Those of you already using your giffgaff SIM, will be familiar with the Newcastle tone as the ‘voice’ of giffgaff, whenever you pick up your phone messages. Our voicemail system was recorded with Tom Oldham, who also provided the voice over for our ‘What is giffgaff?’ film.
Our objective was to provide a voicemail that was positive and straightforward, both in tone and language. We initiated the project back in September and recorded all of the speech during 5 separate sessions. The starting point was to review a framework of prompts and really develop the language and terminology to make it feel much more human and conversational. Because the prompts are recorded as separate sound files, one of the biggest challenges was to ensure the tone of each prompts flowed naturally together. There were some amusing out-takes from the sessions, where Tom has added his own good humour. We’ve left a few in, for the keen-eared amongst you. My favourite one is “Sorry, I don’t know how to break it to you ... but that PIN’s incorrect.” Hopefully that’s one that you won’t hear too often!
What may surprise you is the depth and complex nature of all the different prompts on the system. Many people only hear the prompts related to listening to voicemail, but there are a number of additional and helpful features in the system. For example, if you’re going on holiday and won’t have your mobile switched on all the time, you have the ability to set up a temporary message so that any callers know you won’t be available. Very handy so your friends and loved ones know you’re not intentionally ignoring them.
But I think we've got an opportunity for our voicemail system to continue to evolve, in the same way giffgaff does, through its community. Perhaps we could introduce recorded greetings from our members in some way. What are your thoughts?