Voice SIG: Audio Production for Voice Applications
Directly Impacting ROI and Customer Satisfaction
Gary Clayton, Sr. Director Audio Production - Tellme Networks
Automated voice applications allow companies to use distinctive voice talent and professional sound design to consistently convey the full unique richness of their brand identity and customer service philosophy. This opportunity directly translates to customer satisfaction and can make the difference when customers are selecting whom to do business with. People simply appreciate and respond more favorably to applications that sound professional, engaging, and personable. This is true for live operators, and is doubly so for automated systems. Poor recording quality, bad music, and robotic-sounding synthesized speech are some of the key reasons why people tend to hate traditional IVR systems so viscerally. By contrast, companies can use a combination of natural-sounding prompts, well-crafted interface design, and creative musical effects to deliver a very compelling experience that callers enjoy and positively associate with their brand and commitment to customer service. At the same time, delivering world-class quality at reasonable costs is challenging. Voice talent, studio time, and editing facilities are all expensive. While there are some economies of scale here, most of the expense is human intensive and does not inherently drop with volume. Companies must have processes, techniques, and relationships in place to maximize quality at reasonable costs.
Mr. Clayton has been involved at the cutting edge of audio production for twenty years. He has mixed for numerous feature films (The Right Stuff, Never Cry Wolf, The Hitcher, Trouble in Mind, Captain EO, etc.), albums (Dave Brubeck, Brian Eno, Mark Isham, David Byrne, San Fracnisco Ballet Orchestra, Reeves Gabrels, David Bowie, Primus, Todd Rundgren, Residents and others), TV (the Emmy-winning Dear America, John Madden's Superbowl, Peanuts specials, Garfield specials, Rolling Stone specials, etc.) as well as multimedia, internet audio, live touring, radio, stage and advertising. In 1989 he received a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Popular Album. He also mixed the Jazz vocal Grammy-Award winning track for Bobby McFerrin in 1988. Among his other awards are: several Communicator Awards, the CTAM Award, Videographer's Awards, SPA Award, Telly Awards, Omni Intermedia Awards, and others. He created the internal audio for Apple's Newton and Pippin computers as well as devices for Oracle (NCI) and Tele-TV. He created audio for the first digital-audio music program (Jam Session). At Tellme, Mr. Clayton's responsibilities include overseeing production for all audio for applications on the Tellme Network.
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