Can They Hear You Clearly?

June 04, 2015

One thing most people give very little thought to is the recorded voice on the other end when they call a company and get into the ‘phone-tree.’ They really just want to hear a clear-sounding voice that gives easy-to-follow directions. It would seem to be a no-brainer.

But for companies that make those recordings and need them for business, it’s something that should be given a lot more thought than it currently is. Think about your own company for a moment: Whose voice is on your outgoing message? Is it a secretary that left a long time ago? A senior partner who has since passed on? The IT guy who manages the equipment? Believe it or not, it matters – a lot.

It’s an issue that Gavin Gustafson took a close look at recently. Gustafson, Communications Manager at cloud call center leader inContact, just posted a blog addressing this very issue, and he made some excellent points.

“Every time you pick up the phone and ‘answer the door’ your brand is on the line,” he noted. “A great customer experience over the voice channel typically depends on two co-dependent factors—the technology side and the human touch. The voice should accurately represent your brand and encourages your caller to complete a goal, whether it’s an automated resolution or a successful menu navigation that leads to a buying decision with one of your (live) team members.”

As such, Gustafson says it might be worth investing in a professional voice actor for your call center messages, and listed reason why or why not you might make certain choices. To wit:

The Non-Professional: This can be anyone from the company, but if they’re working for free, you get what you pay for. Tread carefully here.

The PM Drive-Time Jock: This might be someone with a professional radio background, but it could be an extreme in the other direction. “This style is characterized by cheesy over-enunciation that sounds unnatural. This choice is often the result of a stakeholder misinterpretation of what they think the caller wants to hear,” Gustafson says. “In reality, this type of voice is patronizing and annoying to your audience.”

The Voice Actor: This choice “speaks smoothly and clearly in a pace and style that makes sense to customers,” Gustafson noted. “A voice actor can take direction, can alter their sound to fit the brand, and can deliver with consistency.”

The choices are obvious, but thought must be given to other considerations. For example, will a voice actor be available down the road if changes or updates must be made? It’s worth weighing carefully.

Gustafson has more insights on the matter, and you can see all his thought HERE on his blog. The bottom line is, “Choose carefully.”

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