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  • Moira Tait

Why You Need a Professional Voicemail Message

Whether you are a small business, sole trader or a multinational, having a voice mail message is crucial. There’s nothing worse for a customer or client when they try to call you, than a phone ringing and no one answers. For all the caller knows, they may have an incorrect number or the business may have gone bust. But some companies deliberately make it impossible to contact them. Only last month I wanted to purchase a new mattress and the choice was down to two well-known brands. I had a question about my purchase, and I needed to speak to Customer Services. One of the companies had no phone number despite me searching on Google, Companies House and in their Privacy Policy. The other did and answered my query. You can guess which company I chose to give over £600 to!



Photo by Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo


First Impressions

When you call a business and hear a short, clear message, that’s obviously an improvement on no message at all, but how it's delivered is extremely important as it will often be the first impression your prospective client or customer will have about you. I must confess here, that it was only when I started writing this blog post, did I realise I hadn’t recorded a personalised message on my mobile and what callers heard when they rang was my mobile company’s message delivered by a Northern middle-aged man: It couldn’t be further from my female Southern accent. And my business is my voice!


Photo by Dim Hou


So how long do you have to make a good first impression? Scientists at Glasgow University have discovered that humans make judgements on someone’s trustworthiness within the first 500 milliseconds of hearing their voice. That’s as much as a simple “Hello” to allow most people to draw conclusions about personality type. And we’re able to make these judgements without seeing the person to whom we are speaking. The study showed recordings of people saying hello and asked test subjects to rank them according to 10 pre-defined personality traits, the most important of which were trustworthiness and dominance. This suggests that the tone of voice you use when saying hello, directly and immediately informs the first impression of the person to whom you are speaking. The study found that males who raised their tone and women who alternated the pitch of their voices are seen as more trustworthy. Dominance is partly indicated by lowering the pitch, but more so by changes in ‘formant dispersion’, which are adjustments of your voice caused by the structure of your throat. The fact that the human mind can come to these conclusions so quickly and irrespective of visual cues implies that this is an ability that may have evolved in our recent history when decisions on who to trust and approach were crucial to our species’ survival.



Benefits of Hiring a Professional


If you are uncomfortable when leaving a voicemail message, or, like many people, you can’t stand the sound of your own voice, that will come across in your message and will be picked up by the listener. If you are trying to exude confidence in yourself and by association your product or service, being shy, or self-conscious isn’t going to cut it. You could go down the route of having a computer-generated or AI voice, but so far, none have been able to recreate the warmth and personableness of a human voice. This is why so many companies use a professional voice artist. But a professional voice talent can offer so much more.



Voiceover actors have years of experience of reading scripts, so not only do we have excellent grammar and correct pronunciation which gives a professional feel to the message and therefore your business, they will be able to help you write the message content to convey what you ‘d like a client or customer to hear, and they make it succinct. Professional voiceover artists can be particularly helpful if you have an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR) where the system speaks back to you to get you to the right department such as your bank, or where you have a large number of options or you want to play an on-hold marketing message. Your customer or client will get bored very quickly if the voice they are listening to isn’t consistently engaging.


You can be sure of a high quality recording with a professional voice over talent as they work in an acoustically treated space so there’ll be no background noises. Their microphone will be top-notch, so their voice sounds resonant rather than tinny. They know how to add music if that’s what’s wanted, (and be able to source suitable royalty-free music) and can deliver the recording in a format to suit your phone system.


And most important of all, voice actors can deliver your script in a variety of ways to reflect your business. Not only will they read with passion and authenticity, but they will also deliver your message which conveys your brand. If the goal is to sound slick and business-like, they will read your script in a more serious, professional manner. If your company is fun and friendly, they will portray that in their voice. A voice which is congruent with your brand, makes the listener feel comfortable with your business. If they feel comfortable, they are more likely to trust you. If they trust you they are far more likely to buy your product or service, thereby increasing sales.


And it’s not that expensive to hire a professional voice artist – you can read my blog on how to find a voice artist or you can contact me to find out more or listen to my telephone Demo Reel here:


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