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Auto Attendant Scripts With Real-World Examples

Are you looking for an auto attendant script for your business? We’ll show you three great examples in this guide. And that’s not all we’ll cover.

If you’re a small business owner, you know a phone that consistently rings off the hook is both a good and bad thing.

While calls mean customers, sometimes half your day is wasted fielding robocalls and people asking about your hours.

You’ve probably already thought about fixing this by hiring a receptionist. And then you probably also soon realized that hiring more staff wasn’t in the budget.

The good news is there’s a better solution that’s much more affordable: using auto attendants.

If you’re not familiar with automatic attendants, don’t worry. We’ll cover that first before giving you three auto attendant scripts your business can use today.

What Are Auto Attendants?

The term “auto attendant” sounds like it relates to someone servicing a car, but it’s far from that.

Auto attendants are virtual receptionists that answer your business calls for you.

An auto attendant can be as simple as having a voicemail recording that directs customers with specific prompts, or it can be a live person who works for your company but may not be in-house.

So when we refer to an auto attendant script, we mean the prompts and information your virtual receptionist will say to anyone who calls in.

Auto attendants can provide your location hours, directions, direct extensions to different departments, and more.

You can even program auto attendants to relay your special promotions and seasonal schedule, including your holiday closures, among other fantastic perks.

Why Your Business Should Consider Using an Auto Attendant

Auto attendants, also known as auto receptionists, are helpful and beneficial for several reasons:

1. Save Money Without Downgrading Your Customer Service

If you’re a small business owner, you may not have the financial resources to hire someone to answer your calls, especially if you’re not consistently busy every day.

That’s where an auto attendant and using an answering service comes in handy.

Instead of having to add another employee, you can outsource this job, and someone else can handle these calls for you.

For far less than a salary plus benefits, you’ll keep your customer service at a high level while also keeping your costs down.

2. Convey a Professional Image

You may be running a small business or a startup, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit yourself like one.

With auto attendants, you can help convey a more established image for your business. Rather than missing calls because you’re too busy working, you can let the auto attendant take care of them.

Your customers get the immediate attention they need, and they’ll view your business as one that has everything under control.

This creates the image of a reputable business that understands and provides for its customers. It also says your company has experience and isn’t going anywhere.

3. Field the Right Calls and Screen the Rest

Spam calls are on the rise, and they’re getting smarter by the minute.

How many times have you excitedly picked up the phone, thinking there was a new customer on the line, only to find out it was a robo caller?

Auto attendants can help fix this problem by filtering calls and weeding out spam before they reach you. You’ll save time and limit distracting calls so you can focus on business.

4. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

There’s nothing more frustrating than calling a business that’s too busy to answer their phones. Callers may wait for 5 or 6 rings to pass before hanging up and calling your competitors.

If your small operation is consistently missing phone calls, it’s like throwing potential customers and existing customers right out the window.

An auto attendant answers on the first ring, helps field calls, and may even provide better customer service than an overworked staff member.

This is possible thanks to Interactive Voice Response, or IVR for short, which is a neat feature that allows answering services to interact with your customers.

So your customers will feel like they’re talking to a person instead of just a machine.

Answering services like these are especially helpful if your business receives multiple callers at once. You don’t have to hire several receptionists to take care of this, just switch to auto attendants.

5. Save Time on Repetitive Calls

How many times have you been interrupted to answer questions about your hours of operation, directions to your business, or other common issues?

You’ve probably had days where those are the only calls that seem to come in.

You can easily solve this problem by using auto attendant scripts that explain this information to your callers in your voicemail greeting.

Businesses That Can Benefit from Using Auto Attendants

Any business that needs a human receptionist (or two) will score huge benefits from using an auto attendant. The same goes for stores, restaurants, and online businesses.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who should be using auto attendants:

  1. Offices (such as dental, doctor, financial, legal, marketing, and more)
  2. Sales teams
  3. Call centers
  4. Small business owners
  5. Consultants
  6. Startups
  7. Freelancers
  8. Small non-profits
  9. Virtual or remote companies

Auto attendants help businesses add customer support while decreasing their workload. And all it takes is the right auto attendant script.

How to Create an Auto Attendant Script that Improves Customer Service

Now that you have a better idea of how an auto attendant can help your business, let’s talk about how to go about doing this right.

Step 1: Before You Choose an Auto Attendant, Do This

As with most things in business, it’s much better to start out with a plan, and that’s no different for your auto attendant.

First, you need to get clear about how this will help your business and what you hope to achieve.

Are you looking to convey your hours and directions?

Or would you like your customers to go directly to the extension they need or a company directory?

