There’s a well-told adage that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Whether it means walking into a client meeting dressed professionally or having a website that compels prospects to take the next step, how you present your business can literally make or break a sale. We’re taught that people form opinions of us in a few moments, and that we should be ready to show our best at all times, because if you blow a first impression you’ll likely never regain footing. On both sides of an exchange, we’re advised to trust our guts as our intuitions are telling us something important.
In our society, we put a great amount of energy into helping people form good first impressions, from crafting perfect elevator pitches to touting the importance of a firm handshake. But what about your company’s telephone auto attendant? These days just about every business uses and automated phone attendant, and it’s often the first thing callers hear when they dial your business. So, what do your auto attendant recordings say about your brand’s first impression?
Avoid Sounding Amateur at All Costs.
Let’s face it, impressions matter. Whatever your industry, prospective customers are constantly sizing you up to get to the core of what you’re really about. Your auto attendant greeting will tell customers how serious you are about your brand, and how serious you are about them.
For this reason (among many others), we highly recommend hiring a professional for your telephone recordings and never do it yourself. Taking a DIY approach to recording your phone systems’ auto attendant greetings may be enticing because it’s cheaper than hiring a pro, but do you really want the first impression of your brand to sound cheap? What you may save in an initial investment, may be costing you more in lost business due to poor customer experiences!
Voice artists are professionals, and when businesses opt for the DIY approach, one of the many problems that occur is that an amateur speaks too quickly or too slowly. Additionally, background noise, microphone feedback, breathing sounds, and more can seriously diminish the quality of a recording, your brand impression and customer experience.
Design Your Auto Attendant to Help Callers, Not Annoy Them.
Think about all the times you’ve called a business or a bank and had to go through the menu’s monotony. Nobody wants to make their phone menus tedious and uninspiring, but it’s a fate many succumb to. The recordings could make the difference between a customer getting through or leaving a message, or giving up and hanging up. Your recordings need to guide the caller with clear instructions, and even more importantly, make sure they’re not frustrated by the process.
Of course, you want callers to be able to reach the person they are dialing. Yet, from their perspective, it can be downright irritating having to listen to a long list of options. For most businesses, there is no need to have a complex web of options and extensions. A single level with a few extensions is a smart auto attendant design strategy. Your menu of options also needs to be logical. The most requested options should come first, e.g. “press 1 for customer service, press 2 for sales, press 3 for billing. Every effort should be made to limit the number of options.
After Hours, Emergency & Holiday Auto Attendant Recordings.
If your business closes after a certain time or on the weekends and there is nobody to answer or assist your callers, be sure to create an after-hours automated attendant greeting. Tell your callers up front that the business is closed and ask them to call back at the end. Also, be sure to include your normal hours of operation.
If your business is closed for holidays, or due to inclement weather, be sure to change the auto attendant recordings to inform callers of such and when you will reopen for business. Nothing can tick off a customer who calls, and gets incorrect business information.
When you consider the cost associated with obtaining new customers and retaining them, shouldn’t this vital touch point be
If your auto attendant menu is confusing, overly verbose, or amateur-sounding, you’ll give callers a reason to take their business elsewhere. In fact, according to an independent survey completed by Software Advice, 42% of customers say they’ll take their business elsewhere if they have trouble using a company’s phone directory.
Your auto-attendant is a valuable, image-promoting tool that will support your callers’ needs if it is optimized effectively. Are you ready to create positive first impressions with professional recordings for your phone systems auto attendant? Contact Original On Hold today to speak with an audio branding specialist.