We recently had a lovely email from one of our clients who wanted to pass on some feedback that demonstrates how, by finding a genuine brand voice that resonates with customers, copywriting can do more than simply communicate. It can garner goodwill and market share.
One little email, one big thumbs-up for HIF
The client is HIF, one of Australia’s most progressive health insurance companies. And while we write lots of different marketing materials for HIF – from web copy to brochures to ads to on-hold messages – the latest piece of positive feedback related to a little email template we set up.
Here’s the feedback HIF received from one of their members:
Just wanted to give you some positive feedback about this email we received today. I was so impressed by how genial and understanding it was, taking into account that sometime things just go amiss. I’ve never had a service provider be so non-threatening about what is so often just a simple mix-up or mishap with payments.
After I received it, I called and made a payment straight away with one of your staff members, without a problem.
I thought you might appreciate knowing that these little customer service efforts really do make a difference.
From a happy customer…
And what was the email about? A direct debit rejection – the customer’s direct debit had failed, so HIF contacted the member to raise the issue.
Judging by the feedback, it was just a couple of paragraphs in the email that won over the member:
There’s been a bit of a problem with the direct debit for your health insurance – your nominated financial institution hasn’t been able to make the payment from your Visa. Don’t worry, it happens sometimes. Maybe your account details have changed (and we don’t know your new ones).
We don’t want you to be hit with any unnecessary bank fees for additional direct debit attempts, so we’ve stopped your direct debit arrangement for now, pending your advice on your preferred payment option…
That’s all it took to diffuse a potentially awkward situation (HIF was effectively chasing payment).
Credit must go to HIF (not just our copywriters)
Now, we can’t take all the credit here. We just set up the template that was modified by the HIF team.
What’s more, HIF is full of wonderful people doing a first-class job of providing members with the best benefits and value for money. They get positive feedback all the time. But that’s the point.
Back when we first started working with HIF, before we wrote anything for their members or marketing, we sat down with the HIF team and found out what the brand was all about.
Beyond the services. Beyond the product benefits.
We sat down and worked out ‘who’ HIF is. We established the HIF personality and values, as well as a genuine brand voice (copywriting style and tone) that we could apply across all of HIF’s marketing.
It’s not always what you say, but the way you say it
A genuine (and genuinely distinctive) brand voice can clearly differentiate your brand in itself (think Apple internationally, think ALDI in Australia), but a consistent brand voice does so much more.
It also brings a sense of authenticity to your marketing and communications. It helps create a sense of connection and a positive dialogue with existing and prospective customers.
And this little piece of positive feedback – about a little passage in a little email – proves the point.
Winning the battle for market share, one skirmish at a time
Instead of an embarrassed and irritated customer, HIF has created a positive experience. The member felt so good, she wrote to tell HIF how happy she was. (All from a direct debit rejection!)
It’s only one member with one experience, but she’ll no doubt share it with her friends. And in a competitive business like health insurance, that’s how markets are won – one person, one email, one brand experience at a time.
Paul Leonard is an award-winning copywriter and creative director. He has plied his creative craft in the UK and Australia for more years than he cares to mention, working with (and winning awards for) clients of all shapes and sizes across an equally diverse range of industries. When he’s not building brands and crafting copy, concepts and campaigns, he enjoys running, drinking iced coffee and writing profiles about himself in the third person.