Posted on January 16, 2019 by Casey Houser
When you’re getting started with your VirtualPBX Business Phone System, one of the first features you’ll want to configure is your Automated Attendant.
Today, we’ll try to make that task a little easier. You can use these auto attendant phone script examples for your small startup, medium-size business, or large enterprise.
We’ve broken down our scripts by business size. There are two scripts for each type – a formal and informal – and each one is free for you to modify.
Small Business Auto Attendant Phone Script Examples
Small businesses are unique in their needs. They often have fewer employees, less resources, and smaller storefront footprints than their counterparts.
A small business’s phone system, however, must be as robust as its resolve to conquer those challenges. An Automated Attendant, in particular, will need to route calls efficiently while conveying the capabilities of the business in question.
Your callers should get a sense of your size from the first second they reach your phone tree. This will set the stage for the personal interactions the caller should expect upon reaching one of your employees. Even if you run a small business by yourself, these two scripts are for you.
- Introduction: “Hi, this is Carla from the Main Street Bakery. I hope you’re having a great day.
“Our bakery is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 7. See our collection of cakes at beautiful 123 Main Street, or online any time at 123MainBakery.com.
“Press 1 for our main reception or 2 for special orders. We take custom orders for individuals and groups.”
This script allows the personalization of the business owner to shine. It favors a warm greeting and well-wishing over the technical details of the business-customer interaction. That said, the greeting is short so the hours, location, and phone tree options are presented quickly to the caller.
- Introduction: “You’ve reach the Main Street Bakery – open weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and online at 123MainBakery.com.
“Press 1 for reception or 2 for special orders. We take custom orders for individuals and groups.”
Here you can see the personalized greeting removed. Instead, the location and hours of the business are placed at the front. Callers receive the necessary information about the business’s hours and location so the can easily decide how to take action.
Medium-Size Business Scripts
Medium-size businesses occupy a space that requires the personal touch of a small outfit but the technical capability of an enterprise. They’re expected to have enough personnel and resources to quickly resolve customer concerns and promptly ship orders.
This requires that the medium-size player present itself as both a sensitive listener and an imposing market force. The automated attendant phone script examples shown below set the stage for that balancing act.
In your own business, take the time here to modify these examples so they clearly show your business’s capabilities. Extend the department list for as long as necessary – keeping in mind that customer patience with automated systems is limited. When menus take too long to list or contain more than five items, customers have been shown to take their business elsewhere because they’re too frustrated to continue.
- Introduction: “At Top of the Line Board Games, we’re happy to have your business.
“Visit our gaming store at 555 Gameway Blvd., from 7a to 7p, 7 days a week. Find games online at TopLineBoardGames.com.
“Dial 1 for the front desk; 2 for customer support; or 3 for manufacturing.”
“Thanks. And have a great day.”
This script, like all those you’ll see in this article, gets to the point. Although it does prioritize a welcoming introduction, it’s offers a short description of the location and hours. It also breaks down the company departments into three distinct groups.
The final send-off – “Have a great day.” – won’t interfere with the caller’s ability to make an informed choice. It bookends the professionalism suggested in the menu that displays a store front, customer support department, and manufacturing department.
- Introduction: “You’ve reached Top of the Line Board Games. Visit our 555 Gameway Blvd. location any day, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Or find us online at TopLineBoardGames.com.
“Dial 1 for the front desk; 2 for customer support; or 3 for manufacturing.
“Thank you for your business. We’ll speak with you soon.”
In this case, the friendly greeting is replaced by the name and details of the business’s operating hours. The menu is still short and clear. Then there’s room for the send-off at the close of the message.
With no fluff, the caller is ready to interact with the business in no greater than 20 seconds. They’re also reassured that they will soon speak to a business representative.
Enterprise Business Scripts
Enterprises, with their hundreds of employees and multiple national and global locations, get a reputation for being gruff. They’re all about the business and forgo personal interaction, right?
It doesn’t have to be that way. VirtualPBX enterprise features give large companies the ability to smoothly handle customer interactions. In addition, our succinct auto attendant phone script examples for enterprises show how even the largest of businesses can blend production capability and solid customer service.
Your enterprise will need to work hard to keep its auto attendant menu short. By presenting callers with only a few options, you’ll keep their attention. Furthermore, a concise menu leaves room for a friendly greeting as shown in our first example script below.
- Introduction: “Welcome to Global Metal Machining. We take pride in our custom materials and our customer service.
“Use the following list for information and to reach our departments. Dial 0, at any time, to reach an operator.
“Press 1 to place an order; 2 to check an order’s status; 3 for billing concerns; 4 for other customer service concerns; and 5 for locations and hours.
“Thank you for doing business with us.”