Or maybe you need a combination of those plus more.

Whatever your business needs help with, jot that down to make sure these items are a top priority on your menu options.

Once you have that step tackled, you can move on to the bullet points of your auto attendant scripts.

Step 2: Plan Out What You’re Going to Say

What do you want to say to your customers?

It’s always a good idea to start out with a welcoming greeting and a quick “thank you for calling” message.

From there, get straight to the point and map out what options you’d like to convey to your customers (for example, press “1” to reach our sales department).

You can rank these in the order that’s most important to your customer.

So if your hours of operation are what people call about the most, you can mention this first on your menu options or make it your first prompt.

If your office is currently closed, you should also mention this upfront and before getting to any additional prompts.

As for your prompts, make sure these fall at the end of your message (Ex. For billing, press “2”) so that your customers don’t miss what they need.

Try to keep your message simple and don’t go overboard with how many options you give people.

You should also weave in ways that the callers can help themselves with technical support. You can encourage them to go to your website to chat with a live person, for instance.

Take note of what you need to mention now and think about how you’d like to say it to your customers. Then you’ll have the basics you need to start forming your auto attendant script.

Step 3: Record Your Auto Attendant Script

To start forming your auto attendant script, we suggest gathering all the notes and prompts you jotted down earlier.

When you write out how you want the prompts to flow, you’ll know precisely what you’re going to say ahead of time. This saves you from fumbling through your recording by memory.

With this all set, it’s time to start recording your voicemail greeting.

You’ll want to do this in a nice quiet place using equipment that keeps your message loud and clear.

You may have to test this and rehearse it a few times to get it right. But the extra effort to sound natural and helpful to your callers will be worth it.

Remember, this is essentially the first impression your customers will have of your business. So it’s crucial to get this right.

If you’re nervous about recording your message, you can always outsource this step to the pros.

Don’t worry if that’s not in the budget — you can record your message and test it out on your own for now too.

That’s also the next point: make sure to test your auto attendant so that you experience what your customers will hear and go through firsthand.

If that’s not how you want to be greeted, or if the prompts are confusing, change it and keep testing until you’re happy.

3 Example Auto Attendant Scripts to Get You Started

If you’re having trouble writing your auto attendant script, these three examples should give you plenty of inspiration to get started:

#1: Basic Welcome Message

Thank you for calling [Your Company], where we provide [what you do or your slogan].

  • To hear our [office hours], press “1”
  • For [sales or customer service], press “2”
  • For [billing], please press “3”
  • For our [business hours], press “4”
  • To speak with our customer support team, please press “0”
  • To repeat this message, please press “*”

#2: After-Hours Message

Thank you for calling [Your Company], where we provide [what you do or your slogan]. You’ve reached us outside of our regular business hours. Don’t worry, we’ll be back [the next available time you will be open].

  • To leave a message, press “1”
  • To hear our regular business hours, please press “2”
  • To repeat this message, please press “*”

Thank you again for calling, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!

This message can easily be adjusted to mention your holiday closures.

To do that, replace the second and third sentence of that voicemail greeting with: We’re currently closed for the holidays, but we’ll be back [the next available time you will be open].

#3: Special Promotion Message

Thank you for calling [Your Company], where we provide [what you do or your slogan]. Did you know we’re offering [20% off] our services right now? Don’t delay — this offer won’t last long!

  • To hear our [office hours], press “1”
  • For [sales or customer service], press “2”
  • For [billing], please press “3”
  • For our business hours, press “4”
  • To speak with our customer support team, please press “0”
  • To repeat this message, please press “*”

How To Find an Affordable Auto Attendant

If you’re ready to get started with your own auto attendant answering service, but you’re not sure if your business can afford one, consider using a virtual PBX system.

This is simply a VoIP (voice over IP) phone system that handles calls over the internet instead of a traditional phone line.

Having a phone system like this ensures that your small business handles its customers like a top priority. And customers can finally say goodbye to several rings.

Virtual PBX’s are far more affordable, yet they convey the same professional image. Your callers won’t even realize it’s any different.

Use your virtual PBX system to quickly explain what your business does, its hours of operation, and so much more. You’ll be able to easily field calls while still delivering the information your customers need.

Our virtual PBX system also lets you record a complimentary greeting.

So are you ready to take your business and customer service to the next level?

Get in touch today and let us show you what’s possible!

About the author

Yaniv Masjedi serves as Nextiva's CMO. An avid reader and lover of all things marketing, leadership, and personal growth, Yaniv is obsessed with creating strategies that drive awareness, strengthen brands, and create customer-centric culture. To get in touch, follow Yaniv on LinkedIn.