How to Avoid Robotic-Sounding Voice Prompts

woman man working on scriptWe’ve all had a moment stuck on hold, trying to navigate our way through a company’s phone tree with only impersonal, automated recordings to guide us. It can be a long, frustrating experience, made all the longer and more frustrating by the voice prompts which can often be stilted, monotonous, and, well, robotic.

Obviously you can’t always give a customer a one-on-one experience and will at some point or another need to utilize custom Auto Attendant prompts and interactive voice prompts to receive and assist. But it is important to make sure that even these voice recordings provide a personable and engaging experience to someone calling in for assistance or information.

The easiest and most foolproof way to know if your message is going to sound natural is to read it out loud. It sounds simple, but you would be amazed at how rarely people try this! Our professional voice talents frequently catch awkward or confusing language, often just by reading the script out loud for the very first time.

And don’t be afraid to bring in a second set of ears! If you are worried that something in your script is awkwardly or unnaturally worded, you can always ask an office-mate or neighbor to spare a moment. Their reaction will give you a taste for what a customer calling in will experience.

It may seem like a small thing, but professional recordings help to shape the customer experience—whether you are in retail, banking, healthcare, or any other industry. They are a part of your company’s identity and should reflect the image you want to project. Your business has a personality, and that personality should be present even when a customer is interacting over the phone.

One small trick to loosen things up and give things a more personal flavor is to use contractions. Instead of “cannot”, write “can’t”. Instead of “it is”, write “it’s”. Again, this might seem like the most minor consideration possible, but these tiny informalities give a message just that little extra human touch. When language is too formal, it puts an audience’s guard up and tells them that what they are hearing is cold and impersonal. And that’s not the reaction you want a customer feel, is it?

Our professional voice talents give your messages personality! It’s part of the job that we are more than happy to do. But even the best voice talent can only do so much if the words they are tasked to speak don’t sound natural coming off the human tongue. So take that little bit of extra time to look at your script and ask yourself if it seems like a communication from a person, or a read-out from a robot.