It’s not only what you say, it’s also how you say it The influence of tone of voice and response strategy in crisis communication on organizational reputation and customer attitude.
This study analyses the effects of tone of voice (human voice or organizational voice) and response strategy (denial strategy or rebuilding strategy) in online crisis communication, specifically measuring the effects on organizational reputation and customer attitude. To test this, the following research question was investigated: To what extent do tone of voice (human conversational voice vs. organizational voice) and response strategy (rebuilding vs. denial) influence organizational reputation and customer attitude in online crisis communication via websites?. The present study employed a 2x2 between-subjects experimental design, in which a crisis response of a fictitious company was examined. In total, the experiment consisted of four differently manipulated texts, each containing either a denial strategy or a rebuilding strategy combined with either a human tone of voice or an organizational tone of voice. After reading the texts, participants were subsequently exposed to an online questionnaire, in which they were asked to assess the crisis response in terms of perceived organizational reputation and customer attitude. Overall, the findings indicated that there are no significant effects of tone of voice on organizational reputation and customer attitude. However, significant effects were found for the influence of response strategy on both organizational reputation and customer attitude. Particularly, employing rebuilding as a response strategy resulted in higher ratings for both organizational reputation and customer attitude. This research has made a valuable contribution by enhancing the scientific and practical comprehension of crisis communication approaches and their consequential effects.
Faculteit der Letteren