Auto attendants – also known as IVR (interactive voice response) and virtual receptionists – let callers save time by routing calls to the correct department or person. They can even communicate information like store hours and policies to customers. With an auto attendant, callers select their routing option from a recorded menu. They can also enter their contact information or leave a message.
Improved Customer Service
You can configure menu options on auto attendants to direct callers to a certain person or division. These options can be anything from “For Sales, press 1” to “For Support, press 2.” This feature shifts a great deal of the responsibility from your staff to the phone system, which allows them to focus on more complex customer interactions and important tasks like in-person customer service or implementing new policies that may impact customer experience. The key is to keep the auto attendant script short, simple and direct so that customers can get the information they need quickly and efficiently.
The auto attendant’s greeting is also a perfect opportunity to inform callers about changes in business hours or any other relevant news that might affect how they interact with your company. It is a great way to avoid the frustration of customers trying to reach someone who is no longer available, and it can help you build trust with your audience.
An auto attendant is an ideal way to give your business a professional veneer, especially when you’re just starting or have a small team that cannot answer every phone call immediately. It also helps you fight back against solicitation calls because robocalls can’t hit the menu numbers and transfer to an employee.
Reduced Call Waiting Time
Like a menu at a restaurant, an auto attendant allows your callers to select options using voice or touch-tone prompts. It’s designed to simplify every customer interaction and reduce the need for a human receptionist so that it can save you money on employee costs. But it also has the potential to be confusing, especially if you load it up with too many options. The more choices you offer, the less likely your callers will make the right selection. They may hear options they don’t want to choose or, more frustratingly, get stuck in an endless loop that leads them around in circles. A well-designed auto attendant minimizes this problem by offering a clear, concise menu of options. It can also save your agents time by routing callers directly to the person who can help them rather than having them wait in a queue and being transferred to several different departments.
Moreover, an auto attendant is a great way to communicate information about your business that your employees might need to be made aware of or have forgotten to tell customers. For example, your auto attendant can communicate important policies and services (such as curbside pickup or online ordering) to customers who call after hours or on holidays. You can also update your auto attendant’s greeting and menu options whenever a change affects callers, such as business hours or office locations.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
For clients, being placed on hold or passed between multiple agents can be a frustrating experience. If the auto attendant routes call properly, customers get help faster, and they will be more satisfied with their calling experience. It is especially true if you provide an organized and easy-to-understand menu system for your callers. This menu should contain only the most important options for your business and reflect the most commonly asked questions. Including basic information such as your company website URL, office hours, or locations on the menu is a great idea. It’s also a good idea to choose a professional voice for the audio prompts of your auto attendant. It will enhance your brand image and create a positive first impression for your callers. An automated phone directory is a feature that most consumers have come to expect, so if you’re running a business that receives many calls, you should have one in place. It’s also a way to save on overhead costs by replacing a receptionist with an automated solution that works 24/7. It will free up more time for your employees to focus on customer service. It is crucial for your business success, so ensure you have a scalable call-routing solution in place.
While some businesses are reluctant to invest in an auto attendant because they think they can handle all their calls independently, a virtual receptionist is a great way to increase revenue. When you set up your business phone system with an auto attendant, you can direct callers to specific departments, teams, and agents based on their selection from the routing menu. This hands-free call routing can reduce the number of calls sent to voicemail or dropped because an employee is unavailable. Plus, it helps your employees spend more time doing high-value tasks like resolving customer issues or answering complex questions. When a customer calls your business, an auto attendant will greet them with a recorded greeting that offers a series of options. Depending on their choice, the system will then connect them to the department or person they’re calling for. Auto attendants are similar to automated phone directories and something consumers have come to expect when contacting businesses. As your business grows, it’s important to ensure the information you present is up-to-date. If you change your office hours, new products and services, or employee extensions, update your auto attendant to reflect these changes. And be sure to use a welcoming, human-sounding voice in your greeting. Customers respond better to a warm, friendly tone than an impersonal robot greeting.