Cookie Preference Centre

Your Privacy
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Performance Cookies
Functional Cookies
Targeting Cookies

Your Privacy

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences, your device or used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually identify you directly, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. You can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, you should know that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site may not work then.

Cookies used

ContactCenterWorld.com

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources, so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies, we will not know when you have visited our site.

Cookies used

Google Analytics

Functional Cookies

These cookies allow the provision of enhance functionality and personalization, such as videos and live chats. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, then some or all of these functionalities may not function properly.

Cookies used

Twitter

Facebook

LinkedIn

Targeting Cookies

These cookies are set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant ads on other sites. They work by uniquely identifying your browser and device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will not experience our targeted advertising across different websites.

Cookies used

LinkedIn

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties

OK
BECOME
A MEMBER
TODAY TO:
CLICK HERE
TELL A
FRIEND
[HIDE]

Here are some suggested Connections for you! - Log in to start networking.

7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style Guide - FCR - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style Guide

This article was originally published on CustomerThink on October 12, 2018. Click here to read the original post.

Over the past few years, I’ve worked with dozens of our new clients at FCR to help them design a quality process for the customer service team that drives the sort of customer experience they want to deliver. Of the many different topics we discuss in those conversations, one of my favorites is asking them to talk about the voice and style we should use when communicating with their customers.

Most clients respond with a handful of words and phrases to summarize this voice and style. They typically say some combination of the following:


Sponsor message - content continues below this message

2022 '17th annual' Global Contact Center World Awards NOW OPEN

Enter your Center, Strategy, Technology Innovation, Teams and Individuals into the ONLY TRULY GLOBAL awards program - regarded by many as being like the Olympics for the Contact Center World! Join the best from over 80 nations and compete for the most prestigious awards out there!

FIND OUT MORE HERE


Content continues ….

  • We’re upbeat and friendly.
  • We apologize profusely when things don’t go right or we don’t apologize at all unless it was absolutely our fault.
  • We talk to customers like they’re a friend of a friend. It’s familiar but still professional.
  • If a customer has a problem, we go above and beyond to make it right.

There’s more we could add to this list but that’s how most of these discussions go.

And then there are the handful of clients that have a detailed style guide that was produced by their marketing department. These guides cover pretty much every communication scenario you could possibly think of.

A quick Google search led me to the Mailchimp Content Style Guide which covers voice and tone, punctuation (serial comma, capitalization, etc), key words and phrases to avoid and their alternatives, and a whole lot more. As I read through this and other guides, I’m not sure how someone even arrives at the understanding of what to put in such a guide. They’re so comprehensive.

Recently a client asked if we could help them create a voice and style guide because they didn’t have one. I’ve had this on my list of things to do and thought it might be fitting to share some of my initial thoughts in this article. The goal here is to understand what belongs in a voice and style guide and explore how this applies to customer service. Let’s address a few key questions first.

Who’s responsible for establishing the communication style for an organization?

In most organizations, the marketing department establishes voice and style, not the customer service group. But the smaller and/or newer the company is, the less likely it is to have someone dedicated solely to marketing. It’s more likely that people are wearing multiple hats and the customer service team might be instrumental in initially setting up guidelines for customer-facing communication.

Why is a voice and style guide important?

The most important concept is consistency. It’s about making all communication from your company to customers consistent with your brand regardless of which department is communicating. This includes content on your website, office decor, SWAG, signage, slide decks, and all outbound communications from groups like sales, marketing, IT, and customer service. According to ClearVoice: “Your brand should build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers” and this is most effectively accomplished with consistency across the board.

Does this really apply to customer service and how much?

Absolutely! Let’s look at how and where the voice and style guide should be used in customer service.

  • Pre-written macros and templates
    We already know that when done right, macros save time so agents don’t have to freehand every customer response every time. They also ensure that key information is communicated consistently. These are customer facing communications and should be written in the company’s voice and style.
  • Knowledge base content
    This information should also be consistent and on brand. Ideally the customer service team plays a key role in identifying the gaps in knowledge and helping keep the knowledge base current.
  • Speaking the language
    Whether it’s verbal or written communication the customer service team should be fluent in the voice and style of the company however simple or complex it may be. In this case, I’m thinking of those things that should or shouldn’t be said. For example, at a previous job we never said the word “outage” but instead used “service impairment.” This can be reinforced as part of the quality assurance process.

One note here is that I’ve seen many customer support organizations empower some of their best writers or hire writers to produce templates and knowledge base content that’s consistent with the company’s voice and style. This can be a great career path and allow you to amplify the number of customers some of your best agents reach. While it’s important that everyone in customer service actively suggest content, I recommend that a smaller group approve content and put it into production.

What are the essentials for a customer service voice and style guide?

We’ve established that a voice and style guide is important and applies to the customer service team and that customer service might have significant input in the process. As I’m thinking through the essentials, here’s a not-too-long list of what I’d include in the guide.

