Ever wondered what the logistics industry sounds like to the outside world? Bloke-ish perhaps? Loud and a bit hard? Something like Michael Caine perhaps?
I know this because of a study by PH Media Group, which provides audio branding services. This research audited couriers and logistics firms’ on-hold marketing – the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred – to reveal which voice and music is most widely used.
Not only did companies prefer a female voice, the music tracks used tended to be “uplifting and friendly in style”.
“A female voice offers a soft, soothing presence, especially when combined with relaxed music, so can help to instil customers with a sense of ease and openness,” according to Dan Lafferty,head of voice and music at PH.
Put that way, the use of female voices is not entirely surprising – after all if you have to put a customer on hold you probably don’t want to sound like Darth Vader.
PH doesn’t rule out the use of male voices. “An older, deeper male voice, for example, is perceived as authoritative and professional, providing customers with a different kind of reassurance,” says Lafferty.
But, are companies being too conservative? Could a more adventurous approach strengthen the brand message? Shouldn’t Eddie Stobart’s message reflect its Cumbrian roots? Perhaps Royal Mail could sound more regal. And Yodel’s message could actually be yodelled. The opportunities are just shouting out.
Malory Davies CILT,
First published: 2nd September