Phone Operator Voices
The phone operator is a character who manages phone calls and logs information regarding said calls. The phone operator character can be human or machine. The phone operator answers questions asked by the caller, records information and directs the caller with instructions.
The human phone operator character is seen most commonly working for a large organisation, talking to callers, noting down important information, and directing them to either hold until a specialist who can handle their concerns are available, or immediately forwarding the call to another department. A more specific example of human phone operator characters can include emergency dispatchers, who collect information and send it to the appropriate branch of emergency services to respond to the problem. Receptionists can also be seen as phone operator characters, if they direct calls to various administrative lines. Some human phone operator characters may be rude or unhelpful, but most are helpful, friendly and polite.
The machine phone operator character is most common in providing automated instructions, such as listing options in menus, verifying names or other data, and providing updates on the status of the call. Machine phone operator characters usually provide simple lines like voice mail commands, announcing position in queue during the time a caller is holding, directing callers to enter an extension, and similar statements. These voices are much more mechanical and serve as an intermediary, rather than both fulfilling the role of intermediary and the role of asking questions and providing a more personal, higher quality level of customer support.
Depending on the phone operator character you are voicing, you can learn about that character in many ways. The historical human phone operator character of the twentieth century can be observed in documentaries, and perhaps films set in that time period. The human phone operator of the modern day can be heard in numerous settings, such as when calling an information line, a bank, a school receptionist, or a government line. Observing both the attitude of the phone operator and the quality of experience you had can help you decide how to speak when voicing your character. Machine phone operators can be heard by calling those organisations as well, but an easier and less disruptive way to study the voice of a machine is to call your answering machine and go through the various options available. By analysing the voice of the phone operator, human or machine, you can learn to incorporate elements of the voice into that of your own character.