My colleague said, "Your audio and video are not matching".
We were conducting an interview. The candidate was sitting in a shady dark room and his face was hardly visible. He was holding an earphone near his mouth and it was very difficult to judge the synchronization of voice and lip movements.
However, the level of subject knowledge, depth, flow, and clarity of thoughts of the candidate was really good. One has to be astonished by the skills the young man possessed at his age and be happy about interviewing a good candidature. But given the context and based on our experience(candidate sitting in a dark room and covering his face), we got suspicious and immediately my colleague said to the candidate, "Your audio and video are not matching". (Maybe a slang to non-synchronization of body language and voice modulation. I am not sure this is the right sentence to use). Hearing this, suddenly the candidate disappeared from the screen.
Long story short, this is nothing but impersonification, where a good candidate tries to help a bad candidate by giving a voice-over, and a bad candidate acts as if he is talking.
Why this story?
We see this (non-synchronization in communication) everywhere in our day-to-day corporate life. When we get an email, when we talk to a person representing a company, when we get a document from a company, when we check a demo of a company, or when we see the posts on social media, we tell ourselves, " I am missing something. Somehow, there is a lack of synchronization. I never expected this".
What I mean to say is that there will be a huge gap between what the company says (they stand for) and what we experience.
Let us understand why this is happening and let me only touch on the area of Content Communication part of this article. Because this subject has other dimensions like behavior, emotional consistency, initiation, etc.
Ten years back, I used to work in an IT company where my role was in Consultative Software Selling. This role needs skills to create good quality content and needs quality communication. I remember, without the permission of my boss, I never used to send any documents to the client. I used to sit and research for one to two weeks to cull out a well-researched document or proposal. My reporting manager was very disciplined in setting tone and voice in the communication.
He was very particular about the brand's voice.
Gone are those days now.
In today's scenario, we need to remember that everyone in the company communicates with the customer or with the outside world on a daily basis. They represent the brand and their communication is the brand voice.
Let us look at some of the examples.
1) Our recruiters talk about the company with the candidates on a daily basis.
2) Support and sales personnel are emailing prospective and existing clients.
3)Marketers and content strategists write website content.
4) Customer success and technical writers are interacting with the customers every day.
5) Support team is supporting customers on chatbots.
Everyone in the organization creates content and in constant communication with the world something that represents your brand.
What happens in this scenario?
1) Our company voice and tone are lost and customers get confused and literally customers stop believing in us and say "audio and video are not matching". 🤔
2) Clarity becomes a little fuzzy and the same sentences start popping up in all the communication.
3) Customers feel the gap between what you promise, and what they experience. ( 'walk the talk')
Why setting the tone and brand voice across the communication is important?
1) Customers 2020: A Progress Report - Walker Information. This study reveals that going forward, customer experience will be the main differentiator for companies and customer experience will overtake product and price.
McKinsey's report says that 'customer journey consistency' and 'communication consistency' are going to be the differentiators for better conversion.
How to bring consistency or one single brand voice across communication?
Honestly, I do not have the answer. I prefer to dwell on the subject and toss the ideas on how we have to deal with this as per our own context.