Taking the Wins from Tone of Voice
What is TOV?
Tone of voice can feel like a slippery term. Guilty as charged: it is rooted in abstract ideas like inflection and emotional connection. But we should hold tight, because the benefits of tone of voice add up solidly in our success rates, in our revenue, and in the reductions in our workload.
ToV is our businesses’ mother tongue and body language, bundled into one. It translates our values to our customers. This ‘tone’ doesn’t dress up or dilute down our messages. Instead, it gives them focus and identity.
- It builds trust. Take these two chicken and egg statistics:
64% of customers feel that shared values are a reason to trust a company (semrush.co.uk).
74% of consumers would boycott a company they don’t trust (elitemagazine)
If tone of voice translates our businesses’ values, and our values are what determine our customers’ trust, then tone of voice is indispensable.
Because if we get our tone of voice wrong, we lose our customers and we lose sales.
Confidence is a currency we thrive on. Strong tone of voice instills this and breeds trust amongst our customer base.
- It maintains consistency
Revenue increases by 23% when a brand is represented consistently (semrush.co.uk)
Tone of voice should be consistent across ALL of our businesses’ communication channels. From our agents, emails and websites to our social media channels and text messages. Our customers should feel like they’re talking to the same person.
Consistency is particularly vital when it comes to customers self-serving. Consistent tone of voice makes a message, or instruction, clear. This means our customers don’t need to call an agent to clarify what an online platform is already telling them. Likewise, reams of confused emails never need to be written, if our self-service app’s content is crystal clear. Consistency creates efficiency and frees up agent time.
- It sets us apart from other businesses
Our tone of voice is what makes us different from one another. It’s the padlock to our USP, and what gives us personality and appeal to our client base. Without it, life would be very dull and business would be a big boring blob of uncompetitive sameness. To put it poetically.
Where do we find TOV?
The short answer is everywhere. From our online portals’ written content to our agents’ audible conversations, tone of voice straddles mediums. Another common way of establishing tone of voice is to use an actual voice-over artist.
They might voice our IVRs, audio content on our website, or our internal e-learning resources. These people are trained to give life and purpose to written content using tempo, careful emphasis, and personality.
A few examples of TOV considerations...
- • Formal or informal?
We need to think about how close we want our customers to feel to our language. Pronouns are a good example of this.
‘You’ puts the customer right in the heart of the action...
“You can update your details online”
‘Our’ is inclusive and puts business and clients on a level playing field...
“Our portal has all of the answers to our regular FAQs”
‘the/they/there’ distances the customer from what we’re saying and can be handy for sensitive topics such as medical issues....
“There’s no need to bring a urine sample along, this can be done on the day”
The normal rules of grammar can be bent when establishing a tone of voice. The whoms can get thrown in the bin and conventional word order can often do a little dance. Likewise, we may need to dot our i’s and cross our t’s more than ever before.
It all depends on who we’re appealing to. When it comes to tone of voice, grammar is about identity more than correctness.
Here at Adexchange, we help businesses’ to find, streamline and share their tone of voice.
Here are a few things that enable us to do this:
- Knowledge of our clients’ cultures and values, to establish the tone we want to hit for each and every one.
- Analytical skills to collect and crunch data to back up our understanding of what customers want and need to hear from our clients.
- Skilled writers to keep our tone and content consistent.
- Agility for streamlining tone of voice across our clients’ various channels.
- Contacts which take the form of a rich bank of professional voices, translators and writers who can personify specific and diverse tones.
Tone of voice might feel conceptual, but its benefits are concrete when it comes to business.
If you’re struggling to find yours, give us a ring - you can take whatever tone you like with us.