Customer facing communication for call center recordings, including Auto Attendant, IVR prompts, and messages on hold, is often the first messaging and branding that your company impresses on your customers. The person charged with writing scripts for professional voice recordings has a creative role in conveying timely details, policies, promotions, etc., and keeping potential customers engaged while on the call. At Marketing Messages, we are tasked with making sure our voice over talents convey your script’s meaning and tone – including correct pronunciation of your brand names, products, and people. In this article, we’ll address the specifics of recording correct pronunciations in scripts that you’ve carefully prepared.
But first, let’s conjure a worst-case scenario. You’ve delivered a well-crafted script filled with a directory of employee names and new product offerings that include unique brand names. After receiving the finished audio from us, you immediately loaded it onto your telephone system. But after only one business day, a co-worker alerted you to the fact that her last name was incorrectly pronounced. On top of that, you were advised by a product manager that one of the brand names was also incorrectly pronounced. Your customers that call your business are hearing mispronunciations, and your co-workers blame you for the errors!
While it’s technically possible that this could happen, it’s very unlikely. We have processes in place that protect against mispronunciations in professional voicemail greetings.
Our Customer Service Manager and Script Writer, Brendan Foley, is one of the first people you’ll talk to about your script. He will help you think about the importance of correction pronunciations, both audibly and phonetically. Brendan will work with you on the best ways we have to convey pronunciation to our professional Voice Artists. More points from Brendan Foley:
“In terms of the writing of the pronouncers, the most important thing for the customer to identify is which syllable receives the emphasis. The easiest trick is for them to just say the word in question over and over again, placing the emphasis in different spots until they understand which portion of the word should be emphasized to create the best, most natural effect. Emphasis on syllables is one of those things we are largely unconscious of as we speak, but it influences the entire shape of a word, and if it’s off, it throws everything off. Saying the word out loud seems like a foolishly simple piece of advice, but it goes a long way and is a huge help. The more you say a word, the more you become aware of its pieces and its sounds, and the more aware you are of that, the cleaner a pronouncer you’ll be able to write.”
Seems Obvious, But It’s Not
“Customers should not assume a name they see and say every day will be as comprehensible to someone who doesn’t work at their company. I’ve had many a phone call with a customer developing an MOH (Messages-On-Hold) who realized that they actually haven’t said a co-worker’s last name before and can’t describe how it should sound.”
Phonetic Writing for Correct Pronunciations in Scripts
“A good trick for writing pronouncers clearly is to identify similar sounding words, or rhyming words, that convey what the sound should…you know…*sound* like. For example, if you were to write a pronouncer for the name Cedric, you might write it as SED-rick, and you could clarify, ‘SED to be read like said’.”
The preceding phonetic writing tip works well for English, but what about for our roster of international voice talents? They might interpret our phonetics (or yours) differently from the intended pronunciation. In this case, and in almost every case, the best practice is to include an audio pronouncer.
We have an easy and foolproof way to convey correct pronunciations in scripts to our Voice Artists. Simply call our pronunciation line at extension 130 and record any and every word and phrase in question – whether a person’s name, brand, product name, or anything else in your script that has a chance to be mispronounced.
You or anyone on your team may call in or be transferred to our pronunciation line. You’ll be greeted with the following:
“You have reached the Marketing Messages pronunciation line. We send these recordings to our voice talents, so please speak slowly and clearly. And please say each word twice, with a short pause in between. Thank you. You may begin after the beep.”
Once you’ve completed the telephone recording, an audio copy is automatically sent to our Production department who will then work to edit the audio so that it will be presentable to the Voice Artists that you’ve chosen for recording. Your audio pronouncers, along with your script, are sent to your chosen Voice Talent(s) for recording. This process is our best method of delivering pronunciations exactly as you intended.
While it’s very helpful to include phoneticly-written pronouncers within your script for any words and phrases that might be mispronounced, we urge our customers and partners to also include audio pronouncers. It’s as easy as calling our Pronunciation Line and recording the words with your own voice.
Ready to speak to someone on our customer service team about including audio pronouncers for correct pronunciations in scripts? Get in touch, and we’ll be happy to assist.