What is Your Automated Phone System Really Telling Your Customers?

“Hello, you have reached We Don’t Care Much About You Security Systems. If you know your party’s extension, please dial it at this time. If you don’t know anyone at our company, then sit quietly while we run through a tedious list of departments you don’t want and one or two that you think might be right but you’re not sure. Or press the star key and the entire list will begin again from the beginning.”


Are you a company that has decided that the personal touch on the phone is a waste of time and personnel? Did you get drawn into one of those sales pitches about how effective a phone system like this is in managing your incoming calls?

Did you design the recording and responses for the system for the convenience of your customers and potential customers, or for your own convenience? Do you give directions based on the issues customers may be calling for or the names of your departments? How many times does a customer have to push a button and listen before getting to the right person?

“By the way, while you’re on hold you will get to listen to a long list of reasons why you should buy one of our security systems. You may be surprised to find out that we pride ourselves on our customer service. I was sure surprised when they had me record this long and involved process that any current or potential customers have to go through just to get to a real person.”

Is your hold message friendly but not too much like a sales pitch? Do you play sound from a radio station so that people have to listen to ads for other companies, possibly even for your competition? Does your music selection match the tastes of your target market? How long does the average customer end up on hold at your busiest times? Do they have the option of just leaving a message and having one of your people call back when it’s their turn to be helped?

“You may be tempted to dial 0 in the futile hope that you will reach an operator. Wrong. If you dial 0 I will just tell you I don’t recognize that response and start with the tedious list again, and again. There is actually no button that will get you to a real person. Eventually you will get tired and hang up, or I will get irritated with your attempts to circumvent me and hang up for you…and I really don’t appreciate that sort of language…”

If you have a phone system in place like this, do you have an escape clause that allows someone to access a real person if they prefer? Exactly how much time and automated conversation does it take to get to a real person? Have you considered offering the escape clause at the start of the recording rather than the end, so you don’t irritate customers who hate this sort of phone system?

“While you’re waiting, this might be a good time to go online and find out if there are any other security companies in your area that are more responsive…”

Is your so-called money-saving phone system costing you customers? If you set it up properly, it can be an asset, but a casual or unthinking design can cost much more than it saves. It’s probably worthwhile to talk to various customer groups about what they like or don’t like about this type of system, and pay attention to their frustrations when you design yours.

“Thank you so much for calling We Like to Pretend We Care About our Customers But We Really Don’t Security. Please call back any time. My recorded voice is available 24-7 for your convenience and ours.”


Ignite Security Marketing  is dedicated to providing inbound marketing exclusively for the security industry. We can help monitor inbound calls for your alarm company so you can refine your processes, increase sales, and improve customer service. Ask us how today: (877) 655-3779.

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Jeanie Erwin

Content Writer at Ignite Security Marketing
Jeanie is a full time brand journalist for Ignite Security Marketing. Nature lover, Mom and fanatical Dodgers fan.
Jeanie Erwin
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