You know that we’re big proponents of virtual phone systems, in fact we even have a page here dedicated to RingCentral Coupons that we update every week. But when you’re putting together your new virtual phone system, think a little bit outside the box and think about what your callers are going to hear – not necessarily what everyone else with a phone system does. Let’s look at a couple of examples of things that either frustrate most callers, or they think are just plain stupid:
“Please listen carefully as our menu has recently changed.”
Yeah, ok, well first, I doubt anyone but you is going to memorize your menu in the first place. Second, telling someone to listen carefully is almost like scolding them. If you feel that your callers have never had an automated phone system before and really don’t know how to navigate one, you could accomplish the same thing by simply stating “Please make your selection from the following options.”
“This call may be monitored or recorded for training and quality assurance purposes”
What a crock. I have worked in companies large and small and they all record their calls for one reason and one reason only – to cover their butts. Why not be up front about it. Instead of trying to pretend that you have some magical pow-wow every night and listen to the day’s calls and come up with ways to get better, just simply state “This call may be monitored or recorded.” Remember though, if you put this in your statement, that it works both ways. “This call may be” implies permission (i.e. you, the caller may record this call). If you don’t really intend to record your calls, and don’t want your customers doing it either without telling you, just leave this little sentence out.
So, here are a few things that others have done right when putting together their menus:
“If you know your party’s extension, you may enter it at any time.”
This may seen like wasted space, but if I am calling you from the number in your email signature and I already know your extension, this helps me avoid hearing everything I don’t need to know. All I am calling for is to talk to John Doe at extension 123. Thanks for making that happen.
“Our office is now closed, our hours are XXXX. To leave a voice message, enter your party’s extension or choose from the following menu.”
This does two things, first off, it lets the caller know up front that they aren’t going to talk to anyone on this call. This saves them the frustration of hitting zero, getting a recording, hanging up and starting the process all over again. Second, it educates them on your business hours so their chance of reaching you next time are more likely. You will find that some folks will leave a message and others will just hang up and call back when they can talk to someone. Either way, you’ve set the proper expectation right up front.
What are some of your comments on automated phone systems? Use the comment form below. Let us know what frustrates you. Also let us know if you see something someone does right that you think should get noticed.