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Why Contact Center Voice Prompts Are Different

contact center voice prompts 5 womenEvery industry has their own requirements for contact center voice prompts—their customer-facing, and internal, IVR and Auto Attendant voice recordings—just as every company needs to decide for themselves what tone, pacing, and language will be used that will best forge the desired relationship with whichever customer is calling in.

Voice talents come with numerous different abilities and strengths, and it is often the case that any one of a number of potential voices would be the correct fit for your company and message. What it largely comes down to is a personal preference for how one voice artist sounds versus any of the others.

But contact center prompts are very different from any other type of recording, and these IVR systems require something fundamentally different from the standard automated-attendant prompts used to direct customers around. And they require something different from the voice talent as well.

The specificity needed to make contact center voice recordings work all but requires the use of a trained, professional voice talent.

Contact center prompts are meant to simulate real human conversation, and this requires the use of voice talents with very specific skills, a very specific way of speaking, and a great deal of experience. This also requires the script has itself been carefully prepared in order to simulate the way human conversation sounds, which demands a bit of extra care and attention.

At Marketing Messages, we have also seen a real rise in the use of automated speech recognition at call centers. To better suit this growing need, the voice artist needs to be able to demonstrate a much broader range of emotions and inflections. To put it simply, the voice must have empathy if it is going to work.

But the inflection portion of the job is tricky as well. IVR prompts are often stitched together out of multiple fragments of sentences that can be joined together into different combinations based on a user’s choices and requirements.

In order to make this work within a phone system, the fragments are recorded as pieces and then stitched together as the system needs. A voice artist needs to inflect the beginning and/or ending of a fragment with rising, falling, or neutral inflection so the different pieces can fit seamlessly together. It takes skill and practice to pull off the smooth, natural sounds that allows for that kind of shuffling without feeling like an awkward jumble.

Professional voice artists, with their experience and equipment, are always a better option than going off and recording your own messages and prompts on some home user device. But for contact center voice prompts, the need is all the more pressing. If you want IVR voice recordings that will work both with the system and with the user, that is a special kind of job that will require a special kind of talent. Talk to us about your needs.