Write in your company's brand voice

From the course: Customer Service: Serving Customers Through Chat and Text

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  • Course details

    Customers are demanding more ways to connect with companies when they need help. Live chat and text are the fastest growing and most popular channels. While you may be a pro at writing emails, you need a whole new set of skills to handle live, rapid-fire chat and text conversations. You’ll need to be able to handle multiple conversations at one time, and may even be required to sell or recommend products. This course walks through each of these situations, and more, using real-world chats and texts. Instructor Leslie O’Flahavan also explains how to incorporate templates and empathy statements and add your own authentic spin—all while maintaining your company’s brand. Learn all the writing skills you’ll need to provide top-notch live chat and text customer service.

    Instructor

    • Click here to view Leslie O'Flahavan’s instructor page

      Leslie O'Flahavan

      Leslie O'Flahavan is an online writing expert.

      Leslie specializes in helping organizations improve the quality of customer service responses. She helps employees improve the quality of the email, chat, and social media messages they send to customers. Leslie develops and teaches hands-on, practical, high-energy writing courses that help people do their jobs: write useful, readable web content; publish e-newsletters; repurpose content for multichannel publishing; and write plain language documents readers can use.

    Skills covered in this course

  • The difference between chat and text

    - The marketing department developed your company's brand values and the graphic design team created the logo and color palette, but you sustain the brand in every interaction you have with customers, so you need to write your chats and text in your company's brand voice. We don't want to sound one way to customers before they buy when we're marketing to them and an entirely different way after they buy when they need customer service. We should use a consistent brand voice in all our contacts with customers. What do we mean by brand voice anyway? The term refers to how your brand personality comes across in words. So if your company has a serious trustworthy brand personality, its brand voice will use words that convey a serious, respectful, trustworthy tone. Your company's marketing campaigns, product names, and social media posts are written in your brand voice, and customer services chats and texts should be, too. Let's compare the brand voices in two text conversations with customers. The topics are nearly the same, but the companies use very different brand voices. Clearly, Cassia Market has a casual brand voice. Agent Mario's peppered the chat with words like hey and yep. Kettle Brand's brand voice is friendly, but business professional. It would be off brand to throw a hey or a lucky lady into this text conversation. Now the utilitarian get-the-job-done parts of your texts and chats won't really be written in your brand voice. Instructions for common online tasks are usually written in a neutral voice. Let me give you six predictable places where brand voice comes in. First, greeting and closing. A casual brand voice greets with words like hey and closes with later. A more formal voice uses the classic hello and goodbye. Second, how you apologize. A casual brand writes, "Ugh -- really sorry!" and the more formal one writes, "I sincerely apologize." Third, how you offer help. A casual brand writes, "What's up?" and the formal one writes, "How may I help you today?" Fourth, how you accept thanks. A casual brand writes, "We're blushing!" and a more formal one writes, "Thank you!" Fifth, how you show you understand. A casual brand writes, "I hear you", "I get it", or even "Gotcha". A more formal one writes, "I understand", or "Yes, that makes sense." Finally, your brand voice comes across in how you use emojis. While emojis aren't words, they do portray your brand's voice. Casual brands use more emojis and may use custom emojis created to convey the brand. More formal brands are lighter on emoji use. If you need guidance on how to write in your company's brand voice, ask your manager. They can probably share the brand book that's been created to keep everyone in the company consistent in how they look, sound, and write to customers. And if you're interested in how brand voice affects customer service, take a look at the handout. I've put together a list of brand books you can review online. Then take a look at those brands' marketing, social posts, and customer service writing. Judge for yourself whether these famous brands follow their own advice.

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