You’ve likely heard the phrase “it’s not just what you say, but how you say it” many times. If your tone of voice isn’t something you often think about, you might want to start paying attention to it.
Client communication is one area where your tone of voice can have a huge impact. How your clients or potential clients perceive your brand can affect your business receiving repeat customers, or maintaining your current customers.
So why is getting the right tone of voice in client communication so important? Let’s explore some common tones, and see how to find the right tone for your business.
How does tone of voice affect communication?
Tone of voice is an essential part of both verbal and written communication. It helps to further portray the meaning behind your words by showing the emotion attached to them.
The right tone of voice in communication is harder to capture non-verbally since your client cannot see your facial expression or verbal inflections, leaving those things to their own interpretation. Since written communication is often the primary method for communicating with your clients, it’s essential you have a good grasp of it. It’s also more likely to be misinterpreted, and if customers pick up on the wrong tone, it could lead them to take their business elsewhere.
Having a clear and consistent tone helps customers understand you better and can build long-lasting, trusting relationships. These elements are crucial for your business since 88% of respondents in a survey said it was important to buy from brands they trust.
Words to describe tone of voice
Successful businesses all have a specific tone in their communication that’s unique to them. They’re consistent with it, and that helps them become more recognizable and trustworthy. Some common brand tones are:
The authoritative tone aims to educate its audience. Brands with authority strive to place themselves at the top of their field and rely on building a relationship of trust with their customers.
The tone words they use often establish their credibility and knowledge on a particular subject.
This tone is concise, to the point, and confident. Large corporate firms or consultancies trying to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge they can share with their customers will usually benefit from using an authoritative tone.
One of the most famous brands with a motivational tone is Nike. They inspire and encourage their audience with a sense of urgency to go after their goals.
To use this tone, you need to understand why your customers are coming to you. For example, a personal trainer’s potential customers are looking to improve their physical health. The trainer needs to portray themself as motivating and encouraging so that they can push their clients to meet their goals.
An informative tone lets potential clients know that that brand has all the information they need to help them. Brands need to clearly get across how and why their business is the best one to help their customers.
If your business seeks to educate, your target audience will respond well to this tone.
Think of Old Spice—it has moved away from its “old Hollywood” tone to grab the attention of a wider audience with its over-the-top masculine tone that pokes a little bit of fun at itself.
This tone resonates with many and is very memorable. It won’t work for all, but it can work in a range of industries if done correctly. The humorous tone will use more happy tone words and steer away from a serious tone.
How to choose the right tone of voice for your business
Engage with your customers
Getting to know your customer base is a great way to understand them better, and you’ll grow to learn the tone of voice your customers interact with.
Social media is a great tool for interacting with your customers. Be active, ask questions, post engaging content, and you’ll soon gain a deeper understanding of the tone of voice your customers relate to.
Stick to your business’ values
Every business should have a core set of values and stick to them. Sharing those values helps reach customers who share the same beliefs. Over 65% of people say they feel an emotional connection with a brand or business.
This helps to build a stronger bond between your brand and your clients. Your customers will feel more attached to you, increasing the chances of them staying loyal.
Finding the right tone of voice in communication for your business is tricky. You want to be able to resonate with your target audience while keeping in check with your business’ values.
When it comes to communication, tone of voice is a great first step in determining the right tone. Once you’ve found it, be consistent with it to help build and maintain those client relationships.