your Auto Attendant User-Friendly?#
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"Thank you for calling Main Resource. To monitor quality, your call may be recorded.
To speed the processing of your call, please choose from one of the following
options: You may dial your party's extension number at any time. To use our
spell by name directory, press pound............."
If your company uses an automated attendant that sounds like this, it is important
to make sure that the system is easy to use and that people can easily reach
the party they wish to talk to. If your system is difficult to use and leaves
a caller frustrated that indicates that your company itself will be difficult
to deal with. You will want to consider three types of people when reviewing
your auto attendant: people who call you regularly and want to be able to move
through your system quickly, people who are used to other auto attendants and
assume they all work the same, and people who are not used to auto attendants.
Try out your system (during the day and again after hours), testing it from
the perspective of all three "types" of callers. First of all, check to see
if those calling in who know your system and the extension they are trying to
reach can dial without having to wait for the entire announcement to play. Call
in to your system and enter an individual extension immediately. Call in again
and enter the number for a hunt group ("press 1 for sales"). Do you have an
extension that provides a recorded message that will give callers your fax number,
address, directions, etc? Are the departments with the highest call volumes
listed first in the menu?
Next, make sure the "0" key gets callers to a live attendant immediately. Some
people will not use your auto attendant no matter how easy it is to use. Also,
try not following the instructions properly. What happens if you enter too few
numbers in the directory or do nothing at all? Your system should send you to
the live attendant. It should not hang up on you!
Are any critical instructions left to the end of the announcement? For example,
if your system requires callers to press the "#" key after making a selection,
make sure that requirement is stated in the beginning of the announcement. Try
entering an extension number without pressing the "#" sign.
Test the company directory. If you have an option to hear the names of all
the people in the company, are the most frequently called people listed first.
In a "dial by name directory, the system may direct you to enter the first 4
letters of the person's last name (dial by first name directories are confusing).
What happens if a caller enters more than 4 digits? More advanced systems will
use the additional numbers entered to narrow your selection. Let callers know
what to do in order to make a selection from the directory. Do they have to
press the extension number or the "#" sign, or will the system dial it for them
If your company employs two or more persons with the same last name, put the
name of the most frequently called person first in the list. If you include
your extension number when you record your name for your mailbox, the when the
selection is made callers can record it for future reference. Another note about
mailbox administration: be sure you password protect your mailbox, or you may
find that someone has changed all your greetings to offensive messages!
It is likely that in the process of your investigations you will find other
features of your auto attendant that need a little fine-tuning. Keep good notes
so you can review your findings with the system administrator or the company
that provides your service.
# Instructions provided herein will not work
on all configurations. Some features may require additional hardware or specific
Please Note: If you need more information than is supplied here,
we will be happy to assist you by telephone at 800-397-8417 (speak with sales) for a nominal fee of $45 for