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press 1 for sales, press 2 for accounts, press 3 for marketing and so on and so on

(21 Posts)
mckenzie Thu 20-Oct-16 17:07:57

We have an Auto Attendant system on our main work phone number and I am tasked with making it more customer friendly and much quicker for the customer.

Please can you tell me what are you prime dislikes when you get an Auto Attendant message?
Any things you don't mind?
Do you like a robot type message or a friendlier voice?

Any thoughts at all would be greatly appreciated.
TIA

StealthPolarBear Thu 20-Oct-16 17:12:44

Lack of clarity
"Press 1 for sales, 2 if you have already placed an order, 3 if your middle name is Brenda etc"
The options need to be completely distinct

mckenzie Thu 20-Oct-16 17:28:32

Thanks Brenda.
Does it bother you if the voice sounds official or not? Would you be happier to hear the option given by the business owner or MD?

mckenzie Thu 20-Oct-16 22:19:34

Bump for the late crowd

orangjuicyfruit Thu 20-Oct-16 22:29:50

I hate automated telephone messages!

Freshprincess Thu 20-Oct-16 22:32:45

A real person is better.
And not having too many options. Anymore than 3 and I forget and then just pick number 1.

PinkSwimGoggles Thu 20-Oct-16 22:35:17

agree. would rather have a real person answer the call.

TheDuckSaysMoo Thu 20-Oct-16 22:39:43

It's great to have an option to speak to a human - "press * to speak to a person." It'seems fine if this is at the end of a list of 4 other options. I don't mind waiting if I really want to speak to a human but it is nice to get an idea of how long the wait will be. Then I can decide whether to bother or not. Also, no more than 2 layers of menus - absolute max.

mckenzie Fri 21-Oct-16 07:18:15

Thanks everybody.
I really appreciate the replies.
As AutoAttendants go, I think ours currently isn't too bad but we want to try and make it even better.
I'm going to quite enjoy the challenge I think smile

olderthanyouthink Fri 21-Oct-16 07:28:32

I tend to keep pressing non-options and see if it will put me through to a human (some systems have this as a fall back if the user is an "idiot")

Marmelised Fri 21-Oct-16 07:34:12

I get cross when there is a list of numbers to dial 0123 45678 for sales
0123 45612 for tech support, 0123 45623 for accounts. I dial the correct number for accounts,say, then far too often have to listen to a message saying for sales press one, for tech support press two, for accounts press three.

If I've taken the trouble to dial the correct number as instructed in the first place then at least make it the first option and don't make me wait for it to be the final option.

NapQueen Fri 21-Oct-16 07:37:57

Don't put Operator as option 1. I'm on switchboard of a hotel and wow the stuff that comes to me that we have options for - people just press 1.

Depends what industry you are in but I'd do sonething like (in our industry)
Press one to talk about Bedroom bookings
Press two to talk about an Event
Press three to talk to our fitness team
Press four for everything else

Opt 1 and 2 would then be broken down into
Press 1 if you already have a bedroom/event booking
Press 2 if you want to make a bedroom/event booking.

NapQueen Fri 21-Oct-16 07:41:22

And those who say "don't have options just put through to a human" have no idea grin in the nicest possible way.

If that happened at my workplace me at the switchboard with a list of a zillion other jobs would probably have 4 times the amount of calls I currently get and I'd only be able to deal directly with 1/4 of them. The other 3/4s I'd be sat listening to you list whatever issues you have or enquiries you want to make with no ability to answer your question.

I then transfer you to someone who can help and you have to explain the situation again. No I can't take bookings for Christmas day lunch. No I can't enrol you for gym membership. If you listened to the options you'd been done now as they've have directed you to the exact person you needed.

Scribblegirl Fri 21-Oct-16 07:44:12

Tell people how many options there are! So:

"Welcome to company X. Please select from one of the following six options...."

Helps you know what to expect!

user1471521456 Fri 21-Oct-16 07:48:14

Make it short and snappy. No long rambling message at the start about how you can now book on line, or have you tried our new cinnamon range. Then make the options short and clear.

a) It is my time you are wasting if I have to listen to a long message.
b) I will probably get distracted and start doing something else or thinking about something else if the message is too long and miss the start of the options. Then I will get all confused and press a random button or hang up and start again. And be cross with your company, because of course I will consider it all your fault.

Also a good idea to repeat the options for reasons of b) aove. However, if the last option was "Don't have a clue who you need to talk to? Hold the line and a specially trained communicator with the thick will be right with you," it would annoy me to have to listen to the options again.

I don't know whether the hold music is within your remit but the other thing that irritates me is the music stopping every 20 seconds. I get all ready to talk and it is a just a message thanking me for my patience and I am 463rd in the queue. I know I'm in the queue, don't keep telling me, I'm probably reading mn on my laptop catching up with important emails while I wait.

user1471521456 Fri 21-Oct-16 08:01:42

If you are getting a real person to do the message, think about things like accent and how clearly they speak, rather than their status in the company. It is probably worth getting a few people to listen to your message, particularly more elderly people and make sure it is clear to people whose hearing is not as good as it once was.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 21-Oct-16 08:08:55

If you can put the message on a rolling repeat. I hate listening to nine options in the hope that one will be more relevant and then forgetting what the next most relevant one is. Using the hotel analogy if I had a complaint about my booking I might think that I would speak to the customer care team, only to get through the options (assuming that #4 wasn't an option) and comclude that out of bedrooms, events and fitness that bedrooms was the most relevant but I might not remember which one that was so have to ring again on the ones where it just goes quiet, particularly the ones which then say 'we are waiting for your answer, please press the number you require now.' I would if I knew which of nine options it was.

I also like it if I can press the button without listening to all of the options. For work there is one button for students and one for staff leading into different menu options. I don't need the 'Welcome to X, in order to process your call etc etc message I want to press my staff button as soon as the message kicks in so that I can go into my menu. For people who ring frequently it is useful if they can go straight to number 9 without listening to the other 8 options.

I think that the MD might be nice depending on how clear their voice is and also whether there is any customer recognition of their voice. For my bank say I have no idea what the chief exec sounds like so there would be no value to it and I would probably rather they concentrated on running the bank than recording telephone messages. If you were say a medium manufacturing company and the MD will have met all the clients at some point and so his/ her voice is familiar then that is a nice touch.

Rubberduckies Fri 21-Oct-16 08:08:59

The thing I hate the most is if you choose something like option 3 for 'have a question about when your order will be delivered?' And you get an automatic message telling you to go online to check, and then the call is ended with no further options.

mckenzie Fri 21-Oct-16 15:40:01

Thank you SO much for your thoughts on this. It's really helpful.

We don't have zillions of options and each option on offer, which you can choose at any time, will put you through to a human as opposed to another set of options.

how would you feel about this?

"Hello, this is Fred Smith, managing director of The Shop.
I know these recordings can be frustrating so let's make this quick. chose option 1 for X, option 2 for Y, option 3 for Z. Thank you"

shouldwestayorshouldwego Fri 21-Oct-16 16:41:54

I personally wouldn't put the idea of frustration into their heads.
I might say instead 'in order to help you as quickly as possible please choose option 1....etc

mckenzie Fri 21-Oct-16 18:02:55

Good thinking

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