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Writing for QuickBooks

Content at Intuit

QuickBooks brand character: the proactive champion

We are the champion of those who dare to dream. And fueling their success defines our own.

Our voice and tone guidelines help us know what it feels and sounds like to be the champion for all our customers, the self-employed, the small and medium-sized businesses, accountants, and others.

We believe in hard work. That’s why we show up each day. We see the vision, the passion, and the drive of each and every person out there doing it for themselves. It’s what inspires us. The dreamers, the doers, and the makers. Those who are in it for their families, their community, and their future.

QuickBooks voice attributes

Our attributes define how QuickBooks sounds.

Warm

Our relationships with customers are what matter most to us. We speak with a friendliness that tells customers we’re here for them and we understand what they need.

We want our customers to feel heard, supported, and at ease when it comes to running their business.

Examples

  • We’re engaged and caring.
  • We’re empathetic but not sappy.
  • We’re patient and approachable.

Confident

We’re focused, purposeful, and speak with conviction. We’re determined to help our customers navigate challenges, big and small.

We want our customers to feel empowered to take control of their business finances by using our products.

Examples

  • We sound self-assured but not full of ourselves.
  • We sound energetic but not over the top.
  • We sound smart but not smarty-pants.

Genuine

Our customers know they can trust us because our words fit our actions. We share what we know, and we’re up front about what we don’t. We’re transparent and reassuring in complex situations.

We want our customers to feel a sense of clarity. They’re informed but not overwhelmed.

Examples

  • We’re sincere and candid.
  • We’re straightforward but not blunt.
  • We say what we mean and don’t sugarcoat.

Here are some simple examples of how we sound:



  • Hi or Hey there
  • Thanks
  • You need to
  • Heads up
  • Greetings or Dear
  • Thank you or Salutations
  • You’re required to
  • Warning

Resources

For Intuit employees

Tone

Our voice is consistent, but our tone can change. We should be sensitive to our customers’ emotions. We can adapt our tone to the situation and the info we’re delivering.

Emotion

We want our tone to respect our customers’ mood, without telling them what to feel.

Ask yourself these questions to help strike the right tone:

Examples

  • How is the customer feeling?
  • How focused is the customer? Are they multitasking? Using their phone on public transit?
  • How critical is the content?
  • Does the content feel more like a conversation or a quick confirmation?

Context

Tone is one important way we empathize with our customers. The right tone depends on what the customer needs at that moment, and how they’re going to encounter the info we’re providing.

You can generally map types of content from emotional (language that engages with customers’ feelings) to functional (still conversational but to the point). Here’s a suggestion of where types of content might fall between emotional and functional—but always use your best judgement.



Emotional
  • Header
  • Email subject line
  • Body content
Functional
  • Tooltip
  • CTA
  • Toast message
Kind of emotional
  • Subhead
  • Email preheader
  • Help content
Kind of functional
  • Error message
  • Bulleted/numbered list
  • Inline message

Content strategy principles

Our principles guide our content choices. It’s how we put the customer first across touchpoints. This gives flexibility for teams to create their own content strategy that ladders up to the one for QuickBooks.



It’s about them, not us

Our focus is always on our customers and what they care about. We don’t toot our own horn.

Speak their language

When we talk with our customers, it’s a human-to-human conversation. We use everyday words and phrases to earn trust and build confidence.

Focus on the payoff

Any task is hard work when the goal isn’t clear. Explain why it matters, not just what needs to be done. A little perseverance upfront lightens the load later on.

Keep it simple

We don’t want our customers to get lost in too much content. Make sure all the words you choose are important and necessary.

Delight when it’s right

We know how to make our customers smile at the right moment. When it feels natural, we sprinkle in a bit of charm or use a metaphor to simplify a complex idea.

Resources

For Intuit employees

We have lots of examples and advice on how to make the voice and tone system work for you. Check out the Figma board.

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