A study conducted by PH Media Group to discover what dental practices are using for audio branding found the most popular voice is female and aged between 30 and 45. It is also empathetic, conversational and warm in tone.
The female voice is perceived by customers as soothing and warm, so is particularly appropriate for use by dentists.
However, audio branding specialist PH Media Group advises that a male voice may be equally as effective and urges companies to choose a profile that best suits its brand.
‘A female voice offers a soft, soothing presence, especially when combined with relaxed music, so can help to calm callers who may be anxious’ said Dan Lafferty, head of voice and music at PH Media Group.
‘This is crucial in a profession that is focused on the provision of an understanding, compassionate, expert service.
‘But that doesn't mean it will necessarily be the best fit across the board and companies should use a voice that best reflects their products, customer base and service proposition.
‘An older, deeper male voice is perceived as authoritative, providing customers with a different kind of reassurance.’
The research audited dentists' on-hold marketing, the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred, to reveal what voice and music is most widely used.
The most popular music tracks were friendly and relaxed in style, designed to make customers feel relaxed and comfortable.
Many firms opt to use popular music tracks but, due to existing emotional associations, these tracks are often unsuitable in convincing a customer to buy.
‘Sound is a powerful emotional sense,’ added Dan.
‘People will often attach feelings, both positive and negative, to a piece of commercial music, which will be recalled upon hearing it.
‘Placing a piece of commercial music in an on-hold situation, no matter how cheery and upbeat it may seem, is a lottery of the individual's previous experience of the track.
‘Using commercial music is also a square peg, round hole scenario, taking a piece of music and trying to make it fit a new purpose to convey a message it was never intended to.
‘A bespoke music track starts from the ground up, with each element forming or reflecting the brand proposition and with there being no previous exposure among the client base.
‘The physical attributes of the track, whether major, minor, fast, slow, loud or quiet, are used to communicate emotional meaning, rather than the personal experience of the individual.’
It is also important to refresh messages on a regular basis, rather than leaving the same one playing for months at a time.
These messages can be altered to tie in with specific promotions or seasonal trends.
Dan said: ‘Updating the content of a message is imperative to ensure that callers are kept aware of changes to product lines, sales, and company information.
‘From a music and voice perspective, changing messaging makes sure that the callers don’t suffer from the fatigue of being fed the same information repeatedly in the same manner.
‘If clear parameters for the tone and style of voice and music are defined at the start of the process, a business can find new music and voice that holds true to its brand values while still refreshing the audio identity.’