It was once widely accepted that a customer’s opinion of a service provider was formed in the first four minutes of their interaction. “Not true,” says Lillian Glass, Ph.D., author of Attracting Terrific People. “Forget the first four minutes — now it’s the first four seconds.”
How can you use those first few seconds to make a positive impression and build confidence with customers? Glass says it all starts with improving the way you speak. An important first step is to lower your voice.
The way you say something is just as important as what you’re saying, says Glass. Whether you’re a man or a woman, people do not take you seriously if you have a high-pitched voice.
Studies show that a person with a high-pitched voice is seen as less credible and less intelligent than someone with a lower-pitched voice. This can affect a customer’s confidence in you and in your organization.
Try pushing out on your abdominal muscles when you speak, says Glass. This not only helps project the sound of your voice, but also helps deepen your tone. It also helps to go down in pitch at the end of sentences, rather than up.
More practical tips for service professionals appear in the February issue of Customer Communicator newsletter.