How to Get Started With Custom Auto Attendant Recordings
While it may seem like a small detail, setting up professional voice recordings for your telephone systems announcements can help you win and keep customers. By presenting a clear, welcoming message containing relevant information about your business, you are showing callers that you value their time. If your recording is vague, confusing, or drags on, customers will lose interest and hang up the phone.
Below, are some helpful tips and best practices you can employ when it comes to your phone system auto attendant announcements.
Clearly, having an auto-attendant has become a requirement to any active business. It answers rain or shine, daytime or nighttime without fail. But, it’s also important to “design” your auto-attendant greetings right, and give it a professional voice so your callers have the clearest understanding of their options and the information you provide to have the experience possible.
Designing the Script Copy for Your Recordings.
When you hire a professional audio recording service for your auto attendant, often times they have a creative team to help design the script copy, but if you’re left to handle it on your own, here’s a few helpful tips:
Avoid Unnecessary Phrases
Don’t say, “Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed.” One of our long time customers has had this phrase on their auto-attendant for 15 years, and the options haven’t changed. Regular callers will know this, and you may leave them wondering: “if you don’t care enough to change your recording, will you really care about their needs?” Never mind the frustration of hearing that every single time they call.
Be sure to include options that the majority of callers will need to reach, and leave be sure to include both a “0” option if applicable to reach a receptionist, and an option on repeating the greeting to ensure they choose the right person or department from your menu options.
Here’s an example:
“Thank you for calling ABC Insurance. For appointments press 1, for claims press 2, for a dial by name directory press 3, for our hours and office location press 4, to make a payment press 5, to repeat these options, press 6 or to reach the receptionist, please press 0.”
Every message a caller hear is important, but especially if there’s no one available to take the call. If your business closes at a certain hour or no one works during the weekends, you should definitely create an after-hours message. An after hours announcement is a professional way to notify callers of important details, rather than making them wait for the call to failover to a voicemail box or other destination.
Also, when creating your after hours message, be sure to inform callers of your normal business hours, and that they have n fact reached outside of those operating hours. Nothing can be more frustrating for callers to reach a business after hours, and be forced to have to listen to the entire auto attendant recording before being told the office is closed or what the hours are.
The bottom line – make sure your auto-attendant script is succinct and to the point. Give as few options as possible so that the caller can reach a human easily. If you fill the need to give the caller a long list of options, use sub-menus and keep the main auto-attendant menu short.
Why You Must Have a Professional Sounding Recording?
While using an amateur actor or just an employee with a nice voice from within the organization may sound like a good way to save money, it can cause complications. Using different voices at different times keeps you from having a consistent tone and may actually confuse callers. Amateurs aren’t experienced at enunciating for maximum clarity, and there may be legal issues if the “actor” used leaves the company later. Besides, like everyone, most employees don’t want to be recorded and are scared of the microphone. Plus, who really has a “good” spot to record a message without background noise or more importantly, what is the honest likelihood a “you know”, “like…” or an “ahhh” won’t slip in? Even professional voice talents do multiple recording takes and audio engineers fix the final recordings.
How Do You Get the Recording Onto Your Phone System?
While your VOIP system allows you to upload audio files for custom greetings, one thing most providers fail to tell their customers are the required file type needed. Different providers support different file formats. This is not something the average consumer is going to know about, and as a result can often become frustrating when they try create files that are too large in size or are the wrong format and get rejected by the system.
In order to help you determine what you need, we have listed below the more common file types below:
- PCM – (pulse code modulation) refers to an uncompressed .wav file
- U-Law – (also known as mu-law) and A-Law are special compression schemes
- ADPCM – (adaptive pulse code modulation) differs from PCM, in that the PCM .wav files are stored using linear samples, while ADPCM uses deltas between samples.
- G711 – is a type of U-Law or A-Law
- MP3 – is not frequently supported, but can be used on some provider platforms.
If the quality of the voice recordings used on the phone system is poor, it lowers the customer’s perceived value of your service and product. When callers hear a polished, professional voice on the other end of the phone it adds to the impression that they are dealing with a professional company. If clients look (and sound) better because of their phone system, it improves their overall impression of brand.