Whether calling a government service or your own bank, there is no ignoring the virtual receptionists that help your call reach the right department. You may like some of these phone menus more than others. How ‘deep’ callers have to dive into the menu and how quickly their issue is resolved contributes to the experienced customer-friendliness of the virtual receptionist and indirectly to the overall impression a customer will have of your organisation.

In short, a friendly and efficient phone menu is of paramount importance to any business that is serious about growing.

When it is time to set up your own virtual receptionist, there are some things to take into consideration. Having helped thousands of organisations configure their virtual receptionists, we feel that you can benefit from the following 4 tips.

  1. Keep your phone menu as ‘flat’ as possible to avoid callers losing their patience and dropping off. It is better to set up one menu level with 5 options instead of two levels with 2 or 3 options each.
  2. Use short announcements that help callers connect to the right person or department as quickly as possible. It is better to say “press 1 for sales” rather than the long and winding “press 1 to speak with our sales department”. The caller will perfectly understand the instruction, and will be grateful that you value (instead of waste) his or her time.
  3. Skip the welcome message. Do you remember the time when the homepages of websites looked like welcome messages? Just like in the online world, phone services are way past that stage. In fact, if people have to call you several times a day, a long welcome message can get rather annoying. Keep it short and to the point. Also, make sure the IVR puts callers through as soon as they press a key, even if that is before all the menu choices have been played. This allows callers to reach the desired department faster if they know their way around your telephone menu.
  4. Hire a professional voiceover artist. For a communication channel that is as important as your phone service, it is crucial to welcome and guide callers in a pleasant and efficient manner. As with so many things in business, leave this to the professionals. A voiceover artist knows best how to translate the desired tone of voice into a recording with the right pitch, speed and emphases.

With Call Factory’s IVR, you have complete control over your Freephone or Premium-rate number. You do not have to go at this alone, though. Our specialists are happy to assist you in setting up your virtual receptionist. Call or email us for instant help.