I was talking to a friend about the tone of voice work I do. She looked at me with a puzzled look and asked, ‘but why does tone of voice matter’? The question really got me thinking so I thought I’d share it.
First things first – what is ‘tone of voice’?
Well, tone of voice is what you say and how you say it.
It’s the personality we inject into the way we speak. It’s the words we use and the pace, style and rhythm of our sentences that bring our identity to life. Do we use short, punchy sentences with lots of energy and contractions, or do we use more verbose sentences and converse in a formal manner? Do we say hi, hello, howdy or good day? You get the gist… But the thing to remember here is that it isn’t just verbal communication we’re talking about. It’s written communication too. And we’re not just talking about individual people – we’re also talking about brands.
Let’s look at an example. Here are two well-known train companies inviting customers to get in touch on their contact page:
Great Western Rail
Whether you have a question, or just want to give us some feedback, we’re waiting to hear from you.
Need a hand? Or just fancy a chinwag? We’re here to answer any questions you might have…
They’re saying pretty much the same thing, but you can see how the difference in tone and language makes it distinctive to their personality.
In my next post I’ll look at what having the right tone of voice can do for your customers and your operation.
Thanks for reading and if you’d like to talk about your tone of voice we’d love to hear from you here