That computer telephony system you have in the office probably has the
"voice" most heard by your customers. That makes it a powerful member
of your company.
Here are some things to consider when you select the voice for it.
|Does the voice project the image of your company? Your company has a personality. A voice can communicate that personality to your customers. The voice representing a bank shouldn't sound the same as that of a cruise line. Trained talents are usually better at projecting personality than somebody you'll find in accounting or the president's wife.
- Look for a neutral accent. This might depend on your app. If you're only
fielding calls from a particular region, an accent might not be a problem. For
national or worldwide apps, it can turn callers off.
- Pick a voice that sounds professional, clear, friendly and caring. Since
words are limited, the voice must carry these impressions to the customer.
- Find somebody who speaks rhythmically. Flowing speech is easier to
take and understand than choppy speech.
- Look for inflection. A voice with expression will engage callers. A monotone
voice will bore them.
- Select a voice that clearly enunciates all of the consonants and vowels.
Listen carefully, especially if you're not using a trained voice.
- Make sure the ends of sentences aren't thrown away. Sometimes a
sentence will start with great inflection and then taper off. You lose the
customer with the lost end of the sentence.
- Avoid nasal, monotone, mumbling, too slow, too fast, harsh, loud, very deep
or very high voices.
- Listen to the voices on tape or, better, in a test run in your computer
telephony system. Some voices do not sound the same recorded as they do live.
— Sandra McKnight, president of Voice Power Studios (Santa Fe,
NM — 505-466-6500); Sandra will be one of the speakers for the CT Expo
'97 seminar presentation titled "Artistry & Sound Production: Rock Solid
Success Tips From the Experts" on March 6th, 1997 at 11:30 AM, Track Six.