Think about the most iconic, well-known brands out there today. Ya know, the ones you shop from regularly, love to hype up to family and friends, and always support when you see their fire social media content.
If we really explore why these brands feel so iconic, it might be because they offer a superior product – but it’s more likely that the brand voice itself draws in customers.
When we think about branding in marketing, we often focus so heavily on design, colors, and visual aesthetics that we forget about voice and tone.
In 2023, having a distinctive customer service brand voice is becoming even more important for standing out amongst your competitors. Words matter, and how brands communicate with their audience to establish an emotional connection is often the difference between gaining and empowering loyal customers or getting lost in the chatter altogether.
What Is Brand Voice And Brand Tone, And How Do They Differ?
A brand voice is a unique personality that a brand takes on when communicating with customers. It encompasses the personality traits, core objectives, and values of a brand and the distinct phrasing and word choices a brand uses and actively avoids.
On the other hand, a brand’s tone refers more to the mood, expression, or feeling in the voice they use while communicating a message.
Let’s take a look at how Slack sets the boundaries around their brand voice and brand tone.
In their brand guidelines, Slack states, “We are humans, speaking to humans,” and describes their voice as one that the user “can hear and recognize.”
On the next page of the brand guide, the tone Slack uses is more detailed and defined in terms like, “confident (but never cocky), conversational (but always appropriate and respectful).”
By establishing these parameters, Slack sets clear expectations for how employees should use their tone and voice in brand communication to maintain consistency.
Why Having A Consistent Brand Voice Is Important In Customer Service
Aside from your products or services, customer service is the top driver of customer loyalty, and how your customer service team communicates with your customers will greatly impact the quality of their experience.
After all, most customers who contact customer service are reaching out with a problem or issue they need to resolve. They expect empathy and understanding from the agents who represent your brand. If your representatives aren’t using the proper tone of voice during the conversation that matches the initial emotional connection your brand made with them, your customer will not only feel upset – they may also feel duped by a brand they once trusted.
Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial that your customer service team maintains your brand voice within all customer interactions and understands how their words may be perceived through different support channels based on tone, punctuation, and other textual or verbal cues.
Be sure to consider how your chatbots (if applicable) will incorporate your distinct brand voice and tone during customer interactions as well.
How To Determine Your Distinct Brand Voice
Defining your brand voice can feel daunting, but truthfully, it all goes back to your core values and mission.
Let’s revisit Slack: their brand values build off of emotionally-charged words like empathy, courtesy, and playfulness (to name a few), and these descriptors form their personality and brand voice.
So, while Slack strives to maintain a brand voice that is clear and professional, they’re not afraid to communicate in a tone that feels conversational, friendly, or witty – in fact, it’s a hallmark of their communication style. Their core values are innately tied to the voice they’ve crafted and refined over the years.
Consider this when you’re developing your own distinct brand voice, as well as the top tips that we’ll drop for you below:
1. Know Your Audience
The first step of defining your brand voice is to know who you’re speaking to. Being able to identify your core audience and customer personas, what they value, and how they prefer to communicate will help you gauge whether your brand voice can feel informal and playful or if it should run the traditional course of being more professional and straightforward.
2. Consider Your Support Channels & Their Context
The key to creating a cohesive customer experience – especially for brands who have implemented omnichannel customer service – is to train your customer service team in considering the context of each conversation with customers so that even when the tone shifts, the overall voice remains the same.
In a serious situation with an unhappy customer who is requesting a refund via phone support, your customer service representatives will want to stick closely to the original brand voice to maintain professionalism throughout the interaction.
However, during a lighter live chat conversation with a customer asking for advice on sizing for a new jacket, give your agents the tools (and the freedom) to read the context of the situation and be more playful or emotive if the customer seems open to it.
3. Ask For Feedback From Your Customers
Surveys that measure CSAT or Net Promoter Scores are often the best data sources for gauging how your brand is being received, so don’t sleep on the opportunity to directly ask customers for their feedback throughout their experience.
Based on a study from Qualtrics, a customer’s feelings, and emotions highly correlate with the likelihood to purchase more, and consumers who experienced positive emotions during a customer service interaction are more likely to exhibit the four loyalty behaviors (likelihood to recommend, forgive, trust, and buy more).
Knowing how your brand is perceived by customers interacting with your customer service team will provide you with insight into where you can tweak or adapt your brand voice further.
Our Favorite Examples Of Strong And Distinct Brand Voices
To help you nail (or simply refine) your brand’s tone of voice, let’s take a look at a few killer brands that communicate consistently with customers across all platforms and customer service channels.
If you’re familiar with the absolutely outrageous beverage company, Liquid Death, then you already know that this brand truly pushes the boundaries with their unique brand voice.
I mean, seriously, just take a peek at the micro-copy on their membership page:
Bold, informal, and “spit-take” level funny, Liquid Death makes it impossible for its customers to forget them (or confuse them with a competitor).
When beauty brand Glossier launched in 2014, it instantly began attracting its key demographic of millennial consumers with its casual, conversational brand tone of voice.
From the tagline, “Beauty inspired by real life” to the “Skin First” approach you’ll see on their website, Glossier’s overall brand messaging encourages its customers to feel confident in their appearance by focusing on skincare and makeup products that enhance their natural beauty instead of covering it up.
Ahh, Netflix. They’ve come a long way from their DVD rental days, right? Today, Netflix’s smooth-talking brand voice sounds a lot like that friend who is always locked and loaded with a witty comeback and perfect comedic timing.
Not only does the brand voice feel relatable (and give customers the occasional chuckle), but it also transitions well back into a casual yet professional tone when it comes to interacting with customers through public or private support channels.
Maintain Consistency Within Your Customer Service Brand Voice To Create A Better CX For Your Customers
To stand out amongst your competitors and retain loyal customers, your E-Commerce business must strive to maintain a consistent brand tone of voice across all platforms and customer service channels.
At TalentPop, we don’t stop at training our skilled customer service agents in E-Commerce tools and software – we also help them understand how to use the right tone of voice with your customers to communicate effectively and match your brand voice to keep customers feeling happy and comfortable.
If you’re ready to outsource customer service to agents who will go above and beyond to establish your distinct brand voice and maintain it throughout various customer service interactions, reach out to TalentPop today to schedule a call with our team.
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