My close buddies know that I’m an O one one.. (+2011…) yes I was one of those early clients who joint that glorious network when it entered Egyptian markets for the first time back more than 15 years ago.
Honestly speaking it’s a very proactive broadband network, it keeps sending you gifts, offers, ads and surprises around the clock through SMSs and pre-recorded phone calls, beseeching you all the time to “enjoy” all these exciting chances.. other than this, they allow you “sometimes” to conduct some phone calls when they have time and capacity after getting rid of all that baloney!.. well, life doesn’t give you everything after all.
Yesterday, I (unusually) had to make a phone call.. the network was in a good condition and great mood, however, I was stunned with that woman who cut off the call just after the recipient answered with a cheerful energetic voice full of enthusiasm and slake saying: “Sorry.. you have run out of credit”
I remembered -at that moment- my feedback on some on-hold message of one of the famous “Koshary” restaurants here in Cairo, and how it had absolutely no contact with the receiver.. An interactive human characterization of the Interactive Voice Response systems’ on-hold prompts and menus necessitates the performance in a truthful apologetic persona by a professional voiceover artist when it comes to prompts starting with: Sorry, We apologize, I didn’t understand.., something went wrong.. etc.
Some of those who recorded the on-hold prompts and voice menus of major telephone and mobile networks are well-esteemed veteran voiceover actors who have a vast experience in the voice and performance industry, however their performance in this particular sector was lacking a satisfactory level of acting direction that reflects deep awareness of the technical context and usability concerns of the respective interactive system, in addition to the engineering effort which utilizes the audible recordings within the system architecture in consistency and harmony that humanizes the whole user experience.
The lady who alerted me yesterday that I ran out of credit during the call, didn’t show any kind of regret, didn’t even try to convince me that she was sorry for cutting off my call, on the contrary, the voice was reflecting a relieved face with an unmistaken victorious smile, this is someone who did want to cut this call for any price.. the destiny has just given her a reasonable way to apologize !