Workplaces worldwide have experienced a move toward informality. This has become reflected in branding, workplace policy and customer service style. It is important to be mindful, however, that these changes will affect how potential clients view your business.
The level of formality you use should be directly influenced by your client base and brand identity. A food business wouldn’t adopt the same tone as a financial services provider. Let’s take a look at what sort of language clients expect in different scenarios.
When To Use Formal Language
In a world of no-reply emails and long response times, customers value personal communication but the nature of this communication needs to meet your clients’ expectations.
Informal greetings and verbosity might be fine when addressing your family. In a work-related scenario, however, it might indicate a lack of precision and a lack of appreciation for someone’s time.
For example, if your product or service has been paid for in advance, regular communication and a more formal tone will be expected. As much as casual communication is often associated with comfort, the structure of formal writing can actually be more reassuring.
Formal communication is also expected if you have access to a client’s sensitive information. If you’re working in a health-care field, even if this means running a wellness business, using a serious tone will put you customers at ease.
Approaching clients with formality and prompt responses can build a level of trust even before they’ve experienced the quality of your work.
When Informal Language Is Appropriate
There are times when a less formal approach suits the situation, but it should be approached with caution. If there’s a reason you’ve chosen to be more personal with someone, then that reason should be made clear.
A good example of this is when dealing with complaints around a personalized service. If someone is unhappy with the quality of your work, you might want to use a more personal tone to highlight the sincerity of your apology.
This is especially important when dealing with clients who you engage with in a one-on-one setting. Using an impersonal tone with someone you have built a relationship with could make them feel like their needs aren’t being met.
Once you’ve developed a relationship with a client, relaxing into a less formal tone builds trust in your business and allows clients to feel special. When working in the hospitality or entertainment industry where there’s the chance for all kinds of interactions at bars or eve when playing online Blackjack, being a regular client comes with a lowering of formality. Granting supportive clients this status ensures long-lasting relationships.
Setting The Tone
The 21st century has ushered in an era where the line between formal and informal writing is less clear than it once was. While some may find this confusing, adjusting your tone to suit your business can be a useful tool.
Knowing how your customers feel comfortable communicating with you is the first step toward providing tailor made customer service to your clients.