Maintaining brand consistency creates many benefits:
- strengthens customer loyalty and builds trust
- improves customer experiences and supports retention
- makes your brand more memorable
- increases positive brand perception and affinity
- builds authority and helps your brand stand out from competitors
So how do you achieve these benefits for your team? Believe it or not, your call center plays a crucial role.
What is Brand Consistency?
Brand consistency is as the name suggests—delivering a consistent brand narrative and experience at every touchpoint.
Branding includes a number of elements, such as visual branding and design, narrative, voice and messaging, personality, strategy, vision and purpose, positioning and more. In order to deliver a truly consistent brand experience, you need to focus on three key areas:
- Customer experience: Any customer touchpoint should be consistent with your brand narrative and voice. For example, if you have a fun and playful brand and visual identity, but your call center experience is nondescript and rote, you’re delivering an inconsistent brand experience.
- Identity and personality: The visual identity and overall “personality” of your brand should be easily recognizable and consistent from channel to channel, and on both internal and external channels.
- Mission and vision: The narrative and story of your brand should be congruent across business decisions, products and services, customer experiences and more. In short, customers should know what sets you apart from your competitors.
Understanding Brand Voice and Messaging
A key—but often overlooked—element of branding includes brand voice and messaging. Not only is this area crucial to maintaining a consistent brand experience, but it’s one of the core elements of branding your call center supports.
After all, many customers’ most defining and memorable experiences with your brand—for better or for worse—are with your customer service team or call center. However, brand voice and messaging often go ill-defined because they are more vague than something like branded colors or a logo.
However, brand voice can determine and represent everything from taglines to mottos, personality to tone, specific messaging to frequency of communication. Brand voice answers questions like:
- How do we speak to our customers? What types of language do we use—is it more formal or informal? Do we use specific jargon and academic language or simple phrasing?
- What tone do we use in our communications? Are we fun and engaging or empathetic and knowledgeable?
- How frequently do we communicate with our customers?
- What are the most important ideas and topics we communicate about?
- What does our brand stand for and believe it? How do we communicate that through our voice and tone?
As brand voice gets defined, it should be clearly documented, as every team—from product to marketing to customer service—will play some role in ensuring it’s implemented consistently. And, as with any aspect of branding, consistency is key in creating a defining brand and achieving key benefits of good branding.
What many companies don’t recognize is that their call center is a staple element in not only upholding brand consistency, but developing and strengthening it as needed.
How Call Centers Maintain Brand Voice and Messaging Consistency
While it might seem understandable that call centers are a necessary function of brand management, how exactly that happens is more oblique. Here are some key ways you can ensure brand voice and messaging consistency when using a call center:
Train agents upfront to understand and embody the brand voice. First: if your brand voice, tone and messaging aren’t documented, it’s time to fix that. Without documented guidelines, training—and implementation—will be haphazard at best. Once agents have access to brand guidelines, hold initial training during onboarding, and on an ongoing basis, to familiarize agents with the brand and demonstrate how to embody the brand voice in their communications.
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At Global Response, this is a core focus for us. Rather than providing generic brand training as many call centers do, we train our agents to be brand specialists, and to embody your brand at every touchpoint. Doing so allows us to deliver superior customer experiences that meet or exceed internal team standards.
Use scripted responses aligned with brand messaging. Although scripting is sometimes frowned upon as being too “forced” or “rigid,” well-designed scripts can help agents embody your brand with clear examples. Showing agents what your brand voice and tone look like in a sample conversation can support new agents, as well as keep established agents on the right track and give them a solid foundation to branch out from.
Leverage technology to monitor and enhance consistency. Real-time analytics are one of the best tools available to monitor brand consistency and provide in-the-moment feedback. Teams can implement text analysis, tone and sentiment analysis or other real-time monitoring software to help monitor consistency and adherence, and provide suggestions for how agents can improve. In addition, leveraging omnichannel strategies and technology can help ensure consistent experiences across channels and departments, strengthening overall brand consistency.
Ensure cross-channel uniformity. When it comes to marketing, each channel has its own rules and conventions. However, the customer service experience should be fairly consistent across all channels. If your phone center is great, but no one ever responds to emails, you’re delivering an inconsistent brand experience. A single call center with omnichannel support provides increased consistency of experience for your customers, regardless of when or how they contact you. In addition, a cohesive call center team can help ensure that your customer experience reflects your brand on every channel.
Challenges in Maintaining Brand Voice and Messaging Consistency
That said, maintaining a consistent brand voice and image isn’t easy—if it were, everyone would be doing it. Two of the biggest challenges we’ve seen teams struggle with when it comes to maintaining brand consistency through their call centers are training and staff turnover and managing multi-channel consistency.
The need for ongoing training and agent support when it comes to brand consistency really can’t be overstated. Since call centers typically have high turnover, continuously training and reviewing your branding is essential to keep all employees well-trained and embodying your brand day-in and day-out. In addition, the more training your employees have—and the better they feel they can deliver consistently great experiences—the lower your turnover will be. In the end, this benefits everyone.
At the same time, no matter how great your employees are, the more channels you have, the more complicated it will be to maintain a consistent brand message and voice. Leveraging omnichannel support through an experienced call center is the best way to leverage multi-channel support while still maintaining consistency. With omnichannel solutions, your systems, customer journeys and channels are all seamlessly integrated, giving your staff a full picture of each customer’s history and providing a streamlined and consistent experience for your audience at every touchpoint.
If you’re struggling with maintaining brand consistency while managing customer service in-house, a call center is often a streamlined solution.
With one cohesive team focused 100% on your customer service and experience, agents can focus on becoming brand experts. In addition, call center management are typically well-versed in brand consistency and messaging and can help implement effective training, scripts, monitoring and feedback in a way that’s difficult to achieve in-house.
For example, when we worked with LACOSTE, we knew we needed our team to be able to deliver a seamless brand experience that was indistinguishable from other channels of their well-known luxury brand.
Ongoing training for Global Response Brand Specialists include visits to retail stores, visits from product managers, quarterly training on new brand and product updates and more. In addition, Global Response’s emphasis on creating dedicated brand specialists helped support a strong brand.
Hear it from our client themselves:
“It’s really important to us that the agents speaking with our customers know our brand personality and our products well,” says Justyn Bellsey, eCommerce Project Manager, LACOSTE. “From the way Global handles other clients, we knew their agents would get the training and product knowledge they need to become an extension of our brand—and that’s what’s happened.”
Want to see how Global Response’s brand specialist approach can create more consistency for your brand? Connect with a Global Response expert today!
Call centers have a large role to play in maintaining and upholding consistent brand messaging and tone of voice. For many of your customers, their experiences with your customer service will be their most memorable—for better or for worse—and, as a result, your call center should deliver experiences that are consistent with your brand.
Providing training on branding for agents—both during onboarding and as an ongoing process—as well as giving agents access to brand guidelines, on-brand scripts and messaging, regular monitoring and feedback in branded experiences and implementing omnichannel solutions are all effective strategies to ensure consistent brand messaging in your call center.
Since call centers tend to have high turnover, maintaining brand voice consistency can be difficult if agents are coming in and out frequently. Having ongoing, frequent training can help with this, as can working with an experienced, reputable call center that takes action to reduce turnover and train agents as dedicated brand specialists, as we do at Global Response.
As today’s marketplace continues to expand, standing out from the crowd will continue to become even more important. One of the best ways to do so is by developing a consistent and recognizable brand, and to deliver a consistent brand experience at every turn. With today’s modern technology and omnichannel support, delivering a consistent brand experience is more scalable—and necessary—than ever.