“Thank you for calling faceless company X, for sales, press 1, for accounts press 2, for details of what they’re serving in the canteen at lunch, press 3, to hear these options again, press 4, if none of these apply to you, you’re pretty much screwed”.
Ah yes, the dreaded telephone option menu, or IVR system as it’s known amongst Voice-over Artists. IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. There are three things wrong with that term:
- Interactive – Trouble is, the interactive part extends to the caller’s ability to find the right digit before swearing at someone who can’t hear them. Or they’ll just press zero in the hope that it bypasses everything.
- Response? What response? Research shows that most people hate IVR systems – they would much rather talk to a human being straight away. And did I miss one? Oh yes…
- Voice – kind of makes sense that I would leave that one to the end doesn’t it? Sadly, this is one area where so many companies fall flat on their faces. They invest time and considerable money in installing a system, and then get someone whose voice could curdle milk to record the greeting.
Why the Telephone Voice-Over Matters
I have my own pet hates about such things. Top of the list is the fact that the letter G is becoming silent in words like morning or calling. I guess it’s fine if you’re calling a hair salon in Essex, but I’ve heard it on the telephone systems of major city firms and it just sounds plain wrong.
Then of course, there are the ‘on hold’ messages – those little pieces of information designed to educate and entertain while you wait for your call to be connected. That’s if you’re lucky. Just this week I was told “All of our staff are busy helping other callers at the moment but your call is important to us and we will answer your call as soon as possible” EVERY FIFTEEN SECONDS!!!
I waited on hold for 7 minutes before slamming the phone down and sending them an email asking them to call me. That’s a 7 minute wasted opportunity. I could have been told about new products, special offers, and any other array of value messages to not only hold my interest, but perhaps upsell me when someone gets to my call.
A Telehpone Voice-Over That Sells & Compels
A quality voice over on your telephone system will do wonders for your business. Just the right inflection in that all important greeting can set the tone for the whole conversation.
Many phone systems will allow you to simply upload WAV or MP3 files that can be emailed to you by your voice artist. If not, then I’d be happy to record your greetings at your offices at a time to suit you, so please just let me know.