This script is a bit longer than our others for small and midsize businesses. Even so, it takes no longer than 20 seconds to speak.
Your automated attendant would present a light touch in this situation. The introduction welcomes visitors, which indicates your attitude toward doing business with them. You also briefly present your product in the opening sentence.
By clearly making an operator available at option 0, you’re saying that your door is always open. The menu items are also logically placed in order of importance. Your hours and website sit within a sub-menu, so callers aren’t bothered by those particulars which might be less important to a manufacturing company than to a food service or board gaming outfit.
- Introduction: “Welcome to Global Metal Machining.
“For information and to reach individual departments, use the following list. Dial 0, at any time, to reach an operator.
“Press 1 to place an order; 2 to check an order’s status; 3 for billing concerns; 4 for other customer service concerns; and 5 for locations and hours.
“Thank you for doing business with us.”
This script highlights one important change: the introduction. In our informal script above, the business states its product (custom metal materials) and its intention (high-quality customer service).
The formal iteration here takes away those elements; it dives directly into the menu. In doing so, it saves callers a few seconds, which can feel like forever in these types of situations.
Neither enterprise script here is right or wrong. They just offer different approaches to the same task. If you want more formality in your presentation, choose this script.
Notice that both these scripts include a “thank you.” There’s always room to be polite and thank your customer for their business.
Before adopting and revising one of these auto attendant phone script examples, take a few minutes to consider the needs of your business.
Do you prefer an informal or formal approach? How can you whittle down your listing of departments and menu options to five or fewer? Is it important, up front, to list your location, hours, and website?
These basic inquiries will help you pick an auto attendant script that’s right for you and your customers. One that’s easy to create, quick to hear, and simple to navigate.
Posted on January 10, 2019 by Casey Houser
Every employee in your office needs a virtual voicemail number.
With only a central voicemail box:
- Both your employees and customers will notice your lack of personalization
- You will experience a daily slowdown when sorting messages for individual departments
- Your professionalism will suffer on a personal and public front
Don’t let a single silo tarnish your image or your capability.
Let Your Personal Side Shine
When you set up a voicemail box for every employee in your care – like what’s possible with VirtualPBX Phone Plans – you give everyone, and every department, a unique outlet.
Customers who reach your automated attendant will want to dial “1” for Sales or “2” for Marketing to reach your experts at each level. When it’s after hours, those customers can leave detailed messages to individuals who know how to handle their concerns.
What would happen with a single company-wide voicemail box? Customers would hear a generalized message, such as the “we appreciate your business” cliche, and then immediately lose confidence that their words will be heard or addressed.
Speed Up Your Daily Customer Interactions
Those same messages would get lost in a sea of other unrelated concerns. Your department heads might only receive their messages second-hand. Worse, they might not receive them at all. In either case, the customers’ fears would be realized.
A secondary consequence of this situation is your lost time. Someone has to sort through your single inbox; that person may need to listen and transfer messages to an armful of departments.
This could eat up hours of their time, and it won’t improve the functioning of your operations. You’ll only spend too much time striving for a mediocre-at-best result.
Individual department heads can sift through their messages much more quickly. They will understand customers’ issues and can return calls or process order requests without first playing, ahem, the telephone game with a receptionist.
Boost Your Professionalism
The ultimate consequence of single voicemail number silo is that your professionalism suffers.
When you can’t offer customers reassurance that their messages are heard by an expert, you leave them with a bad interaction without even speaking to them in person.
When you can’t depend on your internal processes to inform department heads about important customer concerns, you erode those heads’ trust in the whole company structure.
Professionalism is both an external and internal business concern. Having a voicemail number for your central receptionist, your possibly-dozens of department heads, and anyone else with access to a phone gives everyone involved in your business operations the confidence you want to express.
Messages will reach their intended targets. Customers will – even after hours – have positive interactions with your brand. Employees will have important work naturally forwarded to them.
All Employees Need a Voicemail Number
Even the most junior employee will need to receive messages now and then. Give them, and their senior counterparts, confidence and capability in their positions.
Give them each a voicemail number they can quickly reach with a feature code. Then link your automated attendant to anyone you want customers to reach. It’s that easy.
Posted on January 8, 2019 by Casey Houser
Any voicemail service you use will perform the recording of messages in largely the same way: It will write readable information to a disk.
The services that differentiate themselves make those recordings accessible; they shine by providing businesses with flexibility in configuration options.
The extent to which you can find and hear your voicemail messages is a defining factor of a phone system. Make sure you can reach your voicemail from your desktop and mobile devices.
Messages Accessible From Any Device
Sometimes you work from your desk; at other times, your phone takes the lead role. No matter which device you’re using, messages will accumulate in your voicemail box.
