How Does Tone of Voice Affect Phone Conversations With Callers?

How Does Tone of Voice Affect Phone Conversations With Callers

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Whether you depend on a live answering service, answer calls yourself, or forward calls to an automated voicemail system, your customers will respond partly based on the experience they have with tone of voice. In other words, the tone they experience influences the perception of the call itself. The better that tone, the better the experience.

Most of us inherently understand the implications of a person’s tone of voice in any conversation. We can tell when a person is angry just by the way they speak. Indeed, a person’s tone can tell us a lot about the emotions being felt in the moment. This all influences the experience. That is why it matters in terms of answering business calls.

A Powerful Marketing Tool

Marketers have studied tone of voice for years. They have learned that people respond to a tone of voice in ways that translate into real dollars and cents. That’s why they advise clients to be careful about tone when creating content. We believe the same thing applies to answering the phones.

If the right tone of voice in a video can encourage people to make a positive decision about a brand, the right tone can also encourage a positive perception of a phone interaction. The opposite is also true. The wrong tone of voice can ruin both a marketing message and a phone call.

4 Different Dimensions of Voice Tone

The Nielsen Norman Group did some research back in 2016 (updated in 2023) to help marketers get a better handle on tone of voice. Their research dealt mainly with the written word, yet it applies to the spoken word as well. Researchers came up with four different dimensions of voice tone as follows:

  1. Funny vs. serious.
  2. Formal vs. casual.
  3. Respectful vs. irreverent.
  4. Enthusiastic vs. matter of fact.

It is important to note that researchers were not necessarily saying that one tone is always better or correct. Sometimes a formal tone of voice is best while other times a more casual tone is preferred. Figuring it out requires understanding your audience and what they expect from your brand.

The Phone Call Experience

As a company that specializes in live answering service, we are firmly committed to making sure that the phone call experience is a positive one. We are very particular about the tone of voice callers hear when we take their calls. We believe that tone of voice should reflect each customer’s brand.

For example, we provide live answering services to medical providers. Given the serious nature of medical events, we know patients expect a serious and fact-based tone when they call. It would be irresponsible for us to treat their calls with a lighthearted tone that leaves them wondering if the clinician or medical office they are calling can be trusted.

We also provide live answering services to property management companies. Customers calling in are not necessarily expecting a tone as serious and direct as a medical facility. They expect a more casual tone that still denotes a willingness to listen and solve problems.

We Represent You

We understand that, when we answer calls on your behalf, we represent you. We want our tone of voice to match your brand and objectives. Tell us what you want to project on the phone, and we can make it happen. If you don’t know, let’s sit down and talk about it.

Tone of voice makes a significant difference in marketing. We believe it also makes a substantial difference in answering the phone. The right tone is the basis for a successful interaction.

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