What’s Your VIBE? Do You Have a Voice and Tone in Customer Interactions that Guide How You Connect with Customers? Part 2

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Published:  November 10, 2011

Editor’s note: This is part two of What’s Your VIBE? Do You Have a Voice and Tone in Customer Interactions that Guide How You Connect with Customers? To read part 1, click here.

A CDBaby.com Email Read ‘Round the World!
CD Baby is another company that has succeeded in the customer communication arena. This company was born to create an enjoyable and profitable channel to enable musicians to sell their music to the public. The company has made it their quest to keep these musicians in business, cutting out the record-producer middleman that prevents many independent musicians from making a living. CD Baby carries this commitment to artists through every action, including how they bond and communicate with customers.

CD Baby has a warm style we see far too rarely in customer communications – that is to “write like you talk.” Just to give you an idea, this is a direct quote from their order confirmation email: “Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow…” It goes on in this same silly, but heart-warming manner, to elaborate on a fanciful journey each CD is taking as it leaves the shelf and arrives to the buyer. While whimsical, this note CD Baby sends out to confirm orders gets to the heart of the company’s commitment to the more than 277,000 artists they represent. Thriving since 1998 as one of the largest sellers of independent music on the Web, $4.5 million in CDs have been sold online to customers.

Zappos and CD Baby have both taken risks, straying outside the boundaries of regular communication patterns between customers and company. By letting down their guard and “writing like they talk,” these companies have succeeded in their individual industries and relish in the customer loyalty that sparks repeat business and earns constant raves by their fans.

Go Try This
EVALUATE The Personality of Your Communication.

  • Print a sample of your customer service letters to customers? What’s the tone?
  • Post every single thing you send to customers on a wall. What does it look like? What does it sound like? Are you having a conversation with customers – or sending them “documents?”

Take a Chance – show your true colors

  • Define your “voice.” Many moons ago, I was a copywriter for a while for Lands’ End. Best advice I ever got on how to connect in a human way was, “Jeanne, write like you talk.” Are you writing like you talk? Have you defined the tone, the tenor and the kind of conversation you want to have between yourselves and customers?
  • Identify the highest volume communication you have and rewrite the content. Make a point of connecting in a personal manner at those times when your customers will read what you send them – and make it matter.
  • Bring your call center folks together and encourage them to “be themselves.” Sometimes we pen in the frontline folks with too many rules and regulations and because of that they sound like they are reading a script rather than relating to the customer in a real and genuine manner.
  • Share it with your company. People need to know what to emulate in tone. Then watch what happens.