  • Proper formatting and spelling of the company name
    Is it Company Name, CompanyName, companyname, or Companyname? Pick one and stick with it.
  • What do you call your customers?
    Names matter and speak to how you view and value your customers. Do you call them members, users, etc? There’s nothing wrong with calling them customer but here are a few ideas to get you thinking.
  • Phrases to avoid and their alternatives
    I affectionately refer to these as “stop words” and you might include words like can’t, nope, won’t, unfortunately, and policy — words that put up a barrier between you and the customer. There might be some industry-specific language you want to be careful with as well like my earlier example about outages. Be sure to share words and phrases to use in their place.
  • Describing people
    As I continue to reference MailChimp’s Style Guide, I appreciate their sensitivity around words that are used to describe people’s age, race, gender, sexuality, and disabilities. Some of this seems like common sense but it’s not always common and may be important to spell out.
  • Using the customer’s name
    It’s a great idea to greet customers by name and use names naturally during interactions but this can also backfire if done incorrectly. In his new book, Customer Service Tip of the Week, Jeff Toister recommends, “In most situations, first names are perfectly acceptable and increasingly preferred by customers.” He goes on to say, “When in doubt, use their last name or ask which they prefer.”
  • Voice and tone
    I alluded to this earlier in the post. It’s possible to talk at extreme length about voice and tone but I recommend keeping it simple. For support teams, I find it effective to come up with a handful of words or phrases that describe how you talk with customers. Here’s an example of where I usually begin when working with clients:
    • Professional but personable – Business casual, not uptight, always respectful. Contractions (you’re, we’ll, they’re, etc) are encouraged.
    • Positive, fun, and upbeat – Phrases like “absolutely” and “here’s what I CAN do for you.” We avoid words like “unfortunately,” “can’t,” and “won’t.”
    • Partnering – Our goal is to work with customers to find solutions without talking down to them or sounding detached, scripted, or robotic.
    • Empathetic – We care about the emotional state of the customer and the problem they are encountering. We aim to make a human connection with each customer.
  • Grammar and punctuation
    We can go into extensive detail here. I recommend at minimum addressing the serial comma, double or single spacing before a new sentence, the use of emojis, and exclamation points. While it may be more about grammar than style, it’s wise to also address the use of apostrophes and differentiate between your and you’re, to and too, and they, their, and they’re. While you’re at it, talk about its and it’s. Those are confusing for some people but can reflect poorly on a brand when customers see those words used incorrectly.

I have one final thought on this topic. You might ask how the unique personality of your individual agents is able to shine through when they’re bound to a style guide. The reality is that it’s still people that make the meaningful connection with the customer, it’s people who choose that positive and upbeat attitude, and it’s people who work to find just the right solution to solve the customer’s problem. The style guide above all helps to create a consistent approach to customer service that aligns with your brand and ideally all other customer-facing communication in your organization. But remember that it’s the people who execute and add their own personal touch.

As I said earlier, I’m preparing to work with some of our clients to help them establish a voice and style guide primarily for customer service. As you read this article, let me know if there are any essentials I should consider or include.

Source: http://www.gofcr.com/7-essentials-for-a-customer-service-voice-and-style-guide/

Publish Date: November 29, 2018 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
AMC Technology

DaVinci
DaVinci provides Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) to a library of pre-built applications + UXiPaaS (User Experience Integration Platform as a Service) built specifically for contact centers. As contact center needs evolve, organizations need to have access to extend or create new functionality, without waiting to be a part of a software roadmap. Get the benefits of CTI within your CRM like screen pop, click-to-dial, screen transfer, speed dial and more, but future-proof your contact center so you can expand and integrate how and when you want.

2.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

3.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.

4.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)

5.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.

6.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.

7.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.

8.) 
PhoneIQ

PhoneIQ
What is PhoneIQ?
PhoneIQ is the modern cloud phone system and contact center platform built exclusively for companies on Salesforce. Our all-in-one cloud communications platform brings together power dialing, local presence, voicemail drop, Salesforce call routing, call recording and a complete PBX replacement that lives within your CRM. With support for desktop, mobile, and desk phones, PhoneIQ works seamlessly at the office or remote, logging all interactions in Salesforce and generating reports in real-time.

Best For
Companies using Salesforce and looking for a phone system, dialer, or contact center software that provides deep integration capabilities with their CRM and expert Salesforce support.

9.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)
 



View more from FCR

Recent Blog Posts:
When Friendly Customer Service is SecondaryFebruary 20, 2019 5:00 AM
Customer Service Edge Cases. To Empower or Not to Empower?January 18, 2019 5:00 AM
FCR Solutions Spotlight: 5 Contact Center Tech Upgrades to Consider in 2019January 11, 2019 5:00 AM
How Chat Analytics Differs from Voice AnalyticsJanuary 3, 2019 5:00 AM
Sad and Happy GoodbyesDecember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Creating A Customer Service Quality Assurance Form Doesn’t Have To Be Scary (Here’s How)December 14, 2018 5:00 AM
A Miscellaneous Lot of Thoughts on Quality ScoringDecember 10, 2018 5:00 AM
7 Essentials for a Customer Service Voice and Style GuideNovember 29, 2018 5:00 AM
The Customer Service Advice We’re Thankful ForNovember 21, 2018 5:00 AM
Customer Experience Insights From the InnovatorsNovember 15, 2018 5:00 AM

About us - in 60 seconds!

Latest Americas Newsletter
both ids empty
session userid =
session UserTempID =
session adminlevel =
session blnTempHelpChatShow =
CMS =
session cookie set = True
session page-view-total =
session page-view-total =
applicaiton blnAwardsClosed =
session blnCompletedAwardInterestPopup =
session blnCheckNewsletterInterestPopup =
session blnCompletedNewsletterInterestPopup =