Formal Telephone Voice Recordings are Out! Informal, Informational, and Conversational are In!

A frazzled customer calls your company, and they desperately want you to help them sort out a problem. They are greeted by your professional voice recordings that , well makes them feel like a box on a conveyor belt, waiting to be moved to the part of your company where they want to be.  It is, to be clear, not a welcoming feeling. You see, the modern customer craves authenticity.  Micah Solomon, a contributor to Forbes magazine, put it this way, “Millennials crave a true, authentic, personalized experience as customers.” 

And how do you create a sense of authenticity in telephone voice recordings?

Hang tight to your brand

Did you know that 90% of customers expect their interactions with a brand to be similar regardless of how they interact with said brand? Hence the voice and content of your telephone recordings should reflect who you are as a brand.

Should your customers interpret the vibe and content of your telephone voice recordings to be formal and stilted, they will associate these characteristics with your brand.

Allow your brand to influence your telephone voice recordings, through your chosen voice and scripts, while delivering clear information to your customers. If your loyal customers expect the phone experience they get, you’ve got it right.

Hey, you should be a radio announcer

Customers, it turns out, really do not like voices that boom with confidence and vibrate with a manufactured quality. And, it makes sense: An overpowering voice leaves an impression with the caller, but interferes with their purpose, which is to interact with your company in a casual, positive way.

Also, what we have come to know as the over-the-top radio-voice, works against the mantra of the suave company in modern times: authenticity. Customers want to hear a pleasing voice that is easy to hear; that is all. No bells, whistles or echoes are required.

Voice recordings to differentiate your brand

Using voice recordings to differentiate your company and your brand adds that critical element of personal interaction at a point where your customers still have a choice.  Your customers are much more sophisticated than they used to be and expect the same thing from you. If that first interaction with your company is different you have planted a seed with the consumer that your company will be different and more accessible. observed that companies who create positive emotional experiences for their customers outperform those who do not.

This is about to get emotional

Your customers want to believe that you care about them: They don’t want to believe that you want to sell something to them, regardless of who they are and what they really need. And, you know, it is completely rational for your customers to want you to care about them, except that is entirely emotional.

Annette Franz is an expert in analyzing customer experiences, and she has Most companies use the old formal style, so the new style is a great way to differentiate your brand. Businesses that leave their customers feeling surprised, happy, and grateful are building useful relationships with them.  

Let’s review

Our customer surveys, as well as authoritative research in the CX realm, tell us that our customers value authenticity. What does this mean?

It means that customers expect us to be true to our brands, including in our telephone voice recordings. And to be authentic, in the actual voices we use to speak to them and in the way we interact with them. Our customers want to feel surprised, happy or thankful after they interact with us, and they really don’t want to feel angry, disappointed or frustrated.

But breaking up is hard to do

Even though the consensus in the industry is that voices and scripts that reflect the everyday way we speak to each other in our culture, the otherness of the radio-announcer voice is still the type of voice that most of our customers choose.

At Marketing Messages, we would like us to evolve together; to create a customer experience that invokes your hard-won brand while treating your customers the way they are telling us to treat them.

But breaking up is hard to do, and radio-announcer voices have a certain old-school charm, right?

Well, not really – at least not in the context of your recorded voice messages.

Now that you are eagerly looking forward to choosing a voice that authentically reflects your brand and incorporates your customer’s feedback, there is the matter of the script.

A more casual voice should read more casual words

The script for your telephone voice recordings should strive for the authenticity our customers desire. Here are 4 tips for writing more casual scripts:

  1.    Use contractions liberally, just as we do in conversations; pepper your script with “we’re” and “you’re” and “it’s.”
  2.    Avoid exclamation points as voice talent are trained to give these punctuation points very special treatment, hence eroding the informal vibe of the recording.
  3.    Simply oust any stodgy phrases that find their way into your script. Say what you mean in simple language: “We consistently strive to provide satisfying customer service that …” should be replaced by something like “We want you to be happy.”
  4.    For an interactive voice response recording (IVR), a conversational tone and script are essential, as the customer is speaking directly to the IVR and expecting a pleasant, interactive experience.

A final point

The brilliant part of reworking your telephone voice recordings so that they are less formal and more conversational is that you are more likely to give your customers an experience that they value. They’ve told us what they want.