Wednesday 28 March 2018

What is IVR?

Another genre of voiceovers is the growing use of the human voice when dealing with a phone system. 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and On-Hold are used to describe tecchnology that allows a telephony system computer to interact with the customer through the use of voiceovers. 

In the past customers would have had to talk to a switchboard operator or to a reception and have their call re-directed. If the phone were engaged with another call, then they would only hear the engaged tone. 

As technology moved on companies wanted to ensure that they could efficiently deal with customer inquiries as well as offering a personal touch. The aim is to avoid the customer floundering and knowing where they should be going next audiowise.

With IVR the technology is able to decipher the caller’s speech or touch response and directs the call as needed. Voices are used to enable the customer to hear choices and give clear answers so that the technology can direct them as needed. 

The voices that are chosen reflect clarity, an engaging tone and friendliness. Products, brands and services tend to choose a voice that is reflective of their brand. It will be the first time many clients will interact with that brand so the voice is key to maintaining that brand umbrella. 

On Hold differs from IVR simply as it does what it says, the moments that the customer is on hold is an opportunity for branding and interaction. As the customer waits on the line, music and/or conversation is played for them while they wait to transferred or held in a queue. 

The on hold messaging can provide important information to the caller such as a change in the company’s location, opening hours, new products, latest news and more. Humour or entertaining messages can be used to keep the client on the phone. 

These can be very creative for sound designers and we work on these daily and write our own scripts with up to date news as well as fun news stories and weather updates. Ricky often voices these as he is an experienced newsreader – but you know that anyway.

Don’t leave your customers with a chance to miss out on the key points of your voiceover business, service or product. Leave them informed and happy to have dealt with you.