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Choosing a Voice for your IVR & Voice Prompts

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The first voice that your customers encounter of your brand through your IVR & Voice Prompts can make or break your image. We all have heard the old adages about how the first impression is the most important, so wouldn’t you want the first voice your clients hear to be the right one for your company?

ivr server
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Every time your customer calls your company, they are greeted by a familiar voice and in order to create a great experience for your customer, two major factors are at hand:

  1. The technology must be up to standard
  2. The voice must be humanizing

Having the highest standard in technology means that your customers will be greeted by a clear voice, that is able to guide them efficiently and correctly. When the voice is humanizing, the sound offers a friendly vibe that encourages friendliness to be mimicked on the other end.
The easiest way to accomplish this clear and friendly sound for your customers is to hire a professional voice actor to record on your IVR system. Voice actors for IVR are actually easily found because they are managed by telephony applications.

Choosing the Right Voice

Finding the right voice for your IVR is not as easy as picking a random name from a hat. You have to think about what voice stays consistent with your brand. To find the right person for your IVR, consider these options before making your choice.

Tradition

In the past, all businesses used female voices for their voice prompts. You can find evidence of this as far back as World War II. The trend of using automated female voices began in the cockpits of fighter airplanes so that the male pilots could distinguish who was talking. To this day, the majority of businesses use a female automated voice, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can narrow down your search just yet.

Male Voices Vs Female Voices

Pros for the male voice include that most people believe that a man is forceful and dominant. However, female voices are said to sound more soothing. Knowing these details, it can be assumed that a customer would feel calmer on the phone when hearing a female voice. However, depending on what you are selling or what image you are trying to portray, a male voice might be more persuasive than a female voice.

Know Your Audience

Between male and female voices, one thing is sure, males prefer to hear other males and females prefer to hear other females. Therefore, if your customer base is dominated by one gender over another your choice is much more simple. If there is no clear gender division of the audience, there are still more things to consider. For example, if you cater to an older community, it might be best to choose a male voice as older individuals might find it more difficult to hear and understand a higher-pitched female voice.

Industry

If your industry is not trying to sell a product or service, and instead uses IVR to communicate with their customers regarding account information and payment information, this company needs to find a voice actor that will be perceived as capable. In this situation, where your clients are trying to accomplish a task instead of purchase an item or dispute a situation, a more forceful voice may come in handy. However, no two task-oriented industries are the same. Health insurance companies prefer to use soothing female voices. These voices are preferred for more sensitive subjects as humans are inclined to trust females.

What Are the Options?

There are many options to choose from for voice automation including multiple companies to work with and multiple voice options. The three most popular voice options are robotic text-to-speak voices, hiring a voice actor, or combining the two.

Only you know what will be best for your company, and you might be finding yourself justifying each option for an IVR voice. Some companies know immediately which voice would fit with their brand immediately, others can have a harder time because they reach a broader audience. Consider the options and situations above before making your decision. Luckily, if your customers don’t like the voice you pick for your voice prompts, they probably won’t be super bothered by it. If you are worried that you haven’t made the right decision, consider putting together a focus group to test out your favorites.