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Are you damaging your brand? What not to do when setting up your company’s phone greetings.

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Image is everything and most companies invest a great deal of time and effort defining their brand, communicating their value and giving the company a personality.

Why so many needlessly mess it up with a terrible experience when someone calls, I have no idea.  Automated greetings are a fact of life for most organizations, but there is no reason that they can’t be implemented in a way that is helpful to callers and consistent with the brand identity.  It’s pretty easy.  Just don’t make these mistakes.

Don’t have too many menus or too many choices on each one

When calling a business we all expect to be greeted by an automated system and asked to make a selection to direct our call.  That’s ok.  What’s not ok is a menu with 25 confusing choices, or worse yet, an endless chain of menus with no hope of a human on the end.   Give your callers three or four choices (“press 1 for Sales, 2 for Service ….”) and that’s it.  Then get them to a person.

Don’t ask callers to enter information and then ask them for the same information again when someone picks up

That’s just rude.  If your phone system isn't tied to the business systems your sales and service agents are using you will frustrate customers and staff alike.  The best approach is to integrate the phone system and the agent tool, usually a CRM, to provide a screen pop when someone calls.  The representative will have information about the caller at their fingertips and the caller won’t have to enter any information at all.  That’s good service.

Don’t have an employee record your greetings

I know, she’s a theater major.  Doesn’t matter.  The quality and tone of the voice who answers your phone is very important to how callers will perceive your brand.  This is a job best left to a professional.  Besides, employees quit, move, call in sick, etc.   You want a consistent voice across all of your greetings and one that will be available to make updates and changes as needed.  This doesn’t have to be an expensive or painful process.  We use and recommend Snap Recordings.  They offer a choice of packages to meet the needs of any size businesses.  Prices start at just $50.00 and the process is quick and painless.  (They have optimized an audio format specifically for customers of ShoreTel Sky.)

Your phone greetings are an important element of your company’s image.  They can absolutely impact your caller’s experience with your brand.  Finding out if you are making any of these mistakes is as easy as dialing your own number.  Getting it right isn’t difficult, but it is important.

What greeting mistakes make you crazy when you call a company?