Improve Vocal Skills to Improve Customer Service


March 10, 2017 —

When dealing with customers over the phone, a rep’s voice is going to reflect how willing — or unwilling they are to help.

For example, speak too quickly and it may sound like you are rushing the customer or that you are not really focused on his or her needs. Speak unclearly and you may not sound confident or knowledgable. Speak in a tone that is flat and lacks inflection and you may sound bored or disinterested.

Fortunately, all of those problems can be overcome, says author and trainer, Renée Evenson, in the March issue of Customer Communicator newsletter.

In the newsletter, Evenson identifies six common speech habits that frontline reps should avoid. The first is: Speaking too quickly, or too slowly.

As speakers, people can often be classified as rabbits or turtles. Rabbits talk very fast, they don’t pause a lot and they tend to overlap while others are speaking. Turtles, on the other hand, talk slowly, leaving a lot of silences and pauses.

If you get a customer service rep who is a rabbit and a customer who is a turtle, the rabbit will try to speed up the conversation. When they hear a pause, they’ll jump in. But the turtle will be thinking, “Hey, I am still talking, and you have just interrupted me.”

It is the rep’s job to adapt.

If the rep’s speech pattern is different from the customer’s, it’s almost as if they’re speaking different languages. And reps must speak the customer’s language.

All six habits appear in the March issue of Customer Communicator.

Today’s checklist …

  1. Add vocal skills to your second quarter training plan.
  2. Listen in via monitoring and quality audit programs to ensure that reps are focused on their language and vocal habits.
  3. Subscribe to Customer Communicator newsletter so that you and your frontline staff can receive monthly ideas, information, and inspiration on improving the service experience each month.

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