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Voice and Tone in Customer Interactions

Published: November 9, 2011 | By: Intradiem

Zappos enormous success was created by its founder who wanted the company “vibe” to include a unique personality that draws customers and employees and fuels their growth. Clarity of purpose and “vibe” will grow your call center success. What’s yours?

Ever call into a contact center and know as soon as your call was answered, the person on the other end thought of what they were doing as just a “job”? That they couldn’t wait to log out and go home? What about the customer service communications you receive as a result of an interaction with a company? Are they dry and bland or do you feel like someone stuck their arm out across the airwaves to shake it and say “thanks so much!” “We’re glad to know you.”

Zappos wants to be known as a service company that happens to sell shoes, handbags and more. The lens through which the company makes decisions is service. This is obvious in the tone of the welcome email that graced my inbox upon registration at Zappos – SERVICE with a smile (and shoes to quickly follow). And it’s obvious of the tone of the welcome every time you call their customer service line – which they incidentally call customer loyalty.

Check out how I’m welcomed after registering on their site: “Hello, Jeanne: Woohoo! We’re so excited you registered with We look forward to providing you with many amazing shopping experiences!”

What if every person that sits in one of your call center seats greets your customers in a personalized manner that is consistent with their brand personality? What if that then continued to the written word; confirmation of service requests, email registration confirmation, and on and on through the many “moments of truth” that companies have but don’t deliberately plan with any sort of personality. Instead, they are jobbed out as a set of tasks that need to be done – and with that attitude goes great opportunity.

Surprisingly, few businesses have clued in to the fact that communication exposes how much they consider the customer on the other end of the email, letter, notification or packing slip. Companies consider these touch points as tasks they have to execute – not opportunities to showcase their personality and connect with customers in a real and human manner. has opened their arms to me, and while I know in reality it’s not personal, the warmth behind the sentiment makes this welcome email seem like a great big hug. And I’m not kidding when I say – it makes me want to shop for shoes.

Editor’s note: Read part two of this blog tomorrow.


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