It’s easy to take them for granted, but business communication tools like auto attendants and voicemail play an important role in presenting a polished image of your business to the outside world, no different than any other outward-facing facet of your company. Impressions matter, and just as you wouldn’t invite guests to your organization without ensuring your office looks clean and presentable, you shouldn’t undercut the importance of proper auto attendant and voicemail etiquette.

Fortunately, business phone etiquette best practices are not hard to follow. A few simple guidelines are all you need.

1. Create a seamless experience with your auto attendant

An auto attendant is an important part of modern business communication, allowing your callers to reach your employees and get the information they need without requiring staff to answer phones. They are often a clients’ first point of contact with your business and as such, must be organized properly, simple to navigate and easy to understand.

2. Consider using a professional recording service

Put your company’s best “voice” forward by having your auto attendant greetings professionally recorded for superior clarity and quality. You’ll be surprised at how cost-effective this option can be. Listen to one of Sunco’s professionally recorded greetings.

 3. Provide valuable information and test your auto attendant

Your auto attendant should provide the following information with as few button presses as possible:

  • Your company name and slogan.
  • Your business hours, including any special holiday hours.
  • A concise, but brief, overview of menu options. Callers should know where to go without getting bogged down with irrelevant details.
  • For your night greeting, be sure to include after-hours contact information if applicable to your business.

You’ll also want to thoroughly test your auto attendant’s menus and submenus, ensuring inputs lead callers where they need to go and voicemail boxes are playing their appropriate greetings.

4. Include music and advertising while customers are on hold

Being on hold can be frustrating, but custom hold music is a unique way to put your callers at ease. Also, consider recording advertising snippets that play while the caller is on hold – a great way to promote your products and services to a captive audience. Sunco can recommend companies that specialize in professional recordings and hold music. Listen to an example of custom hold music and an advertising snippet.

5.  Ensure employee voicemail greetings are clear and helpful

Prepare a script for your personal voicemail greeting and speak clearly, slowly and with confidence. You will want to include:

  • Your name, department and company name
  • A reason the call was not answered by a live person
  • The turnaround time for when the caller can expect a callback
  • Depending on your business, you may opt to include the current date, though this would require re-recording greetings every day

6. Record out of office alerts

When you’re out of the office for an extended period of time, change your voicemail greeting to ensure customers are taken care of during your absence. You’ll need to supply additional information such as:

  • Why you’re out of office
  • When you’ll be back
  • What alternate staff can help in the interim (names, contact numbers, email addresses, websites, etc.)

Remember to re-record your voicemail greeting when you return! It’s common to forget, and you don’t want your customers thinking you’re still gone.

Good impressions count and have a proven impact on a business’ bottom line.

7. Answer the phone professionally

Of course, when you or your staff are actually answering calls, you should do so in a professional and courteous manner. Your business name should always be mentioned, and if appropriate, your slogan. A good rule of thumb? Speak slowly. This rule also applies when leaving a message for a colleague or client. Slowly reciting your name and contact number prevents the caller from having to scramble to write down the number or being forced to replay the message.

Training your staff, and yourself, to present professionally on the phone means leaving a positive impression with both current and potential clients. Good impressions count and have a proven impact on a business’ bottom line.

8. Get the right business phone system

Managing your organization’s auto attendant and voicemail systems are much easier with a modern business phone system. An on-premise or cloud-hosted VoIP telephone system can meet and simplify your business’ telecom needs!

Sunco’s passion is making business communication easier for you. We’ve been doing this for a while, so give us a shout! Our team can find a solution that modernizes your business phone system and saves you money, freeing up your time so you can focus on your business — voicemail and all.

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