A virtual voicemail service can be paired with a VoIP phone system to give you equal access to your voicemail from any device. Like you’ll get with VirtualPBX, you can use any device to listen to your messages.
If your current phone setup doesn’t let you reach a user’s voicemail box from a desk phone, softphone, and business smartphone, it isn’t matching the needs of the modern workforce.
In most cases, you access virtual voicemail from within the cloud. You just connect to a website or online service.
But what happens when that online service experiences an outage?
Make it a priority for your business phone system and voicemail to have an uptime of 99.999%. That final “9” isn’t boasting. It represents a significant reduction in average downtime that ensures you can reach your business assets.
Furthermore, it’s in your best interest to be capable of downloading your most important messages. Even in the most advanced voicemail systems, there are limitations in storage – such as VirtualPBX’s limit of 100 messages per box. Save your important files to your local hard drive or move them to your Google Drive for long-term keeping.
When you’re sure your voicemail service is easily found on any device and offers you download support, don’t stop there. Look into the configuration options within the service so you know you can set the system to your liking.
Multiple Voicemail Boxes
Have you ever been trapped in a virtual voicemail system that only offered a handful of boxes? Maybe you had twenty employees but only 5 boxes unless you paid an extra fee.
Voicemail providers make their mark in the options they include in your base phone package. Don’t settle for anything less than an unlimited number of voicemail boxes.
You need the capability of matching one box to every employee in your care. And you’d probably like a few extra for central departmental concerns. And then at least one more for your main business line.
When you set up a new box, you’ll need a friendly greeting.
You should prioritize the ability to make custom greetings. This is an included feature that VirtualPBX takes a lot of pride in. As they see fit, we want employees to record their own messages, upload recordings, or order professional recordings for use as their voicemail greetings.
A personalized greeting can be your first impression with a new customer. Make a good first impression by insisting that your voicemail lets you personalize your messages.
Does Your Voicemail Service Measure Up?
If your business phone system and virtual voicemail don’t let you easily access your messages and personalize your system configuration, there could be better options.
Don’t settle for anything less than an accessible, flexible voicemail service. And if you’re considering a switch, of course we hope you’ll take a look at what VirtualPBX has to offer.
Posted on December 20, 2018 by Casey Houser
If you or your employees use their personal phone numbers at work, it’s time to invest in a business phone number.
It’s not uncommon for new businesses to use personal mobile phones as workplace devices. This isn’t always bad. But work-life balance can be disrupted when personal numbers become your business numbers.
When your business has its own phone number, it opens up a world of options for yourself and your employees. You can utilize extensions to create a workplace network; your phone system can easily link employees in your network into meaningful subgroups; you can send all your contacts to voicemail when you need some hours to yourself. Our VirtualPBX business phone system can do all those things.
Let’s take a look at how you can make those examples a reality at your own small business.
Your Own Workplace Network
Virtual business phone systems, like ours at VirtualPBX, let you provide unique extensions to all your employees. You can create as many or as few as you like, and you can utilize a single main business phone number throughout.
Consider the number 555-1234. If that was your business’s phone number, you could attach an extension for yourself, 0001, and your chief operating officer, 0002.
Then you could be reached from an external line by first dialing 555-1234 and then entering x0001. Similarly, you could reach your COO at x0002, either by dialing the external number first or by simply using the x0002 extension from within the virtual phone network.
This network of extensions is easily accessible, no matter how many employees you add to your system. The web of desk phones and software-based phones you create gives every employee a place in your organization and a way to separate their personal numbers from workplace activities.
No longer will your phone “system” be a patchwork of individual mobile phones, inaccessible to each other through an internal link. And no longer will employees have to carry their work with them out of necessity, not choice.
The use of Ring Groups lets you further organize employee extensions into meaningful categories. It’s often easy to use departments as a guide for this task.
As a small business, you might have two people assigned to a marketing team, another three in sales, a few more in customer support, and a sprinkling of managers that oversee those departments. The use of Ring Groups lets you define those same categories in your virtual phone system dashboard.
From Auto Attendant to Department Groups
When you receive a call on your business phone number, the inbound caller will reach an Automated Attendant where they can press “1” to get to marketing, “2” to get to sales, and so on.
The Automated Attendant then accesses your Ring Groups to move the caller to the department they chose. In the marketing department, for instance, the inbound request could first ring the desk phone of Sherry, your department lead, for 10 seconds. Then it could begin ringing the softphone of Bob, the copywriter, for another 20 seconds.
You can have inbound calls ring one or more phones simultaneously, or in series, for as long as two minutes each.
Feel free to get creative and ring individuals by seniority (with the new hire first in line, of course). You could even rank them based on the number of times they brought in doughnuts for the whole office.
In any case, your organization here reinforces the workplace network as a business – not personal – entity.
