Every move your company makes publicly sends a message to the world. Something as relatively minor as a Facebook update can have just as big an impact as a keynote speech at an industry conference. No matter what moves you make in the public eye, your company is constantly sending messages about its values. Your ability to maintain a consistent voice across platforms depends largely on how well developed it is.
You and your team have undoubtedly spent months, if not years, perfecting your product or service. Expect to spend just as long evolving your brand’s voice. Consider some of the world’s most recognizable brands: Even companies as big as Target have to continually invest in edgy commercials to shape their customer service voice.
Shaping Your Voice
The first step to creating your brand’s voice? Define your values. What problem does your company hope to solve? What does your ideal customer look like? What are your most important goals as an organization? These questions aren’t always easy to answer, but the reflection they require allows you to get real about your values. If you can’t answer such questions, you’ll need to go back to the drawing board and do some real soul searching.
Once you’ve got your values clearly outlined, you can consider the ways in which you regularly communicate with your customers. Communication might mean literal interactions in person or over the phone with individuals, or it could refer to the messaging you’re sharing via social media or in your advertisements. Standardizing the tone across digital content, physical advertising and employee interactions can help ensure your voice is consistent.
Customer support is an especially important medium for your voice to shine through. When customer service agents disregard brand voice in favor of dry or overly technical language, you lose both the customer’s trust and interest. It can feel isolating to call in expecting one experience and receiving another. During a time when the caller might already feel stressed and frustrated with your service, this can be a dangerous final straw.
Blending Public Persona and Customer Service
Rather than separate your public persona from your customer service voice, merge the two. Inject your persona, whatever it might be, into every interaction customers have with your company. Because the way you speak with customers has such a large impact on your success, easy, friendly and helpful communication is critical.
Start by ensuring your employees have a clear understanding of the level of professionalism you expect. While it might seem obvious to you, your team may have a completely different idea of what is appropriate when working with customers. Ensure everyone is on the same page about language used to describe products and to assist customers. Tone is just as important; nobody wants to speak to someone they fear is bored, apathetic or angry about their job.
Of course, listening can be just as important as speaking. Great customer service agents know the value of quiet: listening to a problem explained fully and then validating the customer’s experience can do wonders for a tense conversation. Empathy can go a long way, and there’s no easier way to do that than to reassure your customers that you’re open-minded, listening and eager to help find a solution to their challenge.
Once you set the tone for employees, your customers can feel confident knowing they can call in and reach a friendly, helpful person every time.
When Voice Is Unclear
For some companies, finding a consistent voice can be difficult. Thankfully, stakeholders can turn to the customer service experts for guidance. Professional call centers can assist you with developing a consistent customer service voice and ensure that you have the help you need to handle incoming calls and orders.
Call center services are ideal for busy start-ups in need of a helping hand taking orders from customers, and virtually any company can benefit from a virtual receptionist service.
About the Author:
Since 1990, MAP Communications has partnered with companies across the country to deliver the clearest and most consistent customer service voice possible. Employee-owned and operated in the United States, MAP has become synonymous with call center excellence. The secret to our success? We handle your clients the way you would.