Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Animators and telemarketers

Animators know voices.

Anyone who's been in animation for a decent length of time can attest to that. We're listening to dialog tracks hundreds and thousands of times. We can pick up on subtle cues in vocal qualities and speech patterns in a heartbeat. We know voices.

So what does this have to do with telemarketing?

I just got a call from some phone company trying to get me to switch to their service. The telemarketer ("the TM") on the other end started into his planned patter, and the moment he got rolling, I instantly knew I'd heard this dude before. It wasn't a week ago that this same guy called me with the same offer, and I remember that call only because of this guy's voice. The combination of his vocal quality and the pattern and rhythm with which he delivered his lines was so unique that he had unknowingly wedged himself into my head like no other TM before him. I knew this was the same guy. So I called him on it early into the conversation. It went something like this...

Me: "Excuse me, but you called me the other day, and I told you we weren't interested."

TM: "I don't think so, sir. This is the first time our company has called you."

Me: "No, trust me, you called me. I'm not just talking about your, specifically, called me. I remember your voice."

TM: "Believe me, sir, this is the first time our company has called you."

Me: "No, listen...I know your voice, okay? I'm an animator, and I listen to voices all day long. I remember your voice."

TM (trying to call my bluff): "Then what's my name, sir? Tell me, what's my name?"

Me (with no bluff): "Your name? I didn't write down your name, but I remember your voice. I know you were the one who called before, and I told you we weren't interested."

TM (trying again): "What's the plan I'm calling about, then? Can you describe it to me?"

Me (getting frustrated): "Look, I didn't pay attention to the details of the plan, all right? I said we weren't interested. But I know it was you who called."

At that point he was getting a tad frustrated as well, and decided it wasn't any use trying to get me to hear about his plan. He apologized for taking my time, said that he'd make sure nobody from his company called back again, and hung up.

Looking back on it, I probably shouldn't have pushed back on the guy so hard, but there's no way he could convince me that he hadn't called before. That voice, that rhythm, that confident was definitely the same guy.

Animators know voices.

1 comment:

RyanWatson said...

I agree. We do know and pick up on voices. Among other things. I just love watching a conversation between strangers in the mall and picking up on who really doesn't want to be there. I laugh. Good times. :)