At The Retail Practice, we believe that how you communicate with your customers is a vital part of your brand expression. With so many customer touch points, it’s both a challenge and an opportunity to create a consistent yet adaptive tone of voice (ToV).
Making communication consistent and ‘on brand’
Our client Hunkemöller, felt there was inconsistency in how their customer-facing teams were communicating across their channels. They were clear that within their stores, across social media and throughout their customer service operations, their brand values and tone of voice needed to be reflected consistently in all communications.
“We have a unique tone of voice at Hunkemöller and our customers really love that we have a natural style with a touch of fun. With our business crossing so many different channels and a variety of people talking to our customers, it felt right we should use our tone of voice in all communications, wherever our customers are in the world”
Laura Breuk – Head of Marketing
Who is the customer and how do we talk to her?
Using detailed research from within the relevant departments at Hunkemöller, coupled with our own extensive retail/customer knowledge, we created a comprehensive guide that all customer-facing personnel could use, regardless of how they interacted with the customer. The guide gives a clear understanding of who the customer is, defines the Hunkemöller tone of voice and gives guidance on how to use it with customers. We reviewed the most common queries, their store staff and customer service teams deal with, and gave authentic and realistic options on how to answer these. The guide also gave specific advice on how to adapt communication for e-mail, online and face-to-face communication.
Guide content structure:
- The brand values
- How brand values are used
- The customer
- What is tone of voice
- What is the brand’s tone of voice?
- Great customer care across all channels
- Opening a conversation
- Closing a conversation
- Let’s talk to customers – The right way (The image above is a reminder of the bullseye customer)
- In store (face-to-face)
- On the phone
- Written (via e-mail, website, app and social)
- Common queries across all channels
- Channel-specific queries
- What happens if things go wrong (and really right!)
The guide has been shared with both internal and external customer service teams across Europe. It’s also being used to create short video examples to show store staff how they can adopt it into their conversations with customers. With the guide in place, all customer-facing Hunkemöller employees really know how to talk to their customers in the right way. Crucially, they also now know how to adapt the way they communicate depending on whether they’re having a face-to-face, telephone or online conversation and have in-depth practical suggestions on how to deal with the most common queries they face.