The Power of Words

In our previous blog, The 5 Influencing Factors, we discussed the importance language has in encouraging different responses from customers.

This is true across all touchpoints within the customer journey. Words not only have a huge impact on success rates of the customer journey, but can also leave a customer with a lasting impression of our brand and business. This could be the difference between keeping and losing a customer. So, how can we avoid common mistakes, make sure we improve the customer experience and direct customers towards a first time resolution?

What Are We Up Against?

Before we begin drafting what words to use, we need to understand the customer’s environment and the potential issues this might cause when communicating with them. This can include difficulties like:

  • English may not be their first language
  • They might be multi-tasking or preoccupied
  • They might be pushed for time, and not have a second chance to read or hear the information being given to them
  • If it’s an IVR, phone reception might be poor
  • They might have poor hearing or eyesight

With these in mind we developed a set of key rules to help us produce any written or spoken content. When put into practice these significantly increase the success of the customer journey, producing greater first time resolution rates and enhancing the customer experience.

The Rules that Improve Performance

  • Use short words
  • Use the most commonly used terms possible
  • Don’t over-describe
  • Avoid overloading with ‘business speak’
  • Emphasise benefits to the customer when proposing an action
  • When looking at IVRs use spoken English, not written.

Common Mistakes

The two most common mistakes when speaking to customers, whether it’s from a live agent script, IVR, email or letter, are:


1. It’s too wordy

When we communicate with customers, we aim to achieve an objective. Whether it’s resolving a complaint or selling a product, there are two crucial pieces of information we need to include to direct the customer towards an end goal: what they need to do and how it will benefit them. Being clear and precise, without unnecessary extraneous detail, will achieve maximum success within customer journeys.

2. Definitions don’t match

Often the customer will have a completely different way of defining something to a business. Industry terms often cause unnecessary confusion, which can lead to repeat contact with the wrong departments. For example, terminology such as ‘if you’re in the renewal cycle’ can be simplified into ‘if you’re renewing your insurance’. This is more understandable for the customer, so there is a greater chance they will follow the recommended action. This will shorten the customer journey and reduce an organisation’s workload.

Adex Top Tips:

So, just to recap, here are our golden rules before you start writing copy for customers:

  1. Assume the customer is preoccupied
  2. Use short, simple words and commonly used language
  3. Use the customer definition, avoid industry terminology

Plus, get in touch to find out how our powerful key words can influence customer behaviour.

Suzy Hyatt

Suzy Hyatt

Suzy Hyatt

Suzy Hyatt