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TONE of VOICE in
How to Avoid
Like a Jerk
Have you ever tried calling a customer service line
only to be greeted with a dull
‘Hello, you’ve reached Acme,
how can I help you?’
I bet those instances didn’t make you feel
very appreciated as a customer.
The thing is that the
being no exception,
It’s not only about what you say,
how you choose to say it.
of the the actual words
of the tone of voice
of the body language
According to Albert Mehrabian
The tone of voice is a way to
express the feeling you attach
to a statement, a method of
A person’s voice stays
the same most of the
times, their tone
changes, depending on
the feeling underpinning
the message being
How do you determine
the right tone of voice in
customer service, then?
Formal vs. casual
In order to be able to decide which way to
go, you need to know who’s on the other
end of the communication channel.
A sensible thing to do is to reflect the
conversation partner’s tone of voice.
Positive vs. negative
You’ve probably read on many occasions
that positive thinking is key to success.
The same goes for reading positive words,
which if done frequently, can develop
more of an overall positive attitude.
Context is very important when it comes to using the
right tone of voice.
Not all circumstances will allow for being casual,
just as not every person will be fine with it,
especially in business environment.
It’s good to be able to reflect the customer’s way of
speaking or writing.
Words are interpreted by the left hemisphere
of the brain and tone by the right one,
which is also responsible for processing music.
This means that the
recipient of a
words and melody,
Some days agents will not be at
They may have a cold,
something might have gotten
them upset on their way to
work, it’s an early Sunday
morning in the middle of
winter and they have to hit the
office – you get the idea.
Saying the right thing isn’t
enough, you need to be able to
convey appropriate emotion
We’re all human, sometimes
emotions get the best of us
and it gets reflected in our
tone of voice.
There’s a solution,
however, that not only
deals with the issue of
not always sounding
professional, but also
creates new ways to
Tone of voice and body language
in online environment
The solution to customer service
agents using improper tone of
voice, sometimes largely beyond
their control, thus creating
negative customer experience
is live chat.
Some of its advantages when it
comes to communication quality
It’s largely informal in nature,
allowing for casual tone of voice
desired by the majority of online
It solves all of the voice-related
problems, which make agents
It provides an opportunity to use
body language online, something
you can’t do over telephone, in
the form of sophisticated emojis.
It creates a buffer, which is
especially useful with angry
customers, whose inadequate
handling by agents using
inappropriate tone of voice may
quickly worsen the situation.
It’s also a tool that may be
appreciated more if your
customers are mostly younger
people, open to new
technologies, allowing them to
save time and multitask online.
channel has its nuances.
There’s no single, right
tone of voice, whether
you’re speaking or
Any customer service department can
benefit from having live chat installed, as it
creates a new dimension for communication,
solving certain problems related to
telephone-based service and creating
otherwise unavailable opportunities.
Live chat lets agents focus
on solving problems and
not having to worry about
how they sound.