Automated Call Management & Virtual Routing

QUESTION From: Robin in VA

”Who offers virtual phone services like this:

My goals are to eliminate stopping work to answer spam calls, to get as many people as possible to use our online ordering system vs placing phone orders. 

I want an automated system that answers the phone and says something like this...

Thank you for calling [mycafeandbar] to place an order. For way faster service, please order online at www.orderat[mycafeandbar].com.

To reach our management team about job openings or any other non ordering issues please email us at [mycafeandbar]@
gmail.com

To place an order right now over the phone Please Press 1 .

So basically the system would answer, but then it would not ring in to us unless they pushed the number one.”


HH ANSWER:

While I’m in favor of encouraging guests to place online orders (and educating them about that option (via social media, inserts, guest check printing, table tents and/or other printing & advertisements) I’m not a huge fan of forcing them into it via third party call management software.

There are lots of options out there... I’m not well suited to discuss but will ask you this: How do you feel as a customer or guest who calls an establishment and isn’t connected to a human being.

IMHO, having someone (or multiple people if necessary) dedicated to answering a phone and deal with spam calls is like deciding to have a bathroom available for guests even though you may have to deal with the occasional homeless person trying to bathe in it. You can’t deprive guests of a service they deserve simply because of those who abuse it.

I know that’s easier said than done but just playing devil’s advocate.

In the event you DO go with an automated service, I’ve heard from other operators that the following companies offer services like the ones you’re describing:

onebox.com

pizzacloud.net

dialpad.com

P.S> I’d have the “Press #1 option to order now” as the first option (not the last) and have #0 automatically roll to #1 for guests that have less time and patience than others.

Regards,

Josh Sapienza