Building a Better (Voice) Brand

Simple Voice Branding guidelines to help you improve your telephone customer experience and overall brand.

If your company uses prerecorded greetings or messages, it has a Voice Brand, whether it was crafted with care or with indifference. Unfortunately, the people who need to be most keyed into Voice Branding, C-level execs and marketing managers, are often too high in the clouds to evaluate or even recognize the very public front a telephone presents to customers. After all, Voice Branding is the ground floor; for many customers, especially in a global economy, it’s the front door of your enterprise. So who’s answering your front door? Put yourself in a customer’s shoes: Would you be excited to give yourself business?

Go ahead. Call yourself. We dare you.
Go ahead. Call yourself. We dare you.

If these questions give you pause, it may be time for an intervention. But just to make sure, check out this short list. These are the hallmarks of great Voice Branding, the factors that are shaping your customers’ perceptions RIGHT NOW. Do you meet these criteria? If not, let’s talk.

1. A single-voice user experience:

Any company worth its salt knows an advertising or marketing campaign needs to be consistent with its identity. Brand continuity is key; different variations of a unified theme. It’s the same idea with your prerecorded phone messages. The voice that greets a customer should be the same voice that guides them through all the menus of your IVR system. Multiple voices are jarring in a customer experience; inconsistency is brand discontinuity. Select a single voice persona for your company—one that fits your image. See our Weekly Sessions overview to see how GM Voices makes this easy and affordable to implement and maintain.

2. Spanish voice prompts that sound as good as English:

So maybe your English-language application sounds great. You’re not off the hook yet. Are your Spanish-speaking customers getting the same service? The US Hispanic market will triple over the next 40 years, and its spending influence is disproportionately skyrocketing. A Voice Branding expert takes great care to select a professional voice actor who can connect with everyone. This usually means choosing a Neutral Spanish talent, someone who can speak without a regional accent. A Voice Brander always ensures that menu scripts are properly translated, grammatically correct and appropriate to the target audience. GM Voices has been developing Neutral Spanish voice personas for Fortune 1000 companies for years. No problemo.

3. Uniform, high-quality production:

Why is it that (often in the same system) some voice prompts sound crystal clear while others sound like they were recorded on your grandma’s old Dictaphone? Some recordings pierce your eardrums; others are practically inaudible. When it’s expensive or impractical to update your recordings, a piecemeal and bizarre customer experience is sure to follow. Getting serious about Voice Branding requires using the same recording equipment, the same mixing and editing process and the same volume levels (Holy tinnitus, Batman!). Our experienced audio engineers keep your sound consistent using state-of-the-art recording gear.

4. Scripting for success:

The objectives of any IVR system are to reflect positively on the brand and automate routine caller requests. The only way you meet either is through an effective script and menu tree. Admittedly, it’s a fine line between concise and cold, pleasant and superfluous. It’s important to troubleshoot any scripting scenario. Is it respectful of your customers’ time? Is there a logical flow? Break out a stopwatch. Get someone to role play with you. It’s the difference between about seven cents (when a customer is contained within your IVR) and $7.50 (when a customer opts for a live agent).

Your phone is ringing. Good or bad, it’s your brand that’s answering the call. Give your biz a jingle. Now you know what to listen for.

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