How Important Is Your Tone Of Voice When On The Phone?

Close up portrait of Woman customer service worker, call center smiling operator with  phone headset

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. To some, this may be a cliché. To others, it’s a cold hard fact. If you’re in telemarketing, you’re more than likely one of the latter. You’re very well aware that your ability to endear yourself to someone – usually a complete stranger – will have a lot to do with the tone of your voice. You know that without body language, it requires more of you to communicate your messages effectively to a wilfully listening ear.

You likely have a lot in common with Albert Mehrabian, who in 1967, as Abhiroop Basu explains on Zopim.com, came up with the “7%-38%-55%” rule to explain how communication works. It is made up of three parts, he insisted: 7 percent is the actual words you use, 38 percent is the tone of your delivery and 55 percent is the body language used to accompany your words. Evidently, body language counts for a lot!

So how does one effectively communicate without body language? As you may have guessed, it all comes down to tone. After all, Mehrabian surmised that tone far exceeds the actual words you use when communicating your message. Good telemarketers are very well aware that the tones of their voices set the tones of their conversations. Right off the bat, a person being called needs to know that he/she is speaking with someone worth listening to.

On VirtualHold.com, Ashley Brown explains how one’s tone can make or break a sale. “What callers hear on the other end of the line can make a world of difference when it comes to the quality of service your company provides, as well as your overall reputation,” she writes, “One agitated, dismissive voice can make or break a sale. As well, it can start a cycle of having to transfer calls to other agents and supervisors. In other words, it’s costly and potentially damaging.”

What problems can arise from a poor tone of voice? It’s been said that smiles are contagious. And that’s why phone agents are often advised to smile when they’re speaking to their leads over the phone. It helps for their tones to improve. But when a caller sounds bored, disinterested, irritated or downright rude, it’s bound to impact the mood of the person he/she is calling. It only stands to reason.

To avoid calling leads and customers with poor tones of voices, telemarketers require motivational feedback and regular training. According to Brown, “existing employees who have less than desirable attitudes may need additional training or assistance. It’s never a good idea to turn a blind eye to employees with attitude issues. They rarely change direction and often behaviours can get more pronounced.”

What is the best way to monitor the tones of voices being used by your phone reps? At SIClytics, we highly recommend the use of our Live Call Monitoring services. We offer call centre business owners and office managers innovative cloud-based features that enable them to listen to calls live as they happen. They can also whisper helpful feedback to their reps during those calls without the other parties hearing a thing!

For more information about SIClytics’ Live Call Monitoring services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

6 Steps To Providing High-Level Customer Service

Business people with headsets using computers in office

Providing customer service over the phone is a lot different than providing customer service in person. A phone agent doesn’t have the benefit of using body language, facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate his/her message. Instead, he/she must place greater emphasis on tone, inflection and appropriate verbiage in order to have positive interactions with customers. Call centre employees, it’s fair to say, have many steps to take to ensure that they’re providing high-level customer service.

Here are six:

Step #1: Showing respect. Using your customer’s name will go a long way. It’s important to remember to treat customers like people – not sales numbers or dollar signs. In addition, actively listening to the concerns and questions had by your customers will ensure that they are addressed and answered appropriately at the first point of contact. When customers feel that they aren’t being properly listened to, they associate it with disrespect.

Step #2: Displaying professionalism. You’ll likely always be given advice that includes being friendly and polite. But it’s of vital importance that you never forget your role as a representative of your company. Avoid using slang terms or too much joking around. Remember that you have a job to do and satisfying your customers’ needs is a big part of it. Be sure to use appropriate language that is in keeping with your brand and focus on conducting business professionally.

Step #3: Being engaging. We’re not saying that you need to focus on being entertaining whenever you speak to one of your customers or leads – but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be interesting. Utilize your natural charm and wit and feel free to engage in conversations with your customers that will spark their interests. As per our last point, it’s important to stay focused on the task at hand. But customers appreciate it when customer service associates can show their human sides.

Step #4: Maintaining confidence. Customers like to feel that the people they do business with know what they’re talking about. It gives them confidence that they are working with the right company. Being confident doesn’t necessarily mean knowing everything. There may be times when you’ll need assistance with an issue or question. Simply letting your customer know that you’ll get to the bottom of things for him/her no matter what is a display of confidence – even if you admit to need help. Know that you can do your job excellently…and you will!

Step #5: Expressing empathy. This is a major part of providing excellent customer service. Not all of your calls are going to go perfectly. You’re bound to encounter an irate customer from time to time. The key is to not engage in a heated debate. Instead, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and express your understanding for his/her discontent. We’re all customers. When one is upset, it’s your job to be considerate of his/her feelings. Exclaiming your understanding for the frustration can go a long way.

Step #6: Staying honest. Most consumers are very savvy. They know the difference between a fair bargain and a scam. As well, customers are easily put off by putting their trust in someone who doesn’t come through for them. It’s important that you don’t make promises you can’t keep. Be sure to meet all deadlines and delivery dates. If there is an occurrence that will change what was originally promised, reach out to your customer to inform him/her. Your honesty will be appreciated.

At SIClytics, we offer innovative cloud-based services that assist call centre managers in helping their phone agents provide the best customer service possible. Our Monitor Whisper service lets supervisors and managers monitor calls live as they happen, as well as the ability to whisper feedback to their reps during those calls. For more information about SIClytics’ Monitor Whisper service, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

5 Tips For Creating A Team Of Top-Notch Telemarketers

Multi-ethnic business people using headset in a call center

If you work in the world of telemarketing, you know exactly how hard a job it is to be on the phones. Especially for those who practice cold calling, going to work every day can be tough sell. The most experienced call centre managers know, however, that the telemarketing industry is thriving and has proven to be a very rewarding line of work. This is especially true for phone agents who have mastered how to build rapport with the prospects they call each day.

