The Forgotten Detail: Is Your Phone System Sending the Right Message to Clients?

“Please listen carefully because our menu options have recently changed…

Hello and thank you for calling Widget Company, the nation’s leading provider of widgets – rated #1 in the widget industry for over two years! We love our customers. You can count on Widget Company to provide the best widgets at the best prices for the best results because we’re the best! For the very best widgets that money can buy, try our premium widget line – designed for customers like you who don’t have time for slow widgets. Please select from the following options. For sales, dial 1. For technical support, dial 2. For custom solutions, dial 3…”

phone dialingEleven minutes later.

“For returns, dial 329. And for all other questions or to speak to a representative, dial 253872.”


“To speak with a customer service representative, dial 1. To speak with shipping, dial 2. To speak with…”


“Thank you. We’ll be with you shortly.”

Silence. Click. Dropped call tone.

If the above encounter was your experience with a company’s automated phone system, would you want to work with that company again? Didn’t think so. If your company currently utilizes an automated phone system, this article is for you. Auto-answering systems can work for you in big ways and work against you in even bigger ways. Read on to learn how to do it right.

Automated phone answering systems, or auto-attendants, play an important role in serving customers who choose to call companies, rather than seeking help through a web-based platform or in person. A well-designed phone system can save companies money and retain customers, among many other benefits. However, a poorly designed phone system that’s fraught with complexities and dead-ends may not just alienate customers, it could create a public relations nightmare for unwary organizations.

Top Three Ways to Setup Your Automated Phone Answering System

1.Keep it simple.

It’s easy for businesses to get sucked into creating an overly complex auto-attendant phone answering and routing system. Do you really need that sub-menu? Most of your customers will be willing to navigate through one, two, maybe three menu selections. Beyond that, you risk creating frustrated customers who just want solutions.

2. Avoid voicemail.

Most customers would rather wait longer to speak to a human than to leave a message in a general voicemail box. Call it a matter of trust, impatience, or both – voicemail doesn’t address issues, and that’s usually why customers call companies. You can serve your customers well by providing immediate access to actual people, not a return phone call sometime in the next 48 hours.

3. Get real, real quick.

If a customer is calling your company, it’s safe to assume that the customer has two needs that must be met.

  • The customer probably can’t find a solution to their issue anywhere else or they don’t know how to effectively navigate your company’s website and they need a solution that, they believe, cannot be found anywhere else.
  • The customer would like to have their issue solved as quickly as possible by a knowledgeable human.

Your company is doing great if your auto-attendant addresses those needs. Routing customers through an auto-attendant system may work in your customers’ best interest, but be careful not to hide the option to speak to a real person. Also, make sure that the ‘dial 0’ option actually leads to a real person. If your customers are dragged along from one irrelevant menu to the next, or if the option to speak to a real person is not presented quickly, your customers may become grumpy.

Technically Speaking

A great time to update your auto-attendant phone answering and routing system is when your company updates its phone hardware or software. Many business phone and IT service companies can update your company with the latest, and most cost-effective, systems. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP phone systems are among the most popular phone systems in use by businesses today. A VoIP phone places and transmits telephone calls over an IP network, such as the Internet, instead of the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN). VoIP systems come in many varieties (and prices) suited for every business. They allow for maximum flexibility, including the ability to place and receive calls from a fixed or mobile phone. Most importantly, settings changes are generally very simple to implement across the entire system, which makes updating an auto-attendant system easier than ever.

Mike Best of Tech Support Jacksonville, a full-service IT service agency in Northeast Florida, said, “VoIP systems make it easier for businesses to put their customers first. They allow for instant changes, mobile readiness, and extreme customization.”

For most businesses, the combination of a streamlined VoIP system and a simple, customer-friendly auto-attendant system can increase retention of customers and employees, improve bottom lines, and just make business easier. For more information about choosing the right phone systems, contact Mike Best at Tech Support Jacksonville.


mike bestAbout Michael Best

Computers have been an interest of Mike’s ever since his dad took him aboard the USS Coral Sea where he worked with multi-million dollar mainframes in the avionics electronics department. The computers took up space in entire rooms, filled with diodes and reels. Mike later purchased a Timex Sinclair 1000 computer and taught himself programming, a hobby of his. His early interest in computers eventually led him to a successful career in hosting, programming, and computer services.

In 2003, Mike started MyGlobalHost, a web hosting and programming company in Jacksonville, FL. Due to great demand in IT services, Mike launched Tech Support Jacksonville in 2015. Tech Support Jacksonville helps small businesses and startups with a vast array of IT needs, including VoIP phone system installations and maintenance. Tech Support Jacksonville solves complex computer and phone problems for busy professionals, resulting in higher productivity and profits.

At work, Mike is passionate about solving complex problems for his clients. At home, you are likely to find him working in his garden and admiring God’s creation.

Michael Best


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