Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Would 'The Voice' Judges Turn Around for Your Phone Staff?

When prospects call, they can't see your facial expressions or body language, which can be pretty detrimental based on the fact that about 55 percent of communication comes from nonverbal cues. Thankfully, 38 percent of communication comes from vocal elements, such as tone of voice, inflection and emphasis.

When callers don't have any visual cues, they make assumptions about your company based on what your phone staff says and how they say it.

This is a similar concept to the hit TV show "The Voice," where four famous music artists have their backs to the stage as they judge aspiring musicians. It isn't until the judges are intrigued enough with singers' voices that they turn their chairs around to finally see what the singers look like (they call them blind auditions).

We've already talked about how to re-humanize your call center agents, so it's only fitting to follow up with a few extra tips about phone etiquette.

Slow Down the Tempo

If your phone staff is filled with multi-taskers, they may tend to sound rushed. The problem is, this impatience is obvious to callers. Slow down and focus your attention solely on the caller. Don't sound like a slow-motion video, but take time to think about what you're saying and how you're saying it. Make sure the caller hears the focus is on them. This small attention to detail can make a difference in how the caller perceives your company.

Keep It Professional

It's good to be relaxed when talking to your clients and prospects, but don't get too comfortable! Some people confuse being comfortable with being casual, and while we don't want you to sound too rehearsed, we also don't want you sounding too relaxed. You might come across uninterested or unintelligent. So remember, be cordial, professional and personable.

End on a High Note

Figuratively, not literally. The end of your call might be the last impression a caller has of your company for a while. Make sure to do something memorable (within reason; don't burst into song). End the call by thanking them for their time and repeating their name. Using their name shows that you were attentive during their call and that you care about them as an individual. You'll leave a strong positive impression, and they'll associate those positive feelings with your company. 

Make sure your staff is following your call handling guide by using call recording software to review conversations and identify mishandled calls.

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