Setting up a non-annoying VoIP Answering Service

VoIP Automated Answering

This is what you don’t want.

We all know what it’s like to call a major company, swim through a laundry list of menu options, and get hung up on 20 minutes later by a cheerful automated voice saying, “Thank you for calling! Good bye!” It’s the kind of experience that makes you want to shriek like there is no tomorrow. In the interest of your customers’ vocal (and mental) health, you want to make sure that your answering system is set up in a way that will not lead to such misery.

Luckily, VoIP providers have all the tools you need to provide your customers with a positive calling experience. Here are a few ways you set up a downright pleasant VoIP answering service.

What’s On The Menu?

Before you even begin, decide what departments and options need to be included in your answering system. If you are a larger company, it may not be a bad idea to direct callers to specific departments. If you are a small startup with one or two employees and everyone sort of handles everything, you may not need to do this.

You can also include options like these:

Extensions: These are for people who want to reach a particular person. These can be based on codes (*123) or on last names (based on the letters that correspond to the numbers on a phone).Informative Messages: If people frequently call in asking the same questions, like your office hours you can create a menu option that will direct them to that information. Some VoIP providers even allow automated phone systems to send informative emails or faxes to customers on request.

The Voice of Your Company

You will probably want to record a personalized greeting and various menu options for your company. You can choose to hire a specialist to do this (some VoIP providers have this option), or simply delegate it to an employee with a pleasant, clear speaking voice. Be sure whoever is recording the greeting is in a quiet place and is equipped with a script.

The Golden Rule:
The golden rule of automated menus is not to annoy the customer. There are various ways to avoid this common pitfall, but they mostly revolve around keeping things simple and short.The Greeting: “Thank you for calling Monkeys R Us” is plenty. Do not list your business hours or other announcements here; callers probably need to talk to someone and don’t want to sit there listening to an advertisement.

The Menu: Only include departments that customers frequently need to contact. The shorter the menu can be while still giving customers the information they need, the better. Always include the option of pressing ‘0’ to speak to a representative so customers can get to a human if they need to.

Information: If your VoIP provider allows you to ask customers for information, like names or account numbers, keep these requests minimal. As far as account numbers are concerned, make sure there is a bypass in case a customer does not have that information available (or can’t seem to type it into the phone correctly).

Voicemail: Even if your office is closed, always give the customer the option of leaving a message.

As long as you follow these guidelines, you should be able to create a successful VoIP answering service that will leave your customers refreshingly un-annoyed. Just be sure not to choose at 30-second loop of “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt as your hold music and you are good to go.

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