But how do you build a strong rapport? How do you even maintain a confident and friendly approach to each phone call when you are so often met with objections? Experience helps, of course. But it all comes down to implementing some specific rules when it comes to handling your day-to-day calling duties. If you’re looking to turn your team of phone agents into highly talented sales representatives, you may want to pass along the following suggestions.

Here are five tips for creating a team of top-notch telemarketers:

1. Allow your staff to implement their own personalities into your script. Many call centre managers have their phone agents read scripts to their prospects verbatim. And while it’s always important for your team to relay accurate information, you don’t want to create robot-sounding individuals who get lost in the monotony of their work shifts. Allow each member of your team to inject his/her own affable personality into the script so that it comes off as more genuine.

2. Get your team to focus on providing unique solutions. Most often, telemarketers attempt to highlight the benefits of the products and services they’re selling. But they don’t necessarily highlight how what is being offered will benefit the specific people they’re speaking to. Encourage your team to ask probing questions so that they can learn more about their prospects. This will allow them to curb their approaches to selling your product or service so that it aligns with the unique needs of each lead.

3. Offer ways to gain the trust of gatekeepers. Regularly, telemarketers are blocked by individuals whose job it is to protect his/her boss/decision-maker from taking unwanted calls. Getting passed the gatekeeper is one of the most important jobs of a telemarketer – and the most savvy of phone workers do it best. It’s important to sound authoritative while remaining friendly. Be in control of the conversation but don’t reveal too much information. Focus on building rapport until you’re granted access to the big cheese.

4. Place an emphasis on objection-handling skills. Telemarketers are likely to hear the words “not interested” more than any other two in the English language each day they go to work. Developing a positive mindset about how to overcome such an objection is the first step to dealing with rejection confidently. Try not to interrupt or jump into the conversation too quickly after an objection is made. Attempt some probing questions, express your understanding and work to keep the conversation going in a relaxed manner.

5. Monitor your team and offer regular feedback. It should go without saying that you need to monitor the calls that your team of sales representatives are making. Listening in to calls to ensure that they are implementing all of the techniques that you’ve taught them will help you to keep everyone on track. Offering feedback to both boost self-confidence and correct certain mistakes will also prove very valuable to your organization.

At SIClytics, we offer Telemarketing Reporting services that enable you to track the results of your telemarketing team’s efforts. As well, our Live Call Monitoring services allow you to listen in to calls and even whisper information to your phone reps while they are on their calls. This immediate form of feedback helps your team to better succeed in the early stages of the relationships they develop with your client base.

For more information about our services that can help you to create a team of top-notch telemarketers, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-374-6003 or email us at sales@SIClytics.com.

How Does Live Call Monitoring Improve Customer Service?

Smiling young African-American businessman in a call center

Being the manager of a call centre is hard work. You have a long list of employees to be responsible for and most often a very busy, noise-riddled working environment to conduct business in. Call centres can provide great results if the phone agents who are hired to work the lines are enthusiastic, motivated and well-trained about the products and services they’re offering. However, they always need your help.

No matter how talented your phone agents are, they will inevitably require a little assistance. As a call centre manager, it’s your job to ensure that your team members have received adequate training and get regular feedback. You’re no different than the coach of a team. As a leader, you need to provide motivation as well as tips and pieces of advice that speak to your expertise in your chosen industry.

This is what makes call monitoring so important. Listening in to the calls of your phone agents is definitely the best way to discover how to help them become better at their jobs. Being able to listen in and make notes of some of the missteps they may be taking will help you to guide them in new, more productive directions. Addressing such concerns as tone of voice, following the script and being able to answer questions effectively are all important.

At SIClytics, we offer a fantastic Live Call Monitoring service that allows you to monitor calls live and as they happen! As well, this great feature gives you the opportunity to jump in on the calls, if necessary. That way, you’ll be able to both train your phone agents by leading by example and avoid the potential loss of disgruntled clients all at the same time. Our Live Call Monitoring service also offers “whisper” capabilities that allow you to speak to your rep without having the customer hear you!

Let’s look at a few ways that monitoring improves customer service:

It allows you to resolve issues quicker. Think about those situations when calls need to be escalated to managers such as yourself. By listening in to the call before it get transferred to you, you’ll be able to already ascertain what the concern of the caller is. That way, you can more quickly address and resolve the issue before it gets any worse. Customers will appreciate your attention to detail and ability to provide expedient service.

It enables your staff to increase sales. When you’re able to whisper messages into the ears of your phone agents while they are on the calls with their clients, your team will be better equipped to highlight the benefits of the products and services you offer. The type of live feedback our Live Call Monitoring service allows for will help to minimize hang ups and reasons for your reps to have to call clients who wish to “think it over” back.

It helps your team members to build rapport with their clients. Being able to whisper helpful advice to your reps will simply make them better customer service representatives. In some cases, your help may mean the difference between securing a long-time customer and losing one forever. Whispering great tips will make your reps more adept at answering questions correctly. And this makes customers happy!

At SIClytics, we offer solutions that simply help to make businesses better. We know what it’s like in call centre environments. And generally speaking, call centre managers and their phone reps could use all the help they can get! Regular feedback fosters stronger phone agents and increased sales. It’s been proven. For more information about our Live Call Monitoring service, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-877-374-6003.