When you’re speaking with customers over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of facial expressions, hand gestures and body language to communicate your points. These non-verbal forms of communication are often heralded as the most potent ways to get a point across.
So what can you do to ensure that you are communicating effectively when the person you’re speaking to can’t see you?
Put yourself in your caller’s shoes.
The first thing you can do is pretend you’re the other person. How would you like to be spoken to? Consider the tone of voice you’re using so that nothing you’re saying comes off as offensive. Be mindful of the words you’re using so that nothing is taken out of context. Don’t forget that you’re a customer too. Your first rule of thumb should be to provide the type of customer service that you would want to receive yourself.
“If you’re working with a customer, either on the phone or in person, and they need something, pretend it’s you,” says Nancy Friedman on TelephoneDoctor.com, “What would you want to have happen? What would make you happy? What would make you satisfied? Here’s a great place to remember the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Laugh it up!
Keeping in mind that body language won’t help you when you’re on the phone, it’s important that the sound of your voice is constantly pleasant. You know what helps with that? Smiling. You may even want to take it one step further and laugh a little bit. Cracking an appropriate joke or two will not only help you to enjoy your work day more, but it will improve the overall customer experience.
“Laughter will lighten the load,” insists Friedman, “Everyone likes to laugh. Some even in the darkest moments. Take the time to laugh and enjoy your customers.”
Remember that you can’t frown or show your concern by the look on your face during a phone conversation. As important as it is to keep things light-hearted, not every call is going to be a jovial one. When a caller indicates that he/she has had an unpleasant experience, it’s incredibly important not to pass over the revelation as if it were some insignificant detail. Expressing empathy is a hugely important part of providing excellent customer service over the phone.
“Empathy is the ability to understand or feel what another person is experiencing,” explains Pascal on Userlike.com, “Showing empathy in customer service is essential, because it shows the customer that you care. Jumping straight to the fixing part can make you appear unsympathetic.” Empathy, he later adds, “creates an emotional connection and trust, and shows the intrinsic willingness to offer support.”
At SIClytics, we are big proponents for excellent customer service over the phone. We offer unique services that allow for business owners and call centre managers alike to both monitor and track the progress of their phone agents. For more information about our Telemarketing Reporting and/or Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.