The quality of a service professional’s voice sets the tone for each customer conversation. The well trained voice will sound confident, trustworthy, interested, and likable, and will smooth the way to a positive interaction.
In the training guide, Sounding Great on the Phone, the author provides six techniques to become a more polished and professional speaker. It starts, she says, with finding the right speed.
As speakers, people can generally 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.”
On the other hand, a customer who is a rabbit will quickly become frustrated with the slow pace of a turtle.
The trick, says the author, is to understand yourself: Are you a rabbit or a turtle? Then, learn to quickly adapt your own speech to the customer’s style.