Here at Smooch.io, we believe in the power of reaching out to customers on their own terms. Whether those terms mean personal shopping through convcomm SMS or it means helping clients secure a refund through HipChat, we understand business messaging means client interaction on their own terms.

Yet, here is where an interesting question arises: with more companies turning to business smart-messaging to communicate with consumers, what is the proper tone for those messaging conversations?

Do staff follow the voice and tone of your website or do they follow the voice and tone of your customer support playbook? Or, is it both?

There are many do's and don'ts when it comes to helping your staff message or chat with customers appropriately, yet here are a few major points on tone and voice your reps need to heed.

Feeling Matters

The evidence is both anecdotal and measured. Texting behind a glowing screen turns people into avatars of themselves, wholly capable of saying something they never would in person, leaving a bad taste in someone's mouth.

All too often, when we text we forget that on the other end of the message is another person with feelings.

This being said, if you are a business messaging representative, make sure you treat the person on the other end of the conversation with the respect they deserve. Just because they don't know something, understand a certain policy or grasp why a refund can't take place, always treat that customer (aka person) with the same respect, dignity and honor you would like to be accorded.

From Hello to Goodbye, it All Matters

You're a brand representative speaking with a customer or lead. The way in which you interact with that person will determine how that that person views the brand, its products and its overall viability in the market.

For this reason it is important from the moment you say hello to a customer:

Hi there, I'm Jack. How can I help you today?

To helping them find the right product:

Sure thing. Just an idea, can I find some tea packets to go with your loose green tea purchase?

To saying goodbye:

Pleasure helping you today, Elizabeth. Reach out at anytime and enjoy your weekend!

That your tone is helpful, friendly, supportive, positive and precise. Again, you're the brand representative. Make sure your representation leaves the customers wanting more.

Words & Phrases to Utilize

The trick is an interesting one.

When you speak with a customer via message, you want to remain human as per the medium but you also want to represent your brand with positive engagement.

Here are some choice of words to use to help customers reach their goals:

  • Definitely
  • For sure
  • Gladly
  • No problem
  • Will
  • On it
  • Understand
  • Absolutely

...and here are some choice phrases you should utilize:

  • Totally understand. Happy to help.
  • Terrific choice. Will gladly do that for you.
  • Can definitely do that for you.
  • For sure. Taking care of that right away.
  • Fantastic choice. This item makes a terrific gift.

Words & Phrases to Avoid

On the other side of the coin, the last thing you want to do as a conversational commerce representative is to leave a bad taste in the customer's mouth.

Here are some choice words you should avoid:

  • Terrible
  • Awful
  • Sucks
  • Ew
  • Never
  • Stupid
  • Dumb
  • Idiotic

...and here are some phrases to avoid at all costs:

  • That is a terrible idea...
  • You should never do that...
  • Why in the world would you think that is a good idea?
  • Terrible choice. Don't do that...
  • I wouldn't buy that...

The bottom line here is you want to highlight your business messaging with positive words and phrases to leave your customer satisfied and wanting more.

Smart Conversation Flow

Every conversation should follow a common flow:

In conversation, this flow might translate into something like this:

CONVCOMM SMS Conversation Flow Chat

Want to know the bonus? Every chat using Smooch isn't a thread, it's a conversation. So the customer will always see his/her last conversation, regardless of when they started or finished their last message.

Finally, a Spark of the Unique

This is where marketing comes into play. The job of any marketing department is to provide your company or your customer with a unique experience.

For the customer service rep, this means having a unique playbook of language for effective communications provided by the marketing department.

For example, it wouldn't be odd for a customer service rep of Nike to sign off a conversation with, "Just Do It." Likewise, it wouldn't be strange for a rep of Frank's Red Hot to say goodbye to customers by writing, "Remember, put that s*#t on everything!"

If your brand has a unique tagline, transfer it to messaging to complete the brand experience, and have a little fun.

Final Thoughts

Be helpful. Use positive reinforcement. Leave your clients wanting more. Be unique.

These are the small tips you can use to empower your business messaging and ensure customer satisfaction and continued loyalty.

For more information on how your business can use messaging to reach a new level of customer satisfaction, feel free to contact the Smooch.io team. We'd love to chat.

PS - And for a great guide on customer messaging, do yourself a favor and take a gander of MailChimp Voice & Tone. We're huge fans of their brand advice.

Smooch.io Business SMS Guide