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Now imagine this is what a customer hears when they call your business. These lines are read by a virtual receptionist, also known as an auto attendant (AA), who greets you and routes your call to the preferred agent or department. Accompanied with the IVR (interactive voice response) system, AA allows call forwarding to representatives based on keypad inputs.
Before we get to the dos and don’ts of an auto attendant script, let’s explore why you should be employing a digital operator in the first place:
Consider this—a high volume of calls is blowing up your phone lines. In the absence of digital assistance, you’re left with two options. First, to let the consumer suffer through the dial tone and music while they wait to be connected, and second, to hire several operators who would be responsible for multiple calls. Let’s face it, neither seems attractive.
However, with the introduction of a virtual receptionist, you can create a uniform greeting to welcome callers, while also saving money on staff recruitment and training.
Additionally, a human operator would have to manually deal with the spam calls that could have been easily navigated and filtered by the auto attendant. Furthermore, your customers are happier to have their calls picked up on the first ring. Gone are the days of counting rings while waiting for an executive to answer.
Since you can control the auto attendant script, you can plug in any basic information that you need to convey to your callers. If a majority of your calls are centred around the same query, you can simply put that information into the script and save your employees the hassle of having to explain it numerous times. This way, you also reduce repetitive calls.
Finally, the presence of this technology lends a professional look. When a digital receptionist greets a caller, the latter is instantly given the impression of a well-managed and technologically forward business. This is especially true in case your firm receives a call post work hours. Your virtual operator is functional 24×7, and can inform the consumer of your work timings, encouraging them to leave a message.
There are several merits of using an auto attendant, it’s important to know how to use this feature properly in order to reap the maximum benefits. The script is the make or break factor: a good one will leave consumers feeling satisfied, while a bad one can frustrate them. Here are some simple dos and don’ts to follow while constructing a script for your auto attendant:
What to do when creating an auto attendant script?
As mentioned above, your digital receptionist is only as good as its script. Do the following to make a strong first impression on a caller:
- Welcome your clients with a warm greeting and identify your company’s name at the beginning of the script; first-time callers would require a confirmation. In this beginning portion, you can also include any warnings or additional information. For example, currently, retail outlets are warning their callers of delays in delivery due to COVID-19.
- Keep your script short and sweet. Nobody enjoys listening to, or can even keep track of, a long recording of several departments to contact. Cap your script to a concise 30 seconds. Narrow down your options to a handful, or else the consumer might lose interest or randomly press numbers to speed up the process. IVR systems are built to ease communication, not complicate it further.
- Hire a professional to record the message that the auto attendant will play. Computer-generated voice messages tend to sound robotic. Not only can they detach the consumer from the experience, but they may also give a lazy and impersonal vibe. A professional, on the other hand, will be able to relay emotions as you’d like. A closer representation of an actual conversation through a human voice can ease the consumers.
- Ensure that the most frequently utilised options are announced before the less commonly chosen ones. For example, if the status of a delivery is the most sought-after query for a retail website, then that should be the first option given by the auto attendant.
- On the contrary, give the option of talking to a sales executive at the end of the list. If it’s provided too early in the script, people might not be patient enough to listen to any other option that might be more suited to their needs.
What to avoid when scripting for an auto attendant?
While we have understood what must be done to improve upon your scripts, there also needs to be a discussion about what to avoid to maintain a healthy brand image:
- Do not cut the call on the customer if their response is slightly delayed. Customers sometimes require more time to reply when asked to provide details, perhaps of credit/debit cards, or if the script is too long. Hanging up on the consumer can frustrate them and leave them with a sour opinion of your company—not to forget, you’re cutting away a potential sale.
- Choices must stay limited. Do not offer more than six options; the customer can then comprehend every single one of them, instead of getting lost in a flurry of words.
- Do not bombard your clients with your website information when they connect to your IVR system. A subtle mention should be enough. Many companies tend to constantly plug in their website or slogan while the consumer is on hold, which can really get annoying.
- As mentioned earlier, keep it short. Do not spend too much time on the greeting. A 3-4 liner is more than enough. Auto attendants that go on about the company relentlessly defeat the purpose of quick and satisfactory customer service.
IVR has become an integral feature in contact centres around the world. Auto attendants allow you to greet consumers and help them navigate the IVR system. Using the right words and techniques to communicate in this step is vital, considering this is the first impression any caller will have of your business. The more complex your script becomes, the less the likelihood of its success. However, keeping things short and organised will put your best foot forward for the customers. You can follow very easy steps to put forward a hgh-quality virtual receptionist service.