Once you've managed to navigate the process of choosing the right software for your IVR system, agonised over the correct workflow of your calls, and prepared scripts for your instructions and options, you've reached the final step, choosing your voice.
You might think that this is the easiest part, but you couldn't be more wrong. A company’s voice has a huge impact on customers and brand perception (yes, audio branding is very much a thing!), so finding the right voice for your company is perhaps the most vital part of your new IVR system.
Plus, you need to ensure that you have an easy-to-understand voice or those carefully-laid plans for your new, all-singing all-dancing IVR system may well unravel.
So what do you need to consider when choosing the right voice for your company?
Choose a Voice That Customers Can Listen to Over and Over Again
We've all encountered an IVR system as customers where the voice is bearable the first time, but quickly becomes annoying and irritating on subsequent encounters. As a business, you don't want to be in this position with your customers, so you must choose a voice that customers will recognise and will want to listen to over and over again.
In my experience, it's best to avoid strong accents and both low and high pitches. It's also important to ensure that the tone of your voice is consistent across all scripts, as this will help customers form a sense of familiarity.
Choose a Voice That Reflects Your Region or Location
There's perhaps nothing worse than encountering an IVR system with a voice that has no obvious connection to your brand's region or location, so it's vital that you take the time to ensure that the voice you choose does. Just as people dislike offshore call centres, they don’t like hearing voices that have no familiarity.
For instance, you don't want to pick a cheesy American voice for your British brand. It just sounds wrong. Plus, it could also confuse callers, thinking they've dialled the wrong number – the last thing you need as a professional organisation or business.
Choose a Voice That is Clear and Understandable
This is perhaps the most crucial point! The voice that you pick for your IVR system really needs to be heard clearly. After all, your voice over artist is delivering commands that will help customers make their way through the IVR system to the correct department.
Request samples or view your chosen voice over the artist's portfolio to ensure that their voice is clear and understandable. While the factors mentioned above are important, if customers cannot clearly discern the instructions your voice over artist is giving, then your whole IVR system could be in tatters.
Choose a Voice That You Like!
It's best to choose a voice you are comfortable with, whether by utilising your personal preference in terms of language and tone or by choosing the voice over artist whose voice you like the most.
Your customers will become very familiar with this voice over the years, so it's vital that the voice you choose feels like you and your organisation. You don't want customers to be surprised by the voice over artist's tones of voice or accent, as this could lead to confusion and frustration.
In essence, choose a voice you hear and immediately think, "that's us!". If you’re not feeling it, chances are your customers won't either.
Ensure the Audio Recordings are High-Quality
It's no good hiring the perfect voice for your company that reflects your brand while being easy to understand if their recording quality is poor. You need to ensure that your chosen voice over artist is delivering high-quality recordings with professional studio-quality equipment.
This aspect is vital, as poor audio quality will more than likely lead to customers hanging up and dialling again – thinking it's an issue at their end. When they realise it's you, not them, they can become frustrated and annoyed, which isn't the outcome that you want from your new IVR system.
Choosing Your IVR Voice Is Not as Straightforward as You Might Think – Make Your Choice Wisely!
While hiring a voice over artist for your IVR system may seem like a simple task, it's actually a somewhat challenging one. You need to find someone who reflects your brand’s tone, your local region, and most importantly, that you and your customers will love!
While I might not be the right choice for every single organisation, if you are looking for a female British voice over artist with a broad spectrum of tones and styles, then look no further!
My vocal range spans mid-twenties to early fifties, and I can deliver a variety of styles, including but not limited to:
If you're still on the fence, why not view my portfolio to better understand my signature voices and assess whether I am a good fit for your brand or organisation?
If you like what you hear, then make sure to send me an email or book a discovery call to discuss your IVR project in more detail, or head over to my telephone system voice over service order page if you think you are ready to get started.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!