A fundamental of effectively communicating with others is the need to maintain one voice. Flip-flopping on content, tense, or point of view is a huge distraction and often results in a miscommunication. This truth can be illustrated with customer service, in branding, and in a self-presentation.
Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Indians
I recently endured a frustrating car insurance renewal process. The policy price wasn’t even my main point of angst, it was the conflicting stories from each representative. I ended up speaking with nearly a dozen people over the course of more than a half-dozen calls. I ended up completing the transaction at the quoted price, but I wouldn’t endure similar circumstances again. I’m willing to say 90% of customers wouldn’t have continued the hassle and simply went to a competitor. The lesson here is maintain a single voice (regarding policy coverage, price, etc.) to avoid confusion and build trust with a customer.
Don’t Promise Me The World
Sure, your company offers more than one product or service. But, to increase your chance of selling those multiple offerings, build a single brand that represents what the company is all about. I can think of numerous examples to use from my native industry of broadcasting. The most successful radio and television stations typically have one core positioning statement. Sure, sometimes there are variations of that one positioner, but the change is minor. For example, a station with the “Our Town’s News Leader” also reverting to the tag of “Our Town’s Weather Leader” during times of inclement weather. Too often you see businesses throw out one cliché after another each time a new advertisement or promotion begins. It’s tough to build loyalty when customers (and potential customers) aren’t sure what you stand for. Politics, anyone?
Are You An Author Or The Subject?
Ever visit someone’s corporate bio page and get confused as to who is writing it? Quite frankly, most of us don’t care. Yet, it becomes an issue when you stumble upon a bio page that includes both first- and third-person voices. It’s rather strange to see a bio begin with “Hi, I’m Kevin, thanks for visiting…” followed by a line in the next paragraph stating something similar to “Kevin received his degree from…”. Keep the focus on content, as a flawed delivery dilutes the message being presented.
One voice helps cut through the clutter of the thousands of messages presented to us each day. One voice should strengthen your opportunity to connect with an intended audience. Go ahead, try it. The only thing you have to lose is…clutter.