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19th December 2002


The estuary accents of Victoria Posh Spice Beckham and Jamie Oliver are now more liked than the Queens English, a study reveals today.

More than four in five (82%) Britons would question the honesty of someone who speaks like Hyacinth Bucket or the Queen.

The study found that two in five (37%) consumers prefer to speak to someone whose regional accent matches their own.

Businesses should also use lifestyle accents when they are talking to consumers, the study says. The estuary accents of Victoria Beckham and Jamie Oliver work best for young, dynamic brands; a bank maybe best represented by a trusted Scots accent, like that of Newsnights Kirsty Wark.

The Voice of Business report from Vocalis also showed that workers who dont speak properly are no longer discriminated against by employers. Seven in ten bosses say theyre not prejudiced about accents.

The study has been compiled by Vocalis to help businesses understand the role of voice in communicating with customers.

Paul Wright, CEO of Vocalis, said: Businesses must understand the impact of accents, dialect and vocabulary when choosing a voice for their company. A classic mistake to make, for example would be to use an American accent on automated systems if the business has a UK brand, the accent should reflect this.

The tone and style of the scripts used by contact centre agents also represents the voice of your business, and it can say a lot about your brand.

People automatically give personalities to voices, so a business voice should match its brand. For instance, a bank would probably prefer to present a formal personality, whilst a utilities firm would need to accentuate its efficiency and helpfulness.

If you get this right it can improve sales, help your customers trust you more, and ensure theyre less likely to blame your business if something goes wrong.

Vocalis works with organisations to create call centre strategies that build brands through effective customer dialogue.

Wright concluded: If you dont think of this level of detail you are potentially damaging your brand and your customers perceptions of your business.

The Voice of Business Report will be published in full at the start of 2003.

About Vocalis

Vocalis works with organisations to create contact centre solutions that build the organisations business and brands. These solutions can turn your contact centre from a cost to a profit centre by ensuring it builds your brand, helps your business be more competitive, and increases customer loyalty through more effective and efficient service. Vocalis was formed in 1993, is publicly traded on FTSE Stock Market and has been listed since July 1996. Vocalis brings back the reassurance of the most personal human touch in business - putting voice to work.

The Vocalis Website is at

Email: [email protected]

For further Vocalis Group information, contact:

Philippa Buttle
Vocalis Group plc
Chaston House
Mill Court
Gt Shelford
Tel: 01223-846177
Fax: 01223-846178
Email:[email protected]

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Friday, August 29, 2003
Location :: c_corporate/news