How important is the ability to provide your customers an array of multilingual options in your customer engagement strategy? Do you meet the needs of your customers better when you use a female voice or male voice? Does a voice with an accent engage your customers or target your intended audience better? There’s a large body of work on the impact that a speaker’s gender, language, and accent have in making an impression on a consumer.
For example, a study analyzing the impact on recall for a standard accent - such as a British accent - found it increased listeners’ preference for a product but did not impact brand recall.
When it comes to vocal attractiveness, male speakers and female speakers register differently with listeners with the former conveying the perception of strength and the latter conveying warmth and trustworthiness. A Harris/Ad Week Media poll found that a male voice was more impactful if you want to be forceful, while a female voice was received better if you wanted to convey trustworthiness and calmness.
When it comes to serving a diverse multilingual audience, having the ability to offer more than one language to subscribers calling into an IVR is important to optimize customer engagement. In an International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) survey report of customer care organizations (“The Impact of Multilanguage Support on Customer Experience”) - 76% responded that native language support improves overall user experience. It helps remove stress and anxiety and provides a better perception of accuracy and almost 60% of customer care organizations surveyed said it increased brand loyalty. Academic studies done concerning multilingual IVRs in regions where multiple languages were spoken showed most callers selected a language other than English to interact with a self-service portal.
The ability of an IVR application to play back all the prompts in different languages, as well as have numbers, dates, and times spoken correctly in each language without interfering or modifying the application is considered a critical feature. Fortunately, the ability to speak and recognize many different languages (with both male and female speakers) within an IVR and customer engagement application is a key feature of the Dialogic® PowerNova™ Application Server (AS) The PowerNova AS is an IP-based multimedia communications service delivery platform. It has been deployed around the world by both service providers and enterprise contact centers to bring omni-channel, revenue-impacting IVR services to market fast and cost effectively.
Within the PowerNova AS, we developed an internationalization module that allows enterprises the ability to offer multilingual and regional playback information without having to perform complex or duplicate reprogramming. Internationalization allows applications to be written once and used with many different languages. The same application could be deployed around the world, with each country or region using a different language, or instead can be a dynamic application that allows users to choose the language with which they are most comfortable.
The internationalization module that comes standard with the PowerNova AS allows users to separate languages four distinct classifications:
- Simple language
- Romance language
- Gender language
- Chinese-based language
The modules have predefined specific rules for proper announcement play back. A specific language is on-boarded by applying one of the language classifications as well as defining how things like dates, times, and numbers are said. The user is automatically stepped through the process to add the gender specific or language specific recordings that can then be applied to the IVR call flows.
Your customer engagement application plays an important role in how your customers or target audience perceives you. Making sure it can easily support multilingual and international voice options with ease helps make it operationally efficient and flexible to accommodate new customers or changing market demographics.