4.0 - Prompts (audio files) - an overview

The aim of this chapter's last sections is to make you aware of why it is so important to know exactly which audio files (or "prompts" as we call them) you need at which point in your call flow.

Let's start with a short example:

Imagine, you call a hotline and you hear nothing but ringing. This is like calling a friend or your mom but not as if you are trying to get in touch with a company. It rings and rings and rings - and suddenly the call ends. You have no idea what happened and you wonder why was the call suddenly ended? Did I call the wrong number? 

Now let's look at the ideal call, what a company would like to have:

A customer dials a number and knows exactly which company and brand she is calling because she hears a pleasant welcome prompt. She might even get the option to choose the language and maybe pick her call reason. She also hears waiting music. Often companies like to feature some new products or self-service options while customers are waiting. And finally, it is also very important that calls should end in nothing. Ideally, it's picked up by a representative quickly, but if it's not, customers should get at least some kind of notification and be informed about other options how they could get in touch with the service.

You probably agree that the customer experience described in the first example is an unpleasant one but that everybody would like to have an experience that at least closely resembles the second. To achieve this you need to have your prompts straight. Saying the right thing at the right time, providing needed information, or at least ensuring the customer that everything will be alright, can be central for the representation of your company and customer happiness.

The next section will explain how you find out which audio prompts you will need at which point in your call flow. The last section of this chapter will provide an example of how we suggest you should keep track of your files.

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