How to Choose the Best IVR Voice Everything you need to find the best IVR voice for your system.

By Hammad Syed in TTS

June 22, 2023 10 min read
How to Choose the Best IVR Voice

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The voice you choose can make all the difference. 

In today’s competitive landscape, an IVR system is more than just a tool for routing calls. It’s an opportunity to create a lasting impression and forge meaningful connections with your audience. That’s why selecting the right voice is absolutely crucial.

But where do you start?

Start by considering your brand persona and target audience. Reflect on the values and image you want to convey, and let PlayHT’s diverse range of voice styles, including Narrative, Training, and Advertising, help you find the perfect fit. 

Each voice style brings a unique flavor to your IVR recordings, ensuring your brand’s personality shines through with every interaction.

Your IVR system is the first touchpoint for your customers, and PlayHT’s ultra-realistic voices guarantee a memorable experience. Whether you need informative messages, instructional prompts, or captivating advertisements, our voices deliver the perfect tone and message for every scenario.

So, what exactly is an IVR system?

An IVR system, or Interactive Voice Response system, is like the virtual receptionist of the business world. Imagine dialing a company’s number and being greeted by a friendly voice that says something like, “Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for Support,” and so on. That’s IVR at work.

It’s a technology that lets callers interact with a company’s computer system via voice commands or touch-tone keypad selections, without needing to speak to a human operator right away. IVR systems serve various purposes, from call routing and self-service options to collecting customer information and providing personalized assistance.

Think of it as a way for businesses to streamline their customer service or sales calls. Instead of having all calls go through a human operator, which can be time-consuming and costly, an IVR system can handle the initial interaction. It routes calls to the appropriate department or provides callers with the information they’re looking for, all through automated prompts. This can be anything from checking an account balance, making a payment, getting opening hours, or more complex tasks.

The cool part? IVR systems have gotten pretty advanced. They’re no longer just robotic voices that sound like they’re straight out of an 80s sci-fi movie. Nowadays, they can be incredibly natural-sounding and can even understand complex voice commands thanks to advancements in AI and natural language processing technologies.

So, IVR is essentially the backbone of modern customer service and call routing, helping businesses manage high volumes of calls efficiently while providing callers with a smoother, more streamlined experience. Plus, it’s available 24/7, meaning customers can get assistance whenever they need it, even outside of regular business hours.

The impact of voice on customer perception and engagement cannot be overstated. A professional and polished voice exudes credibility, building trust and confidence in your brand. On the other hand, a warm and empathetic voice creates a sense of familiarity and care, forging a strong emotional connection with your customers.

In today’s world, where customers seek personalized and seamless experiences, the voice plays a crucial role in your IVR design. It sets the stage for customer interactions, leaving a lasting impression that can make or break their perception of your brand. A well-chosen voice has the power to captivate, engage, and elevate your customer’s experience.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an IVR Voice

When it comes to choosing the best voice for IVR systems, several factors come into play. Let’s explore the key considerations to help you make a perfect choice and create an exceptional caller experience.

Brand Persona and Target Audience

To create a cohesive brand experience, matching the voice with your brand’s values and image is crucial. Consider the personality you want to convey and select a voice that aligns perfectly. 

Take into account the demographic characteristics of your target audience. Their preferences and expectations should guide your voice selection process.

Voice Characteristics and Qualities

Voice characteristics play a vital role in engaging your callers. Clarity, tone, and articulation are essential for conveying messages effectively. A clear and pleasant voice ensures that instructions and information are easily understood.

Consider the desired qualities such as warmth, friendliness, and professionalism. These traits can significantly impact how callers perceive your brand.

Language and Accent

Language is a powerful tool for connecting with your audience. Assess the language preferences of your target audience and choose a voice that speaks their language fluently. Also, take regional accents and dialects into consideration. 

This can create a sense of familiarity and make callers feel more comfortable interacting with your IVR system.

Voice Styles

The voice you choose for your IVR system can make or break the caller experience. It sets the tone, conveys your brand’s personality, and engages your audience meaningfully. 

Conversational

  • Description: Casual, friendly, and easygoing, mimicking a natural dialogue between friends.
  • Use case: Perfect for customer service IVRs, where a welcoming tone can put callers at ease, or in podcasts to create a relaxed, engaging atmosphere.

Professional/Formal

  • Description: Polished and precise, with a clear and authoritative tone.
  • Use case: Ideal for corporate presentations, official announcements, or any context where clarity and professionalism are paramount, such as banking IVR systems.

Informative/Explanatory

  • Description: Clear, articulate, with a focus on delivering information effectively.
  • Use case: Used in educational content, tutorials, and explainer videos, where the goal is to educate or instruct the audience.

Persuasive/Sales

  • Description: Energetic, engaging, aiming to excite or convince the audience.
  • Use case: Great for commercials, marketing campaigns, and sales IVRs, where the objective is to persuade the listener to take action, like making a purchase.

