Tips for Writing Your Auto Attendant Script
Planning and Writing Out Your Script
What do your callers hear when they call your company? An Auto Attendant greeting is often their first point of contact with your business. Auto attendants can serve as a back up to a live receptionist, or can facilitate the transfer of calls without the need for a human operator. An engaging and well-crafted recording can strengthen your company’s image as a professional and successful business. So, it’s important to take time to carefully plan out and write down your menu script.
Planning your auto attendant
- Identify the calls you want to go to the Auto Attendant. Should all calls go there, or just those that your live receptionist can’t answer?
- Decide what menu options callers will have. Will one menu work, or will you need a sub-menus?
- Determine where to route calls. What should happen to a call if the person or group can’t answer?
- Write menu script. Do you need multiple language support?
- Invalid/no input option should be set to an operator.
Tips for drafting an effective script
- Be brief and professional.
- Begin your recording with a welcome greeting—Thank you for calling XYZ Company.
- Inform callers that they may dial their party’s extension at any time.
- Clearly state all options available to your callers and let them know that they can make a choice at any time.
- Try to limit your menus to 5-6 options. More than that, it will become difficult for callers to remember. If you need additional options, consider using submenus.
- Present the most important options at the beginning.
- When announcing the options, state the option first and then state the corresponding key number. Example: For Shipping, press 1.
- Avoid saying please before every menu choice. This sounds repetitive. Example: For Sales, please press 1. For Support, please press 2…
- Let your callers know upfront if your menu options have changed recently.
- Reserve the use of the zero key for being transferred to an operator or receptionist.
- Have another person review your script.
- Give the customer the option to repeat menu options
- If you are in a sub-menu, give the customer the option to repeat the current menu or go back to the previous menu.
Script example for business hours
Thank you for calling XYZ Company, maker of the world’s best widgets.
If you know your party’s extension, you may enter it at any time.
Menu tips for after hours
You can create an After Hours menu to inform callers that your business is closed and offer different call routing options than your Business Hours menu. If you use the After Hours option, follow these tips:
- Keep Business Hours and After Hours menu options consistent. If you use Key 2 for Sales on your Business Hours menu, reserve Key 2 for Sales on your After Hours menu. If you don’t want Sales as an option on your After Hours menu, skip using Key 2 on that menu.
- Tell your callers up front that the business is closed.
- Ask callers to call back at the end of your message.
- Include your normal hours of operation.
Tips for Recording Your Auto Attendant Menu
Record it professionally or do it yourself? An Auto Attendant greeting is often the first impression callers have of your company. An engaging and well-crafted recording can strengthen your company’s image as a professional and successful business.
Consider a professionally-recorded greeting if you
- Feel shy about recording your own voice
- Have a heavy accent that might be difficult for callers to understand
- Want to add background music to your recording; a professional service ensures that the music volume is not competing with the vocals
- Want to maintain a unified vocal image for your company by using the same voice talent for voicemail greetings, messages on hold, company presentations, marketing promotions, and other business communications
- Would you like a specific accent, language, or gender, like British, American, French, Spanish, Male or Female
- Are budgeted to allow for this additional expense
Tips for doing it yourself
- Find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Excessive background noise will be distracting and sound unprofessional.
- Recordings can be done with a computer with a microphone or even with a smartphone application like Voice Record Pro (Free) for IOS devices.
- Practice reading your script out loud. Often, your script will sound different out loud than when you read it in your head.
- Speak calmly and professionally. Use your own voice and personality. Avoid the temptation of going into radio-broadcaster mode.
- Smile while speaking. You will be amazed at how a smile will come through in your recording.
- Take your time while you’re recording. Speak just a little bit slower than you think you need to.
- Play back the recording and re-record until you are completely satisfied.
A tip for editing the audio file
Sometimes, you will have an audio file that is not in the correct format. The correct format for these files is listed within the application you are using. If the file that you have is not in the correct format, the application will not allow you to put it in place. When this happens, you will need to edit the file using a program like Audacity, which can be downloaded here: https://www.audacityteam.org/
This guide will walk you through what changes must be made to make the audio file compatible.
1) Once Audacity is downloaded and running, you will see a screen like this.
2) Go to File > Open and select the file you wish to edit. The screen will then change to something like this.
3) To make the required changes, you must open the drop-down menu next to the file name as seen here.
4) On this drop-down, ensure that Mono is selected and the Set Sample Format field has 16-bit PCM selected. Changing the rate will alter the speed of the recording and should not be an issue. If it is, you will likely need to re-record the greeting using our voicemail greeting recording option on our AAs.
5) Once the file is in the correct format, save the file with the new format. This is done in the File menu by selecting Export Audio, as seen here.
6) Update the file name when saving to avoid confusion. You are not able to upload it to your AA.