Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Voice Prompt Script Tip: Is "Touch" the New "Press" or "Click"?

How to write IVR voice prompts and announcements - man with touchscreen phoneLanguage is a fluid, ever changing doctrine. It's constantly updated with new terms and forms of words as technologies and generations evolve. The self-editing and adoption of these terms and phrases happens almost organically as one word is used more frequently and falls into favor within our daily lexicon.  I can attest that the term "legit" has officially gone mainstream since I heard my wife say it to my 12 year old son when checking out his new baseball bat.

As professional communicators we live on the edge of this language wave that carves and reshapes our vocal shoreline. Almost the opposite of etymologists, we are looking ahead at which terms are trending and redefining how we communicate.Think about this: When was the last time you "dialed" a telephone number? Technically, we've been "pressing" buttons for many years, but the word "dial" still creeps into scripts for voice prompts and IVR announcements. It might seem acceptable to use "dial," but in reality, it makes your business look stuck in the dark ages and resistant to changing technology. And it's just incorrect. For these reasons, we recommend eliminating "dial" from your voice prompts...and your vocabulary.

A word that has recently entered our cross hairs is "touch". Within the last year or two, the term "touch" has changed from meaning "hands on" to a magical form of navigation. The emergence of smart phones and tablets and the proliferation of apps, has seen the tipping point of the term "touch". These touch screens, which no longer have keyboards, make terms like "press" and "click" sound incorrect. But with people still using cell phones and traditional phones that still have buttons--is it too soon for companies to change their greetings to "For Customer Service touch 1"?

What do you think?  Cast your votes in the comments section.


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Tags: resources, IVR, phone menu prompts