Small businesses using the right auto attendant/IVR can sound like a bigger company. Small should mean professional. With 21st century technology, it's possible for a small company to present itself just as professionally as a mega-corporation.
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a telephone technology that permits a computer to interact with humans -- your customers, in this case -- through the use of voice and DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency signaling) tones input through the keypad. IVR uses voice prompts to provide callers with instructions and directions for accessing information via phone, or to gather information (for example, in a survey). This saves you money on staffing.
What's the first thing your customer hears? They hear the voice prompts on your auto attendant/IVR. It's important that what they hear is professional, clearly enunciated, and helpful. Just as your receptionist is your company's ambassador to the world, so your IVR creates the first impression for a customer on the telephone. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
To reduce call abandonment, the auto attendant must be easy to understand. The words should be clearly spoken. The auto attendant must provide necessary information easily, without making your clients feel they've gone through a labyrinth just to find out which department to speak to in order to answer a simple question. Frequently asked questions should be anticipated and have answers prepared and ready.