Go to Voicemail
Even the most busy executive’s day will come to a close. At that point, it’s helpful to have a ready voicemail for all the communications you might have missed.
You and your employees can access their own Voicemail boxes to hear messages they missed during off-hours.
You can even set Holiday Hours in preparation for special events and set your business hours for when all calls can be routed to users’ voicemail boxes.
The proper use of voicemail is a powerful weapon against workplace burnout. It lets you save business concerns for the following day, giving you a much-needed escape from the grind of always being available.
The Utility of a Business Phone Number
All these aspects of a business phone system begin with your adoption of a dedicated workplace phone number.
Your business phone number funnels all your inbound and outbound call traffic through a central location. You can control how calls move within your phone system for improved flexibility and sanity as a group of employees.
Customers will appreciate the consistency and usability of your phone network. Meanwhile, you can appreciate the separation of workplace and personal concerns made possible by a phone number and virtual phone system that works always to your benefit.
Need some phones to attach to that new business phone number? Check out our Refurbished Phones and Hardware Sale taking place until Dec. 31.
Posted on December 18, 2018 by Casey Houser
You run a smart business. Your customer base in the U.S. is solid, so you’ve worked through tax regulations, pricing, and supply chain issues to expand your presence. All that’s left is international calling.
How will you reach new customers in Canada, Mexico, and beyond when your base is in the U.S.? How will your customers reach you?
With the right VoIP phone system, you can easily answer those questions and overcome the challenge of international calling. It doesn’t have to crush your dreams of expanding beyond your borders.
Inbound Calling: How Will Customers Reach You?
An excellent example for demonstrating the use of international calling is the travel agency. Let’s consider a travel agency that has a home office in Washington D.C. but offers deals for international hotel stays and local sightseeing to individuals in Canada, Mexico, and Germany.
Presence at Home, but Not Abroad
Immediately, you can see the problem. The travel agency’s base is in one location – D.C. – but that base isn’t in the countries where it offers travel packages. Callers in the U.S. might not have a hard time calling the D.C. office. However, customers already traveling would have a difficult (and expensive) time reaching the States.
International phone numbers disguise that disparity in locations because they act like local numbers for callers. The travel agency can, through VirtualPBX, order an international number to provide a number of benefits to its callers abroad.
Local Rates, Convenience
For inbound callers, the primary benefit of international numbers is that they pay local rates.
The U.S. citizen who traveled to Germany for two weeks won’t need to concern himself with connection charges or exorbitant per-minute rates if he needs to reach the travel agency during his stay.
Similarly, the German citizen looking for local deals to an up-country weekend tour can call into the D.C. office as if it’s right down the street. For the same rate as calling the downtown coffee shop, she can reach across thousands of miles of land and sea.
Callers will also find convenience in the inbound calling process. International travelers often have to make special arrangements to get a new cell phone or service so they can remain connected throughout their trips. If they can complete local calls, they can avoid the burden of dialing international calling codes while also sidestepping high calling rates.
Benefits for Businesses
International phone numbers from VirtualPBX are priced at a low monthly rate. Businesses can then accept as many international calls as their plans allow – from 1,000 minutes on our Basic Dash Plan to unlimited minutes on our Unlimited Dash Plan.
International numbers route directly to a business’s office. Features like Call Transferring and Ring Groups can then help their Automated Attendant or employees move inbound calls to any department or individual on their account.
Businesses then gain the peace of mind in knowing that anyone, in any country they serve, can contact them at a moment’s notice.
Businesses can also sign up for a VirtualPBX business phone plan to get low rates on international calls to other countries.
All our plans include free calling to Canada. To all other countries, including Mexico and the U.K., we have used our relationships with international carriers to keep rates low.
Unlimited VoIP Minutes
Businesses that have locations in multiple countries can also use our phone service to complete calls between system users for free.
For example, a business with offices in the U.S. and the U.K. can use a VirtualPBX plan to gain free calling between those locations. When users in the U.S. office want to reach their satellite in the U.K., they simply dial the U.K. user’s extension to complete the call.
Because that office-to-office call resides in the same calling network, we don’t charge any extra fee or any extra minutes to complete the connection.
How Can International Calling Benefit You?
You might not run a travel agency. But if you have offices in multiple countries or offer services abroad, international numbers could offer you many operational benefits.
Your customers will experience friction-free calling when trying to reach your office. Your employees can easily reach each other across borders, regardless of the miles between them. If you don’t already supply international number for your customers or link your offices through a global phone network, this is your call to switch.
Need some new phones for your office? You’re in luck. Our Refurbished Phones and Hardware Sale has discount prices on desk phones, computers, and telephony hardware that’s ready to ship. Sale ends Dec. 31st!