Auto Attendant Best Practices (Tips and Tricks)

Before you begin setting up an auto attendant for your Tresta phone system, it’s important to create a plan so the auto attendant sounds great and is actually helpful to your callers. Skipping over the best practices could have some repercussions.

In a survey conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com, 42 percent of respondents said they would take their business elsewhere after a frustrating experience with an auto attendant.

The best practices below will help you create an engaging and easy-to-follow menu that won’t frustrate your callers.  

Configure all of your components first.

Although you can always add a new system component when setting up an auto attendant, it’s much easier to have all of your components configured prior to adding them to an auto attendant. This includes things like the users and user groups on your system, schedules and voicemail boxes. 

Plan your menu options.

Grab a piece of paper and plan out every option you plan to offer your callers. Start with the opening and work through all the options. It’s important to note that callers want the most important information first, so we recommend placing those options at the beginning of your menu.  

Keep the options limited.

Speaking of options, callers become frustrated by an auto attendant that has too many options. According to a study, callers indicated that five menu items is ideal and any more than that leads to confusion. 

Write a script to create a greeting that is personable–not robotic.

Callers are happy to hear an auto attendant as long as the greeting is warm and friendly. Writing a script removes any apprehension about what you need to say so that you sound relaxed. We recommend smiling while you read the script–your callers will be able to hear it. 

Announce special closings and schedules.

If your business hours change for a holiday or some other reason, make sure to announce that in the auto attendant. This is especially important if your business is one where people make appointments. 

Skip stating, “Pay attention as our menu options have changed.”

Unless you’re constantly adding new employees or departments, this is unnecessary and could frustrate your callers.

Finally, don’t forget to add the auto attendant to your call flow.

You’ve created the perfect auto attendant, but it no one can use it until you add it to a call flow. Put your IVR to work by adding it to a phone number on the Call Flows page in the web app. Check out this article if you need to know more about doing this. 

Need additional help? Check out this article for directions on configuring an auto attendant in your Tresta cloud phone system.

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