I was chatting to a friend (who makes amazing knives) a few months back about my work and how I'd been enjoying recording lots of phone messages for different types of business. He told me his office had just had theirs refreshed - OMG YOU DIDN'T ASK ME TO DO IT MATE I COULD HAVE DONE A DEAL - by a lady in accounts, who did not enjoy the experience one bit.
Let me say that it's absolutely fine to record them in house, lots of people do. However, taking the above example into consideration, it can produce less than optimal results.
The lady in accounts, let's call her Sandra (Sandra appears twice in my demo reels by the way), didn't want to do it but did it anyway. I dare say you can hear it in her voice.
I'm sure many of you have been on hold to your doctor's surgery or dentist and the messages have printers firing in the background, coughing (hopefully with a mask on) and other such room ambience. Maybe I notice more than others because I record them every week but it's important to consider the impression being given off to your customers.
Have a think about your current messages and how they sound:
Is the voice using the appropriate tone for the audience? It's no good using Happy Dave the hearse driver to record yours for the funeral parlour.
If you were a customer of yours (that sounds odd), would you like to be spoken to like that? It has to sound interested, engaged and personal.
Does it empathize with the caller? Understanding the need of the customer is very important.
Does it sound like you care? There's no point apoligizing for the wait if it sounds like you're reading from notes on the back of your hand or looking out the window or playing that wicked bad new game on computers these days called Solitaire. Love it.
Do they represent your brand well? 60-a-day Sue might sound well cool with that sensual huskiness, but the new mum calling to see if the pram is in stock yet might be a bit weirded out.
Just because you can't see the customer when you're recording these messages, doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them. First impressions are extremely important and when someone phones you, it’s an opportunity to communicate your brand.
Using a professional voice over artist for voicemails or IVR menu systems has several benefits:
It will better connect with the caller.
It gives you a professional image.
It suggests your care about every part of your business.
It shows attention to detail.
It gives the brand identity.
Businesses across the whole spectrum don't have DIY recordings. I've worked with vets, sports organisations, locksmiths, recruitment consultants, sneeze screen manufacturers (how topical!), watch makers and a whole range of others.
Ultimately, as with every other part of your business, it's your decision, but hopefully the above points have given you food for thought. Biscuits preferably. Or crisps.
If you're still engaged (great pun there for phone fans) with the article by this point, take a listen to some phone message examples in my demo reel below.
And if you're still engaged, I'M SORRY TO KEEP YOU WAITING I WON'T BE TOO MUCH LONGER, drop me a line.