Telephone voice overs are a necessity in nearly every industry, but are especially essential for any company requiring a large customer service division and an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

When customers call a given company’s line to ask for help or leave a comment or complaint, they expect courteous treatment from a customer service representative. With more and more companies choosing to design elaborate phone trees to help customers navigate their phone system to direct their call, voice over has become an even more important consideration for keeping callers engaged and minimizing potential frustration. Turning waiting time into selling time is advantageous to a company and far more preferable than dead air or elevator music to someone who’s waiting. This is where a well-crafted voice over and capable voice talent come in.

There are Many Reasons Why IVR Phone Systems are Important

Your phone tree design, voice over scripting, and on hold program functions all come together to form an extension of your marketing and customer service strategies. Here are facts supporting the use of IVR phone systems and auto attendants:

FACT:  On-Hold Messaging Reduces Hang-ups.

Callers don’t want to wait and will hang up if left on hold too long. 60 percent of business callers placed on-hold will hang up if left in silence.

FACT:  On-Hold Messaging is Preferred by Most Callers.

Callers want assistance. 80 percent of callers appreciate hearing information about a company while waiting, rather than hearing a radio station, sleepy music or silence. On-hold messaging provides helpful information.

FACT:  On-Hold Messaging Can Influence Buying Decisions.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sell your product or service through custom-produced on-hold messaging: 16 to 20 percent of callers have made purchases based on information they heard while on hold.

FACT:  Callers Who Hang Up While On-Hold May Never Call Back.

More than a third of all first-time callers who hang up while on-hold will never call back.

A message on hold program is the most cost effective marketing tool available today. Compared to other forms of media, on-hold marketing is a sound investment for your business. Presenting unified marketing announcements to your best prospects, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Choosing Voice Over Talent for Your Telephone Systems

A talented voice over artist understands how to tread that fine line between being comforting and authoritative.

Additionally, the professional needs to instantly switch tones depending on which portion of the telephone voice-over is being recorded.

Instructions explaining which key to hit and when must be kept as concise as possible. On the other hand, marketing messages presented while the customer is on hold are best presented in a conversational tone.

A wide array of demographics can be used in the hunt for the ideal voice over actor, but in the end, the best choice will involve a voicethat can be understood by the greatest share of customers. When picking a voice for any purpose, you’ll need to clearly identify your market and define the characteristics of your customer base. It’s important that your telephone voice over best reflects your company’s image, market, and customers.

For businesses with a local base of operation, this may require finding a voice capable of speaking in the dialect of the area. National and international companies are better suited to what is known as the standard American accent, however, languages, dialects and even accents can be localized if need be.

Most importantly, the voice over must be easy to understand for customers and clients of all fluency levels.

Selecting a Voice for Your IVR and Auto Attendant

As a tip, design your phone tree before hiring a voice actor for your phone system. Arranging the flow of work this way will make it much easier to craft your script! Customer experiences on the phone start as soon as your lines connect. Be sure to kick it off right with a strong auto attendant, the first greeting your callers hear.

The auto attendant often leads in to the IVR, a menu that gives the caller options, like ‘press 1 for customer service,’ ‘press 2 for sales,’ etc. Usually, the same voice that’s hired to perform the auto attendant also records your entire phone system.

Remember to think about the gender, age, accent, style, when selecting a voice. Write down what you know about your customers and select a voice that best reflects their demographic and meets their specific needs.

Here are some simple questions you can ask yourself:

  • Does this voice compliment the demographics of my target market?
  • Can my customers relate to this voice?
  • Are they persuasive and genuinely convincing?

How Voice Actors Can Better Understand Your Brand Before Recording Your Phone Auto Attendant or IVR System

When directing the voice artist on how to read your script, it helps to share information about what makes your company special. Listing your company values is also a good way to direct talent on how to read your script. This may go without saying, but you want the voice artist to resonate with your audience on a personal level. This person’s voice needs to be building trust and managing expectations for callers on the line.

Think of several adjectives having to do with tone of voice, attitude and disposition. You’ll want the recorded voice on the phone system to resemble the way that your team speaks with people live on a call. After all, the voice you choose will be an extension of your team. Voice actors can help you express your brand voice.

Auditioning talent and having them read a portion of your script is one of the best ways to figure out who would best serve as your telephony voice. There’s nothing like hearing someone say your organization’s name and hearing them invite your customers into conversation. You can learn a lot by listening to samples, and in doing so, may finally find your voice (pun intended)!

What to Include in Your On-Hold Script

For an average system where customers are on hold for 1-3 minutes, it’s wise to have at least 2 courtesy messages and 2 marketing messages, each message timing out to precisely 30 seconds (:30).

Music should play in between the messages for 30 seconds (:30) This will result in 2 minutes of voice-over and 2 minutes of uninterrupted music play, giving you total of 4 minutes of on-hold messaging.

For systems supporting callers on hold longer than 4-5 minutes at a time, make sure that your material is kept fresh for your audience, with at least 4 different courtesy messages and 4 different marketing messages.

On Hold Script Examples

Thank you for calling Extreme Sports Gear and Mountain Bikes.  We’re glad that you called and appreciate your business. In respect of your time, a customer service representative will take your call shortly so you can get back to the great outdoors.

* Music in between messages for 30 seconds to your listening audience *

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Looking for more sample scripts? Check out our on-hold, auto attendant, or IVR system sample scripts.

Script Considerations for IVR Phone Systems

Express your brand voice using direct language that creates a deeper connection with callers. Make sure that every line of your script has a place to live. When scripting phone trees, you’ll need to create a variety of voice prompts — each one needs to do something specific to help move your caller along on their journey with you.

Be flexible with your scripting and realize that it may need to change from time to time. This is particularly true for companies that are growing or do seasonal work. Remember that the copy you write today for your phone system has a shelf life. Some scripts last longer than others, but all companies need to update their phone systems every now and then.

In Summary, Your Telephone System Voice Over Should Reflect Your Brand

The tips and tricks we’ve shared here will help you to create the most effective telephone systems and capitalize on a captive audience. Rome wasn’t built it a day, and neither will your awesome telephone system. The main takeaway here is to be true to the company’s brand when selecting the voice actor, and script them with vocabulary and a tone that’s congruent with the brand.

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