Telephone and IVR Voice Over Jobs are an excellent way to break into the voice over industry. This post is part of the how to become a voice actor series. You can also get an overview of the Voice Over Industry.
Telephone and IVR Voice Over Jobs
A message-on-hold (MOH) recording is where on one or more messages are played when a caller is placed on hold. A good MOH script will contain several short messages that focus on a service, product, or benefit offered by the business. The messages often change according to how a person has been waiting.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) are prompts that instruct a caller to find the right department or response to an enquiry. Often these are necessary in large corporations so that customers are filtered through to the right department. A voice prompt simply asks the caller to take a specific action, much like the message on your answering machine. Systems using these prompts get the caller to press a key on their phone. The other type of voice prompt takes the idea of an outgoing message to the level of creating a virtual person having a conversation with the caller.
This is known as Interactive Voice Response (IVR). The caller is greeted by a recorded “person” who engages the caller in a conversation that will ultimately get her where she wants to go. The caller responds by speaking the request, and the computer moves to the next prompt based on what the caller said. It’s completely automated, but fully interactive.
The individual messages or or sentences are called “prompts”. These prompts can vary from long to quite short ones. Often the larger and more complex the company the larger and more complicated the IVR menu. When properly produced, the voice prompts sound completely natural.
Message On hold (MOH) messages range from a single, simple answer-phone greeting to more complex IVR (Interactive Voice Response) – the system that enables callers to respond using their voice or telephone keypad and so be ushered though to the desired information or call centre.
IVR Voice Over Jobs – Producing A Demo
Sometimes referred to as a message-on-hold demo (MOH) or IVR (Interactive Voice Response), this type of demo is pretty basic. It usually consists of one or two examples of outgoing messages, one or two on-hold messages for different types of businesses, and perhaps even an example or two of a concatenation project or interactive voice responses. Examples should include appropriate background music. The idea of an MOH demo is to demonstrate what you sound like delivering information over the phone.
You might think that because a telephone connection has a reduced frequency response (about 8 kHz). However, although you might be tempted equalise your demo, it’s not recommended. Your demo still needs to reflect your voice skills and your performance. We recommend that your MOH or IVR demo is produced at the highest possible quality. As with most other demos, this one will also be in the one to one-and-a-half minute range.
Example of IVR Voiceover – Performed By Peter Dickson
IVR Voice Over Jobs – Rates
Below are some rates as a quick guide when pitching for IVR voice over jobs.
IVR – $150 minimum RAW recording only. DOES NOT include editing. Editing should be an additional charge
$150 + $1/prompt – $200 + $5/prompt
Message-On-Hold $200 minimum RAW recording only. DOES NOT include editing. Editing should be an additional charge
$100/min, $8 per 3-6 sentence paragraphs
The rates for the IVR are likely to be lower (often around $1-2 per prompt). Most voice artists are paid on a ‘per prompt’ rate, along with a minimum fee. Sometimes this is adjusted further when dealing with bulk recordings. So, for example, you might quote $5-$10 per prompt for a minimum of 10 or 20 prompts, with a lower per prompt rate for 50+ messages, or perhaps an hourly rate above 40 prompts. It can also be helpful to be clear from the start with clients about word count, too, to ensure individual prompts don’t become too lengthy.
For the IVR menus, it’s particularly important to understand a little more about the client. As with other types of corporate work, what voices charge may depend on the size of the company, as well as the scale of the work. So, for a simple menu for a smaller company, it may be appropriate to charge a BSF or a percentage of your BSF. For a bigger company, who may have thousands of callers in one or more countries, you might consider charging BSF + usage.
When looking to get IVR voice over jobs Google is your best friend. You can type in IVR companies or a similar search. As an example, when searching on IVR companies directory, this – IVR Directory, was just one of over 250k+ results. Another method for getting IVR voice over jobs is to approach local companies.
Other types of voice over jobs you might find interesting:
For more information on voice acting visit our series of posts on how to become a voice actor