Coca-Cola’s Braxton O’Neal likes to joke that he dreams of becoming the voice for a cartoon character. With a job in Coca-Cola’s IT department as a systems support specialist, his vocal aspirations might seem a little far flung.
But when he’s not designing and maintaining call center call flows, O’Neal is very nearly living his dream.
He’s the voice of Coca-Cola.
His voice greets callers when they dial the company’s consumer-facing phone lines, and guides them through the very phone menus he helps design.
For O’Neal, being that first point of consumer contact (albeit a pre-recorded one) is an honor.
“If you’re calling in, we want to make sure you feel welcomed, find your information and speak to the right people,” he said. “I just try to make you feel comfortable doing that. I’m privileged to be that persona for the company.”
Perfecting that persona has been a 15-year journey for O’Neal, who recorded the initial audio tracks as a sample placeholder for an interactive voice response system he was helping to develop for Coke’s call center at the time. “It was one of those situations where you build your own path,” as O’Neal describes it.
The response from colleagues was immediate and overwhelmingly positive.
O’Neal was soon asked to create more voice prompts for phone lines and even record 20-minute scripts detailing rules and regulations for brand promotions.
Regardless of the script’s content, O’Neal seeks to make the words sound warm and natural.
His pro tip to achieving the optimal tone? “Stay hydrated,” he advises, Dasani in hand.
O’Neal’s vocal chops benefit him outside of work, as well. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, O’Neal worked as a music teacher and can still be found moonlighting as a singer and guitarist for the cover band “Braxton & The Renditions” and a “dad band” he organized with his son’s school.
Consistent through O’Neal’s varied vocal endeavors is his positive energy.
He concludes, with the grin on his face heard in his voice, “You always want that smile to come through.”
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