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too many choices

Too Many Choices


October 25, 2017

A recent call to inquire about a passport resulted in reaching an automated system that gave seven initial choices. SEVEN. It took a second call into the system just to figure out which number to select.

There are ten buttons on the phone; that does Not mean that all ten should be used to provide options.

At Focus, where messaging is our business, we recommend providing three choices when setting up your voice mail. Offering more options leads to confusion and may result in callers pushing the wrong buttons for their needs. Here is an example of a good voice mail recording that was designed for property management, but will work, in some variation, for all kinds of businesses:

“Thank you for calling West Village…

(Choice 1) …If you are calling to report a maintenance emergency, press 0, or stay on the line.”

(Choice 2) …If you need maintenance personnel to call before the office reopens, press 2 now.”

(Choice 3) …If you would like to leave a message for the office, to be returned by the next business day, press 3 now.”

Notice we put the emergency choice first; never make someone with an urgent situation wait through other announcements when time is of the essence. And never set up your voice mail system without an option for the caller to reach a person who can help them if all else is failing. These options protect your callers, your company, and your bottom line. Our answering service, Focus Telecommunications, can provide both a voice mail system, and voice mail with a live operator as back up, in case of emergencies.