TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Best Way to Answer a Business Phone?

Re: Best Way to Answer a Business Phone?

Curtis R Anderson (
Fri, 15 Sep 2006 22:26:40 -0400

Mr Joseph Singer wrote:

> It's funny that people got along just fine for *years* without auto
> attendants and being handled by a real person. Auto attendants and
> IVRs especially when planned badly as some are that force you to go
> through countless obstacles when you really need to speak to a real
> person are crazy. The people who design these auto attendants and
> IVRs should use some common sense. It shouldn't be not obvious that
> if you want to speak to a real person you should be able to press 0 or
> just not say anything and time out to a real person. Countless times
> I've tried to let it time out and instead of being transferred to
> someone who can help me the designers of the system think it's better
> to just drop the call. TS for you! If I'm on an IVR and the IVR
> cannot understand "operator" there's something really wrong in the
> design of a system.

Folks like my late father wouldn't get tone dial on their phones
because they didn't want to pay (then) Alltel NY the extra $1.25 /
month for DTMF support on their line card. He would just sit on the
line waiting for the rep to come on, doing something as simple as
getting a mail-order prescription filled. I had to tell him that the
NY Department of Labor circa 1995, for example, absolutely required
one to use a tone-dial phone to claim benefits. In fact, their system
would say "Make a selection or be disconnected" if there was no DTMF

I tried to get him to at least use the tone toggle offered on many
landline sets, but he ultimately found the things he would need to
call in for and navigate a confusing menu, which is very difficult
when one is hard of hearing and misses choices, would be _much easier_
by accessing the appropriate web site and do it that way. Mail-order
prescription refills for those maintenance meds requested by the
pharmacy's web site gave him the confirmation he absolutely needed.

Getting back to the thread: where I work, our receptionist / traffic
manager / freight quote and shipping wonderlady answers the phone by
waiting for the ring, looking at the key phone to see which line lit, as
we are two businesses in one location using FX lines to our new
location. She will then say "Thank you for calling (Ace Widgets | Acme
Widgets), this is (her name)" and let it go at that. She will direct the
call to the appropriate office or to voice mail if she knows the person
is out. If it's one of us shop apes or if she knows the office person is
on the shop floor, she will press the "External Page" key, we will hear
the 440 Hz tone and we wait for her announcement for who it is.

If I were to call a business and hear what is choice D in this thread, I
would think they are trying to kiss up to certain parts of my anatomy.

Curtis R. Anderson, Co-creator of "Gleepy the Hen", still
"In Heaven there is no beer / That's why we drink it here ..." ICQ: 50137888 (and others) Yahoo!: gleepythehen

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