Echo Mobile

            Best Practices for Audio & Recordings

            IVR is a powerful tool for communication and data collection, particularly in areas with lower literacy levels. Resulting data quality and response rates will be determined in large part by the set up of IVR communication. This would include creation of the audio files and design of the communication itself i.e Notice, Survey or Notice design.

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            In this article, we shall look the various best practices for audio creation that you can apply to your next IVR communication.

            Audio Content Creation

            1. Record clear, clean, easy ­to ­understand audio.
            2. Choose a voice with an accent that will be easy to understand and clear for the audience / respondents.
            3. Articulate clearly, and speak slower than you would in normal conversation.

            Recording the Audio

            1. Use a professional mic, if available.
            2. Record in the quietest possible environment, e.g. In a private vehicle (parked, of course) can make for a good noise buffer if no quiet offices are available
            3. Recording audio underneath a blanket can reduce a huge amount of white noise.
            4. If recording the audio files, beware of laptops with a loud fan.
            5. Record your audio sources at 44.1kHz or 48Khz sample rate to a 16­ or 24­bit mono uncompressed WAV or AIFF file.

            Audio File Naming 

            Once you have created and record your various audio files, the name of the audio file should follow the guidelines below
            1. Only use letters and numbers in filename
            2. Do NOT include any spaces NOR special characters in the file name
            3. The characters in the filename should all be in lowercase
            Did you know that starting with best possible audio recordings can help achieve the best results from your Voice/IVR Communications? Read more on this in the  What are some best practices for audio recordings? article

            Audios with Surveys & Quizzes

            As you follow the best practices for creating and recording the audio files for an interactive communication, it is key to pay close attention to how audio files are structured with a survey or quiz
            1. Choose a tone and language that will suit your target audience and resonate with them. For example, the tone and language structure will be different when talking to youth leaving in urban population as compared to talking to farmers in a rural areas
            2. Record separate audio files for each question.
            3. It is recommended to record a quick thank you message (also as a separate file), which will be played at the conclusion of the survey or quiz.In this thank you message, include contact information of the respondent wishes to followup
            4. The question response formats that work well for Voice/IVR are:Open-ended, Multiple Choice, Numeric, Info-Type and End-type
            5. When recording each question in your survey or quiz, clearly give instructions on how to respond:
              1. For multiple choice questions:
                1. Respondents will need to answer with numbers on their keypad
                2. For each option, specify the choice
                3. E.g. "Are you male or female? If male, press 1. If female, press 2 on the handset or keypad"
              2. For numeric questions:
                1. Respondents will type their answers by entering numbers on their keypad.
                2. E.g. "How old are you? Please type your age on the handset or keypad".
              3. For open-ended audio questions
                1. Respondents will respond by speaking their answer and Echo will record the response
                2. Echo will play a tone after the question indicating that the recording has begun.
                3. E.g. "What is your full name? Please say your name after the tone. When finished, please press pound. [ Echo plays beep ]"
            6. Optionally, you can choose to provide a quick intro explaining who you are, and why the respondent is receiving the call. Including what value the call will have for both the organization and the respondent can help improve response rate.
            7. To minimize on costs, you can choose to combine the intro message and the first question and record it in one audio file. E.g. "Good morning! This is an automatic call from [ Organization ]. Please answer this brief X­ question survey so we can best serve you. [ Audio for question 1 ]"

            Audios with Notices

            When creating audio files for one-way communication, it is also key to pay attention to how the audio is structured as this would be a notification or information that will auto-play upon the contact picking up the phone call.
            1. Record clear, clean, easy ­to ­understand audio.
            2. Choose a voice with an accent that will be easy to understand and clear for the audience / respondents.
            3. Choose a tone and language that will suit your target audience and resonate with them. For example, the tone and language structure will be different when talking to youth leaving in urban population as compared to talking to farmers in a rural areas
            4. At the beginning of the audio record a quick intro explaining who you are, and why the respondent is receiving the call. Including what value the call will have for both the organization.
            5. Include a clear call-to-action on instructions that contact can act on at the end of the audio file. This can greatly help you quantify the impact of the communication and measure the impact of notice


            Updated: 03 Apr 2018 02:46 AM
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