This week, on April 25th, we celebrate National Telephone Day. Over 150 years ago, Alexander Graham Bell made the first telephone call. Today, we walk around with mini-computers in our pockets (and, ironically, phone calls are often on the bottom of its list of daily uses!).
While many of us use personal mobile phones instead of traditional landline telephones nowadays, there are plenty of businesses who do use telephones. It’s still an important, and often efficient, way to communicate. And while we sometimes would rather shoot someone an email and not have to “deal with” talking to them directly, it’s also nice to have that personal connection with human voices. I think we’ll appreciate that even more during and after this COVID-19 crisis.
As you know, sometimes we can’t answer the phone when it rings. So, we need a voicemail system set up, along with a voicemail greeting. We want our greeting to be a reflection of us – who we are as an individual or a company. Many people don’t put much thought into recording their voicemail greeting, but it does leave an impression – sometimes good, sometimes not so good.
How many times have you called someone, and after a few rings that person starts talking, “Hey…” but then you quickly realize, after starting to talk with them, that it’s just a recorded message with a pause between the “Hey” and the “You’ve reached the voicemail of…”. If you know this person and their personality, you’ll probably chuckle or roll your eyes a bit, but if you are reaching out to someone new, this could get frustrating or annoying. On the flip side, how many times have you called someone and gotten no personalized greeting, but simply, “Leave a message after the beep”? Sometimes you wonder if you dialed the right number. Not a very personalized experience.
We can go beyond voicemail greetings and talk about the whole IVR (interactive voice response) and phone menu systems. I’m sure most of us have had the dreaded experience of calling a company’s customer service number and doing battle with their phone system. You may be calling with a frustration or problem and are already in a bad mood, or you might have started out fine, just wanting some information, but after half an hour on hold interspersed with questions and prompts from the phone system that lead you in circles, your stress level rises and you end up yelling at the voice on the other end of the line because the system is misunderstanding what you’re saying. I’m definitely guilty of this at times and have been known to give sarcastic remarks, which the system, of course, doesn’t understand.
Now, I can’t do anything about the system itself. Sometimes there’s no getting around the waiting and the complicated path from one menu item to another to another while you beg to just speak with a human being. But I can offer help to make sure your customers and clients don’t have a horrible experience when they contact you.
I work with you to create a customized voice that represents your company and serves your customers. Perhaps you want a professional but warm tone? If you’re in healthcare, you might want confident and reassuring, or if you’re in tech, perhaps the “millennial” sound. Is your company geeky? Retro? Polished and proper? Do you need style and flair? How about a nice, conversational, “real person” tone? If you frequently get people calling you to complain or needing help with something urgent, you might want to consider a voice that has calm and authority. If you know your customers are going to have a long wait time, consider gifting them with a voice that has personality and humor to make the wait a little less aggravating.
I encourage you to check out my IVR/On Hold/Voicemail demos on my website, SarahKramerVoiceOvers.com, to hear examples of the styles you can have to represent your story and share your message with your customers. You can make your phone system unique, helpful, and something you can be proud of. I look forward to giving your company a voice!
Just a few examples of projects using voice over:
e-Learning / Digital Learning
Animation / Anime / Video Games
Online / YouTube tutorials
IVR / Telephony / Voicemail
Promos & Trailers
Guided Meditation Exercises
Real Estate Videos