Phone greetings shouldn’t last all day

15Oct09

A few days ago, I called a store to check if they carried a certain product. Their phone system picked up immediately, and proceeded to play a fairly upbeat but rather lengthy greeting. 75 seconds later, I had heard about every one of their special offers. Was this useful to me? Not a bit: I still had to speak with a representative to answer my question.

Perhaps the majority of people calling actually do want to hear all the specials. But you shouldn’t force everyone to listen to such a lengthy message before presenting other options. A better approach would be to limit the mandatory greeting to 30 seconds or less. Then, in the menu options, add something like “Press 1 to hear our current specials”. That way, those who want the full spiel can get it, without degrading the quality of the interaction for everyone else.



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