It’s Contextual: 5 Ways Professional Voice Talent Makes All the Difference

Your business is constantly evolving.  When it comes to marketing your brand, there is no checklist to complete and walk away from.  Just like laundry, marketing is never completely done.  Every customer touchpoint is weighted – either towards, or away from, your business – depending on the connection made at every single interaction.  Let me reiterate: every time a customer has the opportunity to interact with your brand, an impressionable connection is made.  This includes all automated customer service experiences as well.  A professional voice talent can help create a credible impression with your customers at a critical time in your relationship.

Enter Contextual VUI (Voice User Interface), the practice of directing callers down a specific call flow tree based on personalized information.  This information is gained by either querying a database or by prompting the caller to take a specific action, such as buying a specific product, using a specific service, or alerting the caller regarding the availability of self-service options.

For example, a customer calls into their banking call center, engaging with the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.  The bank’s computer and phone systems have been integrated, enabling the system to use the caller’s ANI (Automated Numbering Identification).  In doing so, it determines that the caller is not using the bank’s online banking system.  The caller hears, “I see that you don’t have online banking with us…,” and is subsequently told about the benefits of the online banking system, including being given the option to be transferred to a representative for assistance.

Wy entrust such a critical interaction to anyone but a professional voice talent?  These artists know the appropriate variations in rhythm, pitch, speed, duration of pauses and elongation of words to gain the attention of your customers.  If your IVR prompts sound less than engaged and confident in your messaging, so will your customer.  Nothing says brand discontinuity like an IVR function featuring multiple, inconsistent voice recordings.

How do you avoid this?  Well, let’s discuss five ways professional voice prompts make all the difference in what your customers hear about – and how they connect to – your brand.

1. A professional voice talent is trained to sound more persuasive than a recording created by an internal employee.

Say you own an insurance company.  A customer calls into your automated system, follows the call tree flow, and is waiting on hold.  Your contextual VUI queues, and the caller hears, “I see you purchased auto insurance from us last April, but did you know we sell insurance for boats and motorcycles as well?  Ask a representative for a free quote.”  If the voice is professional, personable and has the right level of energy, it is more likely the customer will act as directed.

2. Professionally recorded IVR prompts lend themselves to a better personalized caller experience.

In this example, a tool manufacturer uses an IVR system to allow customers to track tool repair.  “I see your ‘widget’ is in our repair shop.  It will be ready for pick on October 15.  For helpful information about keeping your ‘widget’ performing optimally, please visit our website, www…..”

Employing professional voice talent sounds more natural and engaging than text to speech or using untrained voices.  They are also able to use informal language and logic appropriately.  Coupling a strong natural voice with a conversational script greatly improves the odds of your customer visiting your website.

3. IVR systems using contextual VUI are more likely to use prompts that are concatenated – or joined – with other prompts or system-supplied variables.

Because of this, it is more important that the proper inflection is used at the start and end of phrases to make each full sentence smoother.  Simply put, a trained voice talent is much better at this than an untrained internal employee.

4. A professional voice talent minimizes the “freak out” factor.

Let’s be honest.  It can be a bit spooky to hear that the computerized telephone system your customer has called into knows something specific about them.

System:  “I see you don’t have our outage reporting application.”

Customer Thinks:  “Wait, what?!  How do they know that?!”

A disinterested or robotic voice isn’t going to able to overcome any negative feelings associated with this kind of reaction.

5. Because of the complex and nuanced nature of contextual VUI, a natural, conversational voice is required.

Contextual VUI is often used in speech recognition applications, of which the complexities can be numerous.  Professional voice talent that is engaging and sympathetic is essential for customers to feel emotionally connected.

The professional voice talent at Marketing Messages is here to help.  Our Voice Artists have the experience and depth necessary to enable your brand to emerge as a market leader.  Request a free, 20-minute phone consultation today.  Or, if you already know what your needs are, request a quote here.