Your organisation may know the benefits of having an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system to manage incoming customer calls but have you considered that it’s also a golden opportunity to enhance your audio branding and personality? The voice that customers hear when they call should be the right voice for your organisation, one that matches and demonstrates your brand.
First of all, this means avoiding ‘in-house’ voices when you record audio. You may well have a member of staff with a pleasant speaking voice and you might think it’s convenient but there are a number of drawbacks:
- Your staff member is unlikely to be a professional voice artist so their delivery could be identifiably amateur, robbing your organisation of credibility.
- They may not always work at your organisation - what happens if they leave?
- It’s possible that sickness and annual leave will impact on availability, resulting in you having several, conflicting voices on the system.
- You won’t be using professional equipment to record the scripts, so callers are likely to hear extraneous noise and other interference on the resulting audio.
- This low-quality audio will impact customer perception of your brand and make it harder for them to understand and navigate the IVR.
So there are plenty of excellent reasons to have your audio recorded by a professional. You now need to think about how to choose a voice that will successfully reflect your company’s values and image. A good place to start is your organisation’s ‘tone of voice’ document. The language used in this document should reflect your brand values. Does your company sound conversational and straightforward or formal and conservative? Is your organisation’s image warm, friendly and welcoming or professional, authoritative and trustworthy? Who is your main target demographic; do you have profiles that represent your ‘average’ customer? Answer these questions and it will guide you to the right voice, the voice that expresses and represents your brand.
When choosing a voice for your brand, it’s often a good idea to use a primary and a secondary voice to give your callers a more varied experience. As long as the voices complement each other and don’t clash, it can widen appeal and improve engagement. Also, depending on your location, it may be worth considering a voice that represents your geographical setting. If your brand is associated with a region or your customers are concentrated in a particular area, a matching accent can be an effective choice.
Whichever route you choose, if you get the voice right, it will have a powerful, positive impact on your customer’s perception of your organisation.