Making Your Automated Answering System Less Frustrating for Callers

We’ve all had a bad experience where you call a business, and you get so frustrated with the automated system that you either hang up or give a piece of your mind to the representative when you finally get a human being on the line.

To keep your customers happy, and to make things a little easier on customer service reps, you will want to apply some of the following suggestions.

Easy-to-Navigate Automated Menus

First of all, your caller shouldn’t have to go through menu after menu to get to what they need – a good rule of thumb is 3 menus at the max. If the system is that complicated, aggravation is sure to set in. No one wants to have to go back to the main menu after already selecting several options. Keep it simple.

Make a Human Accessible

The most frustrating thing about automated systems is when you finally find the option you want, and then get kicked over to voicemail because no one is there to take the call. If no one is available, make sure the customer doesn’t have to jump through hoops just to find that out.

Don’t Skip Around

Your phone system should never say press 1, press 3, press 7, etc. in no particular order. If there are three options, they should be 1, 2, and 3.

Offer a Callback

Especially if there are long wait times, offer customers a callback. It is more convenient than staying on hold for an hour. It can be especially frustrating for someone calling from a cell phone with limited minutes.

Don’t Change Options

Okay, every once in a while you may have to, especially if your old system was too complicated, but don’t change the options all the time. A frequent caller should be able to breeze through to where he wants to go.

Appropriate Volume

Your caller needs to be able to hear the messages on your automated system, but she shouldn’t have to hold the phone a foot away to keep from going deaf.

These may all seem like common sense, but every day many automated phone systems break several of these simple rules.

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