The Importance of a Neutral Accent
In this ever-changing world, your business can be affected by an infinite number of mistakes. Unpopular advertising themes, employing the wrong customer service or retention strategies, and lacking social media presence are just some of what can be a company’s undoing. One thing you probably didn’t think of, though, is whether or not your business is employing a neutral accent.
What is Considered a Neutral Accent?
The world of advertising and content creation has seen an uptick in searches for voice actors with neutral accents, more commonly referred to as “Neutral English.” Advertisers, producers, and creators around the globe are seeking these actors to perform and record in this accent to be inclusive to everyone in their respective customer base. But what exactly is this accent? Simply put, it is English spoken without any accent such as southern, midwestern, valley, etc.
The more you search for a neutral accent, the more you contemplate what it means to have one. After all, the English language must be pronounced in some manner. Which pronunciation counts as not being accepted? It may differ based on who is hiring, but an excellent place to start judgment is looking for a lack of emphasis on certain words or syllables and limited use of fillers such as “uh” or “um” when speaking.
Why a Neutral Dialect Impacts Call Center Performance
Dozens of stereotypes exist for call centers. From their operations in foreign countries to believing that fraudulent callers have thicker accents, widespread trust in outbound services is not as ample as businesses would like. Because of these stereotypes, some customers automatically discredit a call center representative when they hear their voice. A large number even hang up immediately as soon as they hear it. This is where employing a call center filled with neutral accents can be truly beneficial.
An outbound call center representative’s average time to engage with a customer on the phone is between 2-10 minutes. Considering how much information your business wants to communicate to the customer, it is essential to gain their trust immediately. Neutral accents with no distinct origin are more trusted and listened to on the phone, making it critical to have them for customer satisfaction and retention and increased business.
The Decline of Offshore Call Centers
With the emerging desire for neutral accents in the call center industry comes the likely end of offshore or foreign call centers. Industry experts reported that 30% of call center jobs in high-tech sectors were outsourced to other countries. However, the market has shifted, and we have witnessed a growing trend of these jobs returning to the United States. This is in the wake of customers having increased negative experiences with non-native English speakers.
This trend has nothing to do with the ability of the employees in these other countries to do their job and has everything to do with customer comfortability and communication. Call center representatives must communicate well in the customer’s language to effectively respond to their wants, needs, and complaints. These customers may feel frustration and annoyance if they have to reiterate their problems or ask a representative to repeat what they are saying because the two do not understand each other.
When call center representatives work in offshore centers, they may not understand American cultural customs or be able to deliver a customer service model that is geared toward American consumer expectations. US call centers can be staffed by native English speakers as well as bilingual speakers who can communicate with customers in other languages.
In today’s industry, delivering a premium customer experience for businesses in the United States means partnering with US call centers that can provide culturally synchronous, on-demand communications through whatever communication channels your customers prefer.
How Gold Mountain Can Help
Customer service is high-paced, highly interactive, and critical to your business’s success. If you operate in the United States, it’s essential to partner with a North America-based call center such as Gold Mountain Communication which offers experience, network, and a proven track record of success.
At Gold Mountain, we provide positive customer experiences through fluent English speakers that can help your business retain customers and avoid losses. We know the importance of customer happiness and what happens when they are dissatisfied. Contact us today to learn how we can help with all your inbound, outbound, and customer service needs.