Mind Your Tone: The Importance of Tone of Voice
All of us have a brand voice, and in our experience the most successful companies have a single brand voice. Many companies, however, have more than one; this can be limited to a perceived brand voice and an actual brand voice, or in worse cases there are inconsistent tones across the business. If we want customers to really buy into us as a business, then our whole business needs to buy into a single tone of voice.
Consistency across all touchpoints in the customer journey is essential to maintaining strong and long-lasting relationships with our customers. That being said, the tone of voice perfect for banking wouldn’t necessarily suit a theme park. It’s important to align your brand voice with your target audience, though there are a few tips which can be applied across multiple tones of voice.
Deciding on your Tone of Voice
A common mistake is trying to target ‘everyone’. In doing this, we assume all our customers have the same mindset and needs. When deciding on which tone of voice would best suit our business, there are several essential steps we can take to make sure we’re speaking to the right people in the right way:
1) Develop customer personas
There are several methods we can use to segment our customers, but by the end of the process we should have clearly defined groups which have different needs and expectations.
2) Interrogate these personas
We can break down these personas in order to fully understand what language and style of writing will get the best response from these customers, and help reach first time resolution.
3) Dial Up and Dial Down
There are several elements to language which contribute towards an overall tone of voice, and these can be dialled up or down depending on which persona we’re speaking to. This creates a much more personalised customer experience, ensuring each individual customer feels valued and as though their needs are met.
Keeping Tone of Voice Natural and Consistent
Despite dialling up and dialling down to reach each customer segment on a more personal level, there are several golden rules to follow which go some way to ensuring a good, consistent tone of voice overall. Research shows that almost double the number of people surveyed responded better to more natural writing, finding it ‘helpful’, ‘clear’, ‘friendly’ and ‘honest’.
Regardless of the tone of voice we choose to operate in, it is evident that natural language will generate a more positive response from customers.
Though often our Tone of Voice is led by the marketing department, we need to make sure that it is adopted and understood across all aspects of the business. The more this is achieved, the more our Tone of Voice can positively contribute towards a brand image that engages with customers on a widely-recognised level.
Adex’s Top Tips
Here are the top rules we stick to whenever we design customer communications, across every touchpoint in the journey:
- Keep it simple
- Use natural language
- Write to an individual, not your target market
- Be clear about what you want the customer to do next
- Make instructions easy to follow
- Take responsibility for complaints
If you’d like to know more about our Agent Training Workshops and Tone of Voice Style Guides, get in touch with us today and find out how we might be able to help you.