What is a call menu?
A call menu is a set of options that a caller hears when they dial a company’s telephone number. It allows customers to easily navigate through the call ‘tree’ and get through to the person they are looking for.
How a call menu can help your business
The first step towards using a call menu is deciding whether you want to offer one. A call menu may not make sense for every industry, but it can be an effective tool for some businesses.
For example, restaurants may benefit from having a call menu because many people order takeout or delivery on their phones. In addition, call menus are especially useful for large businesses that have a lot of staff.
Another important consideration is choosing which features should be included in the call menu. Some call menus include only basic options, while others allow customers to choose between several different products or services. The type of call menu you create depends on your needs and the services you offer.
There are two main types of call menus:
- An ‘auto attendant’, where customers hear a series of numbered options to choose from, directing them to an operator who can help.
- An ‘interactive voice response’ (IVR) system, where customers are prompted to say what they want aloud, and the system interprets this to direct them to the right team
For auto attendants, you may be able to select your numbered option using either your voice or the touch-tone keypad on your phone. You could use the numbered options to direct callers to different departments (e.g. customer service, sales or accounts); and department stores might direct callers to an area of their store to get information on a particular product range (e.g. fashion, cookware or beauty).
IVR systems are often used by large businesses where callers have complex or very varied enquiries. Banks might use a system like this to help callers reach the right specialist team – prompting callers to make statements like ‘I want to check my balance’ or ‘I want to make a payment’.
Tips for creating a successful call menu
- Define your customer journey, and think about how callers actually use your service
- Identify common queries and think about how these could be automated
- Plan your call tree (avoiding menus within menus, if you can)
- Consult expert writers to plan your script
- Use a professional voice artist
- Get the recording professionally edited, to ensure clarity of sound