This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Phone trees are an essential tool for planning your incoming call routing strategy. These trees serve as written diagrams that outline the entirety of the inbound customer journey. They also serve as a means to plan outbound call routes when you have multiple simultaneous customers. To help you optimize your customer experience, we’ve created a list of phone tree templates that you can use for your business.
Take inspiration from a template and edit it to better fit your business type. The templates we provided are designed for sales teams, support centers, and nonprofits, and we also have outbound call phone tree templates.
1. Basic Phone Tree Template
This template is also often referred to as the basic phone tree. This serves as an all-purpose, relatively generic outline that you can use no matter what your business type. Like the other templates, you can start with this blank template and build on it so that it encompasses whichever unique departments or extensions you might need. This template is designed to be simple and easy to use.
If you’re currently without a business phone system, we recommend Grasshopper, a virtual phone provider. It offers reasonable pricing as well as an auto-attendant, which you can use with one of the templates offered below. Auto-attendants at Grasshopper come with the base tier, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to incorporate a phone tree into your business communications experience.
2. Sales Phone Tree Template
This template is designed to funnel your callers as quickly as possible to a sales agent. As a result, the template switches out the sales and company business hours options in the menu. This helps send your callers to a live agent as quickly as possible, making a sizeable difference when trying to connect customers to your team.
With this template, the caller hears something along the lines of, “Thank you for calling (company name). To be connected with a sales agent, press 1 now” as the first available option. Since this is the first instruction that they might hear, there’s a heightened chance that a caller will select this option. When they connect to your agent, there’s then a greater chance of a conversion and a sale since the agent can quickly ascertain the caller’s needs.
Pro tip: As a best practice, give callers the option to speak with your sales staff as one of the earliest options in your menu listings. This increases customer satisfaction and improves the efficiency of your sales process.
3. Assertive Sales Phone Tree Template
This type of phone tree example actually forgoes much of the menu system and ensures that customers are connected with an agent almost as soon as the connection is made. Rather than long introductory messages, the messages are relatively short, and the menu works to lead the caller directly to a member of the sales team.
With this template, the voice menu leads with something like, “Thank you for calling (company name). To get your customized service quote today, press 0 to connect with a customer success manager.” This serves a similar purpose to the standard sales template and sends your customers to a rep as quickly as possible.
4. Self-service Phone Tree Template
One of the best features of an interactive voice response (IVR) system is the ability to help customers completely through the process without needing to engage agents. IVR systems help agents only pick up calls that actually need the human touch.
With the self-service phone template, the first option immediately funnels the customer to their automated options. It’ll include options like, “Make a payment,” “Schedule an appointment,” or “Check account balance.”
5. Customer Support Phone Tree Template
Similar to the sales tree, the support phone tree template focuses on sending the calls almost immediately to a specific department—in this case, customer support. The first menu will be something like, “Thank you for calling (company name). To be connected with our support staff, press 1 now.”
If the majority of your inbound calls come from people seeking help with your product or service, then this is a critical type of phone tree template for your business. This is because the customer support phone trees are designed to route callers to the team best suited to help their specific inquiry, which can improve contact resolution metrics while also providing a more positive customer experience.
6. Nonprofit Phone Tree Template
This differs significantly from the other types of templates because of the varying needs of nonprofits. For example, the goal of a nonprofit phone tree is to address frequently asked question upfront, which reduces the need for live agents. This type of template can also be used to provide details of an organization’s event or campaign or for collecting donations.
Pro tip: It’s smart to offer the option to donate early on in the menu process—usually after the language options. For the sake of potential donors, you can also provide answers to frequently asked questions and information about the nonprofit somewhere in the menu system.
7. Multiple Location Phone Tree Template
Not every business has one central location. This call tree template is designed to send calls to varying departments that are spread across multiple physical locations. It helps the caller reach the most relevant agent who is geographically nearest to them in many situations.
For example, if a customer is based in Newark, New Jersey, they might be calling your business so that they can have a service representative come to their home. As a result, the menu system will need to ascertain their location to better direct the call to their nearest office. This should be done as early in the process as possible.
8. Emergency Phone Tree Template
These are distinct from other phone tree examples because they are designed for companies to make outgoing calls rather than take in call traffic. This allows companies to let large groups of customers or groups know about things like emergency closures or altered hours of operation. The detailed information is provided as your preferred group calls in, and it can be a key source of information.
These are typically used for school districts and municipalities, but they can also be used by businesses simply looking to inform their clientele about changes. These tend to have a slightly more complex design and can also be used as a preparation tool for notifying large groups of people automatically.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are phone trees the same thing as auto-attendants?
Not really. An automated attendant and even an IVR system are systems of menus that you use to direct customers to the right department or agent. A phone tree works with these systems to provide a diagram for your call routing. The auto-attendant or IVR works alongside your phone tree to ensure that customers are managed correctly.
What are the benefits of using phone tree templates?
Phone tree templates help you better organize your call management. For example, if you’re trying to sell, then a phone tree that takes forever to send customers to sales agents would actually hinder sales. These templates help you manage your calls in the most efficient way possible for your type of business.
Can I record a new voice for my voice menu?
Once you have your template filled out and are ready to implement it, most business phone providers, like RingCentral, Nextiva, and Grasshopper, have a means of recording your greeting. Typically, this will include the ability to upload MP3 files to your voice menu, but some have text-to-speech so that the system “reads” the text to your callers.
We recommend hiring a professional voice-over artist so that your system sounds more respectable to callers. We have a guide on the best professional voicemail greeting providers to help you find the best option for your business.
For the best business results, implement a phone tree so that your automated attendant and IVR system are optimized for your specific business needs. These templates should be helpful for getting started—regardless of your industry or the size of your business. While the standard variation should work for most companies, review all of our options to determine if another might be better for your needs.
If you’re looking for a service that provides an easy way to set up a phone tree, consider Grasshopper, one of the top virtual phone systems on the market. It’s affordable, has great extension options, allows for international calling, and is easy to set up. It has a 15-day trial for businesses to get to know the system.