Leveraging the Power of Human Voice, Part 1
By greg henry, director of retail business development and Steph Lavallee, Corporate Marketing manager
In the age of instant messaging, texting, tweeting and other mobile communication technologies, we often forget about the power of the original form of human communication: speech! Voice is the most critical component of any communication system because it creates a personal connection between people. Like digital communication technologies, speech allows us to convey information to one another. Unlike digital communication, this voice connection provides additional layers of detail by enabling us to express information nuances and subtleties through tone, context, and empathy.
Think about it. While we often hear that smell is the strongest sense tied to memory, humans regularly turn to listening to music to improve their moods. This suggests that the power of sound can have an effect on how we feel and make connections. In fact, in a study1 going all the way back to 1980 from Science, it was shown that mothers talking to their babies while they were still in the womb actually helped to form the bond and emotional connection between the mother and the baby before the baby was even born.
So, why does voice connection matter in an industry/enterprise environment?
And why should you care about putting the ability to clearly and reliably connect via voice with teammates, patients, or customers in the hands of your employees? This 2020 study from the Harvard Business Review touches on the value of voice, and how many people underestimate its importance when it comes to maintaining healthy relationships, even in business. To further support this theory, when discussing his recent study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology2 about the power of voice connection, co-author Amit Kumar, PhD, Asst Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Texas explained, “People tend to undervalue the positive relational consequences of using voice relative to text alone, leading them to favor typing rather than talking.” Kumar goes on to explain that through voice communication, warmth, empathy, and other emotional experiences are conveyed in a way that texting and written data just doesn’t capture.
In summary, Kumar says, “type less, talk more.”
Many other studies agree with the finding that voice is critical. One such study3 conducted by researchers Schroeder, Kardas, and Epley in Psychological Science showed that communicating via voice instead of text conveys mental capacity and therefore elicits a level of trust from the listener. Having trust is critical between teammates, but it’s also important in industries like Retail when trust in a brand is critical for customer loyalty and your bottom line, or in healthcare when life and death situations happen often, and being able to trust the team you’re working with is vital. Even in hospitality environments, when your guest service agents are often the first impression of your brand when a potential guest calls in to make a reservation – a positive experience can set a positive tone for a trip that an online reservation just can’t do.
Leveraging the power of the human voice for both better workplace experiences as well as better patient and customer relationships is important for all major industries. In this multi-part series, the Spectralink Team will explore how critical an optimal voice experience is in Retail, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Hospitality. Part II will focus on the power of the human voice in Retail situations.
And for more information on how Spectralink’s industry-leading enterprise mobility solutions feature best-in-class voice capabilities carefully engineered and refined by our amazing engineering team, read more here: https://www.spectralink.com/enterprise-mobility/voice-quality-2/
1Decasper, A., & Fifer, W. P. (1980). Of Human Bonding: Newborns Prefer Their Mothers’ Voices. Science, 208(4448), 1174-1176.
2Kumar, A., & Epley, N. (2021). It’s surprisingly nice to hear you: Misunderstanding the impact of communication media can lead to suboptimal choices of how to connect with others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 150(3), 595–607. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000962
3Schoeder, J., Kardas, M., & Epley, N. (2017). The Humanizing Voice: Speech Reveals, and Text Conceals, a More Thoughtful Mind in the Midst of Disagreement. Psychological Science, 28(12), 1754-1762.
About the authors:Greg Henry, Spectralink’s Director of Retail Development, is a seasoned technology executive with over 30 years of experience in the wireless and mobile computing industry. He brings a depth of retail experience focused on empowering front-line worker productivity and increasing customer service capabilities.
Connect with Greg on LinkedIn!
Steph Lavallee is Spectralink’s Corporate Marketing Manager in North America. With years of communications and engagement experience, she brings creative writing expertise, social media experience, and valuable insights to market Spectralink’s world-class portfolio of enterprise mobility solutions.
Connect with Steph on LinkedIn!