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Auto-Attendant Recording Tips


Auto-Attendant Recording Tips


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I’ve been recording auto-attendant greetings for our customer’s phone systems for two decades and I’ve worked with countless customers to record their own greetings.  While it’s not a complicated process, there are a few tips you can use to make better sounding recordings. These are general tips for recording Auto-Attendant Greetings, ways to make your greeting sound better and more professional.

Write a Script

Always write out a script using your favorite word processor.  The script will make the initial recording much easier, and will make future changes much easier.

Make the script as short as possible.  Some people hate auto-attendants.  Most people accept them as a necessary evil.  No one likes them.  So, make your auto-attendant script succinct and to the point.  Give as few options as possible so that the caller can reach a human easily.  If you fill the need to give the caller a long list of options, use sub-menus and keep the main auto-attendant menu short.


Avoid Unnecessary Phrases

Don’t say, “Please listen carefully as our menu options have recently changed.”  One of our long time customers has had this phrase on their auto-attendant for 15 years, and the options haven’t changed. (They a contractor in the phone business (sigh).)  A regular caller will recognize the options have changed.  Someone who hasn’t called will not care.

Avoid saying things like, “we appreciate your call” or “your call is very important to us”.  Saying it doesn’t make it true and callers will only believe it when they are talking to an actual human being.

Even phrases like, “if you know your parties extension number you may dial it now” probably no longer need to be said.  If a caller knows your extension, they’ll dial it as soon as your auto-attendant answers.

Include options that the majority of callers will need to reach and leave the “0” option for all others.  For example a doctor’s office may have a recording similar to:

“Thank you for calling Acme Medical Practices.  For appointments press 1, for insurance questions press 2, to speak to the nurse press 3, for our hours and office location press 4. All other callers please press 0.”

Options 1-4 will handle the vast majority of callers.  The rest will hit “0” to speak with an operator. 


The Zero Option

Make sure that your “0” option goes to a real person during normal business hours.  People understand the need to use auto-attendants, but they will get very frustrated if they cannot get a hold of a real person.  Depending on your phone system, and the competency of your phone tech, “0” doesn’t have to go to one person, but it can ring a group of phones. 

Make sure that the zero option goes to voice-mail after-hours.  Let callers know that your office is currently closed, but they’ll get a return call the next business day.  Make sure that calls ARE returned ASAP.

Some business owners and managers do not want a zero option.  This is a mistake.  People will dial 0, even if you don’t want them to.  Realize that callers need something, usually something that can make your business money (directly or indirectly) and that you need to give them service.


The Recording

Go somewhere quiet.  A place you won’t be self-conscience about hearing yourself talk.

Practice your script.  Read over it several times before you start the recording process.  Read it out loud and practice your pronunciation.  See how it sounds.  Does it sound professional?  If not, re-write it.

Before you start to record, get yourself something to drink, preferably a hot drink.  Hot liquids loosen up your vocal cords, creating a better sound, thus a better recording.  Cold liquids tend to tighten the vocal cords, which is generally not helpful in your vocal tonality.

Never use the speakerphone, always use the phone handset.  Using a speakerphone will automatically make your auto-attendant subpar and unprofessional.  Profession voice talents and singers often where headphones so that they can hear themselves when making a recording.  Hearing yourself amplified through an earpiece allows you to better control your voice tone, thus making a better recording.  The phone handset will provide side-tone, aiding you much like the pro’s headphones.

Check your posture before you start recording.  Good posture allows your diaphragm to work better and easier, thus making your voice sound better.  I often prefer to stand up to do recordings, which gives me the best sound. (Do professional singers usually perform sitting down, or standing up?)

You’re almost ready to record!  Take a deep breath, smile and speak directly into the mouthpiece of your handset.  Taking a deep breath will help you speak more slowly.  Most people need to force themselves to speak slower.  While you know what you’re trying to say, your callers will need a little time to process what you’re saying so they can make a proper selection.

Believe it or not, smiling can be heard through the telephone.  This is important!  Always smile when you’re making an auto-attendant recording!  Even better, always smile when you talk on the phone!!

Make sure the ear-piece is on your ear, and your mouth is next to the transmitter, just like during a normal phone conversation.  Unless you’re a Loud Talker, you may want to speak just a little louder than normal.  Don’t go overboard like a 90 year old talking on a cell phone in the middle of Wal-mart.  Speak like a professional speaker would, at a good level and making a good effort to pronunciate your words.

Once you’ve made the recording, take the time to listen to it.  Make sure it sounds professional and is the greeting you’ll be proud to have all of your callers hear.  If it is not, do it over until you get it right!

Recording an Auto-Attendant greeting is not Rocket Science.  Using these tips, I’m sure you’ll make a great recording!


Larry Nazworth

North Florida Communications

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