Phone trees are voice menu diagrams designed for visualizing how to route calls to extensions based on rules configured in your phone system’s settings menu. Additionally, they can be used to plan outgoing call routes for multiple numbers at once. We have created a list of premade visual templates that you can use as inspiration for your voice menu.
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Phone Tree Templates
A template is useful in a number of ways. You could either just copy the entire tree for your phone system, or take inspiration from the structure and add or remove options in whatever way best suits your organization. We have outlined several templates for sales teams, support centers, nonprofits, and more.
The templates are as follows:
Basic Phone Tree Template
This is an all-purpose, generic template that can be used for virtually any kind of business phone service you have. You can start with this blank phone tree template as a base and build it out based on whatever unique departments or extensions you may have in your organization. This tree offers simple options for reaching sales and support. It also comes with the option to dial extensions by name.
Sales Phone Tree Template
If directing customers to your sales staff is one of the main purposes of your phone system, then you’ll want to make that one of the first menu options that your customers hear. This phone tree is very similar to our sales layout, but the voice menu options for sales and company business hours have been switched. While this is a small change, it increases the potential for your sales agents to close more deals.
In this example, a caller hears a message saying “To be connected with a sales agent, press 1 now.” Because this is the very first option for getting connected with a live human, there is a greater chance callers will select it compared to phone trees where the option to connect with a sales agent is positioned further down in the menu. This then connects more of your callers to sales, which can translate into more opportunities to close deals.
Aggressive Sales Phone Tree Template
One tactic gaining popularity with companies is immediately greeting customers with a sales message as soon as the call connects. This message is usually short and serves the purpose of leading off with the option to be redirected to your sales team.
For example, the message could be something to the effect of “Thank you for calling (company name). To get your custom service quote today, press 0 to speak with an agent.” This is just a small piece of social engineering, but it can be effective in helping increase sales leads for your team.
Self-service Phone Tree Template
Sometimes, it can be helpful to set up self-service options in your phone system so that your customers can help themselves rather than make your human employees answer the phone. Many call center solutions offer interactive voice response (IVR) features that can help callers check account balances, make payments, and more.
Customer Support Phone Tree Template
The customer support phone tree has a lot of similarities to the sales phone tree. The biggest difference at play is that callers will be greeted with the option to reach your support team before being given the opportunity to speak with sales staff. If most of your call traffic comes from people looking for help, this is probably the best type of phone tree for you when setting up your phone system.
Nonprofit Phone Tree Template
Nonprofit organizations have unique needs compared to other types of businesses because they need to serve two different audiences: those who want to donate money, and those who may need the nonprofit’s services. Since raising money is critical for the organization’s survival, it’s wise to make the donation option the first thing they hear after language options.
For example, you could say “To make a donation, press 1 now.” After that, you can offer options for callers to learn more about your services.
Multilocation Phone Tree
If your company has offices in multiple locations, then you’ll want to provide callers the ability to reach all of your branches via one phone number. This phone tree accommodates multiple locales. For example, a customer who has recently visited your Philadelphia office will be able to call the same number that customers of the Newark, New Jersey, branch call, but still be sent to the staff that is most appropriate for them.
Emergency Phone Tree Template
Emergency phone trees differ from other types of trees in the sense that they are for outgoing calls. These setups are useful because they can let large groups of people know about emergency closures, altered hours, and more without human workers having to make the calls themselves. These types of trees are usually used by schools and municipalities, but can be used by virtually any type of organization.
How to Set Up an Effective Phone Tree
You can make changes to the setup of your phone tree at any time; however, changing your menu too often can be off-putting to callers. Therefore, it is best to take the time to think through how you’d like to route calls during the initial setup of your business phone system.
A few important tips before you build your phone tree:
- Map it out: Before setting up your voice menu during the installation process, it can be helpful to map out your phone tree either with a pen and paper or by using one of our templates. You can start out with one of our examples and then draw out other branches as you see fit.
- Assign call groups: Once you have your chart mapped out, you need to assign all of your employees to different call groups. This will mostly be a straightforward process. For example, salespeople will be in the sales call group, support will go to customer service, and so on. With that said, you will have to decide where your employees in multiple departments (which is common in small businesses) will go.
- Offer language options: Many phone systems let you deploy your voice menu in Spanish and other languages. Even if you do not have any multilingual employees, offering your menu in different languages can go a long way in helping all of your customers get connected to where they want to go. Even if your callers can speak English, the robotic-sounding nature of most voice menus can throw non-native speakers off.
- Keep it short and to the point: Your callers want to be connected to a human employee as soon as possible. As such, we do not recommend adding too many menu options for your phone system. Otherwise, you run the risk of frustrating your callers and turning them off from your business altogether.
Establishing call routing rules are one of many steps involved in setting up a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone system). You will also have to configure your number, set up voicemail boxes, and download applications. For help with all of this and more, check out our free e-book to setting up a business phone system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are phone trees the same thing as auto-attendants?
Yes and no. In its most basic form, a phone tree refers to the visualization of how a voice menu works. You will still have to configure the tree in your phone system’s settings menu, but these maps can serve as a guide.
What are the benefits over a human receptionist?
Attendants come standard in most services, so they are a huge cost savings over the labor cost of a human receptionist. Additionally, automated attendants route callers to their destinations correctly every single time. They are not prone to human error.
Can I record a new voice for my voice menu?
Most systems allow you to upload your own audio files for your voice menu. We also recommend hiring a professional voice-over artist to make your menu sound its best. Check out our guide to the best professional voicemail providers for more details.
Phone trees are helpful places to start when building and deploying your voice menu. These templates should help you get started no matter what your industry is or the size of your team. The best phone tree for your company comes down to deciding what voice menu options you want your callers to hear first.
However, not every phone system supports voice menus. If you are looking for a phone system that allows you to conduct business and personal calls on a single device and supports interactive phone trees, then Grasshopper is a great fit regardless of what template you decide is best for your business. It offers a phone tree builder, unlimited domestic calling, and more at an affordable price. Click the button below to start your free trial.