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VoIP Guide: Creating Your Greeting (Also known as IVR or Auto-Attendant)

Reading Time: 5 Minutes
Reading Time: 5 min

Should You Have a Greeting?

Many small businesses thrive on the premise of excellent, personal customer service. B1 Communications is one of them. Our philosophy around excellent service is vital to our success. If your business shares that philosophy, you may be concerned that a greeting will somehow ruin that personal touch with your customers. It’s a common fear among business owners. We’ve all called large corporations and gotten stuck in an ‘auto-attendant nightmare‘ with layer upon layer of options that never connect you to a person. It feels like the company designed their auto-attendant to keep you away from contacting a person. As such, auto-attendants can have an awful reputation associated with bad customer service and long hold times.

With that said, it’s not the only option available. We believe a clear greeting with simple options actually enhances the customer experience. Representing your brand, culture, and approach to service. It actually creates a consistent experience that enhances trust, warmth, and rapport with customers.

We recommend that all businesses should have a professional greeting that warmly introduces your company to customers, prospects, and vendors alike.

Greeting Features & Routing Options

Beyond a soothing confident voice, there are a number of features and routing options available to your small business with related to your greeting. Here are a few VoIP Features that are included in our VoIP business plans. These are all included with your monthly plan and don’t cost anything to be setup, updated or maintained.

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Department Routing

The most common feature of our auto-attendant is department based routing. This can be very straight forward with 2-3 options, or can include multiple tiers of options based on the size, and complexity of your business. Callers will be directed to specific phones based on their selection. It sounds like this: “For sales, press 1, customer service, press 2, etc.

 

Extension Routing

Another common feature is staff extensions. Each phone is assigned an extension number (for example 502 or 1001) We can either use your old phone systems extension number, or setup new extension numbers. This sounds like: “If you know the extension of the person you wish to speak with, you may dial it now.” or for smaller businesses we can do something like: “For John Mackenzie, press 1, for Sara Becker press 2, etc”

 

Dial By Name Directory

This is a great way for customers to find people within your organization. After entering the dial by name directory, customers can dial the first 3 letters for the first or last name of anyone in your organization.

 

Open/Close Schedule

We can setup an automatic schedule based on days/hours, or we can give you a manual button to open or close your office. Customers will be given an alternative greeting. For instance “Thank you for calling Acme Corporation, our office is now closed. For our address and hours, press 1, to leave a message for our team, press 2”

 

Emergency After-hours Service

If you operate a business like plumbing, dental office, or another business with 24/7 emergency support we have the perfect solution. Customers will be presented options to leave a message to be returned the following day, or connect to your after hours emergency support. Our system will call your mobile number, and if you don’t answer, we can call an alternative phone number until someone from your team answers it.

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Select The Voice For Your Greeting

Your auto-attendant greeting will be heard by every single customer, vendor, and supplier. As such, it’s important that you find a voice that matches your brand. Are you a young, playful business, or are you a serious, authoritative business? Do you want a male, or female voice? Young, or old?

B1 Communications offers customers a few options when choosing a voice.

  1. We have a team member with a radio voice who can do a fantastic job free of charge.
  2. We have an array of voiceover talent that we can access for approx. $100.00
  3. You can record the greeting yourself, or have one of your team members do it.

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Sample Auto-Attendant Scripts

Here is our 5 Script Rules

  1. Short is always better. You should never have more than a sentence or two for each section of the greeting. If you need a further detailed explanation we recommend creating a separate layer. For instance, if you would like to provide your hours of operation and address we suggest doing it in the following manner. “For our office hours and location, press 1.” Then upon pressing 1, customers will hear the detailed version “Our office is located at 1234 fir street, Vancouver. We are open, Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
  2. Read your script out-loud and cut out any extra words or items not required.
  3. Prioritize departments. For instance, you should start with sales, or customer service first, followed by other departments like shipping, billing, hr, accounting, etc.
  4. Did we mention to keep it short? After you’ve written your script, reduce it’s size and cut out unnecessary items.

 

Simple Small Business Sample:

Thank you for calling acme inc.

Please stay on the line as we connect your call.

 

Standard Small Business Sample:

Open Greeting

Thank you for calling acme inc. Vancouver’s leader in widget manufacturing.

For customer care, press 1

For sales, press 2

For billing, press 3

For all other inquiries press zero.

Closed Greeting

Thank you for calling acme inc. Vancouver’s leader in widget manufacturing.

Our office is currently closed. We are open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

If you would like to leave a message, stay on the line.

Otherwise you can visit our website at acme.com for further information.

 

Medium Business Sample:

Open Greeting

Thank you for calling acme inc. Vancouver’s leader in widget manufacturing.

If you know your parties extension you may dial it now.

For customer care, press 1

Sales, press 2

Billing, press 3

For a dial by name directory, press 8

Closed Greeting

Thank you for calling acme inc. Vancouver’s leader in widget manufacturing.

Our office is now closed. We are open Monday to Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

If you would like to leave a message, stay on the line.

Otherwise you can visit our website at acme.com for further information.

 

Emergency after-hours sample script:

Thank you for calling Vancouver Plumbers. You’ve reached our after hours emergency line. If you would like to leave a non-urgent message to be returned the next business day, press 1.

If you have a plumbing emergency, press 2.

Our after-hour rates begin at $275 per call. If you would like to proceed, press 1. Otherwise stay on the line and leave a message to be returned the following business day.

 

We are here to help!

Our team of business telephone experts are here to help. If you are overwhelmed in your script writing or not sure the best strategy for your business. We are happy to help you with suggestions, script ideas and strategy. Contact your account executive to get assistance today.

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