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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an IVR Voiceover (and How to Get it Right)

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an IVR Voiceover (and How to Get it Right)

Your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is often the first point of contact for your customers, guiding them through menus and helping them access information or find the right department. The voiceover within your IVR plays a crucial role in determining whether that first interaction is frustrating or positive. Unfortunately, many businesses make critical mistakes when choosing an IVR voiceover, leading to customer dissatisfaction and a missed opportunity to make a great impression.

Let’s delve into 5 common mistakes businesses make when selecting an IVR voiceover, along with tips on how to get it right.

Mistake 1: Opting for an Amateur or Robotic Voice:

Imagine calling a helpline and being greeted by a robotic-sounding, monotone voice. Would you feel valued or engaged? Likely not. An amateur or robotic voice lacks warmth and personality, creating a negative perception of your business.

How to Get it Right: Invest in a professional voice actor who can deliver a friendly, conversational, and clear tone. Think of your ideal “virtual receptionist” – a welcoming voice that fosters trust and makes customers feel they’re interacting with a real person.

Mistake 2: Neglecting Clarity and Diction:

Your IVR system should guide customers, not confuse them. Mumbling, unclear pronunciation, or a voiceover filled with distracting background noise creates frustration and increases the chances of customers abandoning the call.

How to Get it Right: Choose a voice actor with excellent diction and clarity. Ensure the voiceover is recorded in a professional environment with minimal background noise. Test the audio quality on different devices to ensure optimal clarity across various platforms.

Mistake 3: Forgetting the Power of Tone, Pace, and Empathy

Customers seeking support are sometimes already frustrated or anxious. A harsh or overly brisk voiceover can aggravate these feelings. Similarly, a slow, uninterested voice can feel dismissive.

How to Get it Right: Select a voiceover that balances professionalism with genuine warmth. Pay attention to pacing, avoiding both a rushed delivery and a lethargic tone. Incorporate subtle empathy into the voiceover when delivering wait times or addressing common issues. This demonstrates that your business understands and cares about its customers’ needs.

Mistake 4: Using Jargon-Heavy or Overly Formal Scripting

“Please utilize your keypad to select from the following options…” This overly formal language can come across as impersonal and confusing.

How to Get it Right: Opt for simple, conversational language that customers can easily understand. Avoid technical jargon unless absolutely necessary, and provide clear explanations for any specialized terms. Remember, your IVR should be accessible to everyone.

Mistake 5: Not Aligning the Voice with Your Brand

Your IVR voiceover is an extension of your brand’s identity. If your brand is known for being casual and friendly, your IVR voice shouldn’t be stiff and corporate. Conversely, a professional and authoritative voiceover may be more appropriate for a business projecting a sense of authority and expertise.

How to Get it Right: Define your brand personality and select a voiceover that embodies those qualities. Consider factors like age, gender, and accent to ensure the voiceover aligns with your target audience and overall brand perception.

Beyond the Mistakes: Additional Tips for Success

  • Test with Your Audience: Conduct testing with a sample group of customers to gather feedback on the voiceover’s clarity, tone, and overall effectiveness. Iterate and refine the IVR experience based on their feedback.
  • Update Regularly: Ensure your IVR voiceover reflects any changes in business hours, contact information, or promotional offerings. Outdated information creates a frustrating experience.
  • Consider Localization: If you cater to a multilingual customer base, consider IVR voiceovers in multiple languages for a more inclusive experience.


By avoiding common mistakes and following these guidelines, you’ll transform your IVR voiceover into a key asset for enhancing customer satisfaction. A well-chosen voiceover leaves a positive first impression, eases the customer journey, and ultimately reinforces the perception of your business as one that prioritizes customer experience.