Revisited: Do Your Customers Hate Your Auto Attendant?

By November 19, 2018 No Comments

We published this article a year ago, and we figured it was worth revisiting!

Companies are constantly developing and updating auto attendant technology (in some cases infusing AI with contact centres), and so it’s time we get down to their likability, which is, like it or not, a major factor in customer company experience.

So what is an Auto Attendant? An Auto Attendant (also known as ACD – Automated Call Distribution), in most cases, refers to the system distributing calls throughout the office.

Auto Attendants have been around forever – so what does a new one look like? Well, this involves updating definitions based on shifting responsibilities, similar to how we’ve slowly gone from call centre to contact centre! You need to make room for new public faces of a business (such as social media). So, while “Auto Attendant” may occasionally encompass more responsibilities than we choose to discuss here, this information still remains extremely relevant, focusing on what remains the core of Auto Attendant capabilities and expectations.

5 Pieces of Advice:

  1. Narrow the scope of your ACD. An ACD that doesn’t work at all is nearly as bad as an ACD with far too many options. The real side effect of too many options is your actual live attendants become overwhelmed with the people unhappy with the system! Keep it simple, people. Four options at most on every deepening level.

  2. Quality, warm vocal recording. Rather than HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey speaking to your customers, try an HQ recording with a person. The drone of a computerized voice turns people off just as quickly as a messy system. It shows a lack of humanity. Make this a top priority!

  3. The option to speak to a human. I cannot stress this enough. It doesn’t matter how high quality your ACD is, customers like speaking to an actual person at least at some point during their call. Maintaining a live person as an option prevents your company from appearing like a faceless megacorporation that purely assigns numbers.

  4. Reduce how often the “hold” button is used, and for how long you keep customers on it. Sometimes it’s necessary; there are those times. But it’s common to abuse it and it can turn your customers against your company before any actual communication has even taken place! If you properly and effectively track hold times, you’ll see your company solving more problems – and gaining customers!

  5. No silence. No one likes to wait with nothing else in the background. Spend the few extra bucks and pay for a system that’s got music – even if your chocies are between pop elevator songs that sound like rejected Paul McCartney ideas, or actual Pat Metheny tracks – it’s better than static.

Experience Clever Telecom.

Digitcom has 26 years experience working with Ontario’s business community, helping to solve all their telephony challenges. If you are interested in running the most reliable phone system on the market, then contact us at 1-866-667-8357 or email us at sales@


Author Digitcom

More posts by Digitcom

Leave a Reply