Revealed: the perfect telephone call center accent

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:08am EST
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Regional accents may be more prominent on radio and television in today's Britain, but the "Queen's English" remains the preferred accent for call centres and promoting products to consumers, a new survey shows.

Over half the respondents were more inclined to listen to a sales promotion if it came from a voice they found "appealing."

Two-thirds also admitted they could not understand non-British accents when talking to a call center.

The poll of 2,072 British adults revealed that 52 percent find the "Queen's English" most appealing when speaking to a call center.

The Scottish accent came second at 34 percent and the northeastern Geordie twang third at 26 percent, followed by accents from Yorkshire and Wales.

The least popular accents were those from Liverpool or Birmingham, which tied at nine percent.

The poll was carried by YouGov for business speech consultants Nuance Communications

It said organizations which use off-shore customer call centres in the belief that they are more cost-effective, should note that the poll revealed that 65 percent of Britons who have rung a call center find non-British accents hard to understand.

Amongst those over 45 years of age, this figure rises to over 70 percent.   Continued...