant greeting sound professional?
  • If the receptionist is busy, how many rings should a customer have before the auto attendant engages?
  • Do you have an afterhours auto attendant that provides callers a way to reach someone in the office after the receptionist leaves? i.e. Dial by name directory?
  • If you have multiple offices, does your business have a consistent message at each office?
  • Music on hold is a way to let customers know that their call has not been dropped. Are you using the  ‘canned” music that comes with your phone system? How is the sound quality?
  • What do callers experience when calls are forwarded to other users?  Do you provide your callers a warm transfer or does the receptionist just forward calls directly to the extension?
  • Can the receptionist provide the caller options in cases like the called party is on the phone or would you like to leave a message in their voicemail?
  • Have you changed the canned auto attendant greetings? When I call customers and here a greeting, many times I can tell what phone system or voice mail system a customer is using.    Example:  “You have reached our ShoreTel Voice Mail, please leave a message for John Doe”

It pays for every business to spend a little extra time on their their company greeting. Fine tuning your auto attendant, individual voicemails and music on hold will provide a good overall customer experience for inbound callers.

John HaganJohn Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Georgia serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for High speed business internet via fiber, coax, satellite and wi-fi along with custom solutions for a full featured business Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system.   Contact John or their team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services.