Inspirational/Motivational

  • Description: Uplifting, with an emphasis on inspiring the listener.
  • Use case: Suited for motivational speeches, self-help audiobooks, and any content designed to inspire and motivate the audience.

Empathetic/Compassionate

  • Description: Warm, caring, with a tone that conveys understanding and empathy.
  • Use case: Useful in healthcare settings, support hotlines, or any service-oriented IVR where providing emotional support is key.

Narrative/Storytelling

  • Description: Dynamic and expressive, capable of changing tone to suit different characters or settings.
  • Use case: Ideal for audiobooks, podcasts, and any platform that involves storytelling, allowing the narrator to bring stories to life.

Technical/Scientific

  • Description: Precise, often with a neutral tone, focused on delivering technical or complex information.
  • Use case: Best for instructional content in technical fields, scientific presentations, or any scenario where detailed, complex information needs to be communicated clearly.

Animated/Character

  • Description: Fun, quirky, often involves changing pitch or tone to match different characters or animated personas.
  • Use case: Used in video games, animated movies, and children’s storytelling apps, where distinct character voices are needed.

Seductive/Intimate

  • Description: Soft, sultry, often used to create an intimate or luxurious atmosphere.
  • Use case: Effective in certain types of advertising (e.g., perfumes, luxury goods) or adult content, where the goal is to allure or entice the audience.

The voice you choose for your IVR system can make or break the caller experience. It sets the tone, conveys your brand’s personality, and engages your audience meaningfully.

IVR Voices: Comparing Then and Now

The world of IVR software has evolved remarkably, revolutionizing how we bring our systems to life. Gone are the days when our only option was to rely solely on professional voice actors. 

Today, we stand at the crossroads of a new era, where the cutting-edge technology of text-to-speech has emerged as a powerful alternative. Let’s explore these two excellent options – the timeless artistry of professional voice actors and the awe-inspiring capabilities of text-to-speech.

Professional Voice Actors

Hiring professional voice talent can make a difference when creating a genuinely unique IVR system. These skilled artists bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. 

Imagine the power of a voice that effortlessly captures attention, conveys emotions, and adds a touch of personality to your IVR. With professional voice actors, you can achieve all that and more.

But what are the specific benefits of working with professionals? For starters, they bring a polished and versatile range of vocal abilities, ensuring that your IVR script is delivered precisely and positively. 

They can adapt their tone and style to match your brand persona, creating a cohesive and engaging caller experience. Additionally, professional voice actors provide authenticity and emotional connection that text-to-speech technology may struggle to replicate.

Finding the right voice actor for your IVR is crucial. Consider factors such as voice quality, accent, and language proficiency. Review their portfolio and listen to samples to ensure their style aligns with your brand vision.

AI Text-to-Speech Technology

Text-to-speech technology offers an alternative option for generating voice output in your IVR system. This innovative technology has revolutionized the industry, providing a convenient and scalable solution. At PlayHT, we have harnessed the power of AI text-to-speech to deliver exceptional voice quality and flexibility for your IVR needs.

Our AI text-to-speech technology combines state-of-the-art algorithms with extensive voice training to produce natural-sounding voices that captivate your callers. With diverse voices available, you can choose the perfect tone, style, and language to align with your brand identity and target audience.

One significant advantage of PlayHT’s text-to-speech technology is its flexibility and scalability. It allows for quick and seamless script updates, eliminating the need for extensive re-recordings by professional voice actors.

While text-to-speech has made significant advancements, it’s essential to acknowledge its limitations. Human voice actors possess a unique ability to infuse emotion, nuanced intonation, and personalized delivery into their performances, which may only sometimes be fully replicated by text-to-speech technology. 

However, PlayHT’s AI models are trained to deliver exceptional expressiveness and naturalness, bridging the gap between human voice actors and automated speech generation.

When considering voice talent options, evaluate your budget, customization requirements, and the desired level of human-like qualities. With PlayHT’s text-to-speech technology, you can effortlessly create a captivating caller experience that aligns with your brand values. 

AI voices provide convenience, quality, and affordability to ensure an exceptional outcome.

Choose Your IVR Voice from Our Library for an Unforgettable Caller Experience

The voice you choose for your IVR system holds the power to create an unforgettable caller experience. By carefully considering factors such as brand persona, target audience, voice characteristics, language, accent, and even the gender of the voice, you can shape a connection that resonates deeply with your callers.

At PlayHT, we offer a wide range of diverse and captivating voices. Whether you seek a warm and empathetic female voice or a confident and authoritative male voice, our collection perfectly matches your brand and industry.

Don’t settle for mediocrity when it comes to your IVR system. Unlock the full potential of your customer interactions by choosing your IVR voice from our library. Create an unforgettable caller experience that leaves a lasting impression and sets the stage for meaningful connections.

Choose your IVR voice from our library today!

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Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed holds a Bachelor of Engineering - BE, Electrical, Electronics and Communications and is one of the leading voices in the AI voice revolution. He is the co-founder and CEO of PlayHT, now known as PlayAI.

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