How to Set Up an Informational Help Line

Informational Help LineInformational phones numbers are commonly used to relay recorded information to callers. For example, in a crisis or natural disasters, callers could call a toll free number to hear the latest advisories or find out about road closures.

Businesses often use informational telephone recordings to relay information about job openings, requests for bids, or product information. Recordings can also be used for educational or entertainment purposes.

If your organization commonly relays the same information over and over, it may make sense to set up an informational helpline where callers can dial in to hear your message. Here’s how to do it.

  • Obtain a virtual phone number in either a local or toll free format. With virtual numbers, you do not need a physical phone in order to receive calls or set up outgoing recorded messages. You can designate a “ring to” number and change it frequently. In this use case, you can either configure the main number as a “sizzle” number or set up a series of message only extensions.
  • Option A – Set up a “sizzle” number. A sizzle number is a type of informational phone number that plays a prerecorded message, much like a voicemail message but longer and without the prompt for callers to record a message for you. Instead, callers listen to your recorded message.
  • Option B – Configure the virtual phone number so that the auto attendant routes callers to various “message only” extensions. Each extension can address a specific topic. For example, the initial greeting could prompt callers to press ‘101’ for information about your request for proposals, press ‘102’ for information about a product recall, or press ‘103’ for current job openings. From there, you’d set up each extension with the appropriate recording.
  • Set up your calls to action (if any) – Recorded messages used to be relatively passive. Callers called the informational help line, listened to the information, and then hung up. With one of our modern virtual phone numbers, you can make your help line much more interactive by adding calls to action. For example, you could instruct callers to visit your website, prompt them to leave a voicemail or press a button to speak to a live person, or ask them to answer yes or no questions using an interactive voice response system.

It’s helpful to plot out your informational help line’s script and menu system on paper before recording your messages. Simplicity is key to a good user experience, so keep that in mind as you design your prompts.

Our virtual numbers are both affordable and offered on a month-to-month basis with no contracts, making it quick and easy to set up informational help lines as needed — even for temporary projects. Thus, you could set up individual help lines for each of your projects. Once the project is over and the information no longer needs to be put out there, you can cancel the help line with no consequences.

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