Press One to Do This, Two to Do That … Phone Tree Abuse!

  1. Keep the options to just a few. Too many become confusing. A confused customer can become a frustrated customer.
  2. If you must offer more than three options, consider staying with three and then offering additional options when the customer advances to the next branch on the tree. This could be less confusing.
  3. Give customers the option of pressing “0” to speak to an operator.
  4. Once the customer makes a choice, don’t let them down with a long hold time. If you must make them hold, inform them how long it will be. And as long as you have invested in this technology, include the option of a call back when it’s the customer’s turn, rather than forcing them to wait.
  5. While the customer is holding, the recording should offer suggestions for a self-service option. Our customer service research found that 71% of customers are willing to try self-service. Take advantage of that.
  6. The customer service rep should know how long the customer has waited since making initial contact. During the welcome, there should be an acknowledgment and apology for the long wait.



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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!