Voice Tone – a Key to Great Customer Service
Posted: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
by Monica Werner
Customer Service – it’s not just about WHAT you say, it’s HOW you say it!
Great customer service is essential in every business, no matter how big or small, and often it begins and ends with a phone call. Even in the digital age the fact is that most companies still interact with your company most often by phone and for many customers, the phone is their ONLY impression. The people answering the phone on the frontline are essentially the “virtual lobby” of your organization. Companies spend a lot of time, money and thought about how to welcome their customers into their physical lobby– it is important that just as much, if not more, attention is paid to the people who make that all important first contact with most of your customers.
How important is the tone of your voice?
There are 3 elements that form face-to-face interactions. They are Body Language, Voice Tone and Word Choices. The ranking order is as follows: Body Language is the most important at 55%, Voice Tone is 38% and Word Choices make up only 7%. So what happens when the interaction takes place over the phone? Body Language, while it doesn’t completely disappear, definitely takes a less important role while Voice Tone skyrockets to 82%!
Make Excellent Phone Skills part of your brand!
When your customers call, the experience they have with your frontline staff over the phone reflects your brand and your message. Do your branding and marketing messages implore people to call your company because “our reps will probably sound bored, disinterested and most likely will act like they don’t care that you called?” Of course not! At the same time, if you ask your reps about their customer service and telephone skills they may think they are doing a great job, but until you define that customer experience for them, how will they know how to deliver that experience on a consistent basis?
How? The answer to this question is that you need to provide specific standards and best practices that are well defined, objective and that staff are held accountable to meet and exceed. Here are a few examples of standards that PhonePRO has brought to hundreds of companies over the years:
• A short, consistent greeting to welcome callers and lead the conversation from the start
• Voice Tone must be positive, definitely not negative and not even neutral (monotone.)
• Choose positive words and phrases and avoid negative words such as “can’t, don’t and won’t.”
• Actively listen to your callers, no interrupting!
Of all of these standards, it almost always comes down to Voice Tone as the most important that will make or break that first impression with your customers. To illustrate that point, take a look at this video clip of our trainer, Desirae Haynes, talking about this important topic. Desirae_Voice Tone