Customer interaction is a huge part of any business. Even if you don't see your customers face to face, you can win or lose a sale (or customer) based on just one phone conversation. I see a lot of opportunities out there in customer service when i call to pay bills over the phone, or even when ordering a pizza. The type of issues that make me not want to do business in those places again. That's why I have put together this short and sweet list to help anyone sound more professional on the phone. With more and more people working from home (WAH) it's even more important to put a professional foot forward since it makes sense to do your best when interacting on the phone.
Smile and Adopt a Phone Voice
Smiling is infectious, and if you make the effort to smile while talking on the phone I guarantee that the person on the other end of the line will hear it in your voice. Not only will you sound like someone who likes their job, but people who smile on the phone have a noticeable difference in the tonal quality of their voice. It sounds more sincere and customer centric - helping prevent a grumpy interaction.
Use Proper English
I've talked to many people on the phone who sounded like they really knew their stuff, then followed up by saying something like "ain't that the truth". Sure, colloquialisms work in some environments - but not when interacting with customers. Always use proper English, and don't use a word unless your 100% sure of its meaning. You don't have to use big words to sound professional. Basically, don't use the type of language you would use when out with your buddies. They might know what you mean - but I don't.
Use the Hold Button
Nothing is worse than an awkward silence, so don't be afraid to use the hold button. I would rather a phone operator say "can I place you on a brief hold?" than stay on the line in silence. Worse yet is when I hear their heavy breathing, or mumbles as they talk to themselves while looking up information. The hold button is your friend. Just be sure to check back in if things are taking longer than expected. I don't want to think you forgot about me or we got disconnected. Taking that moment to focus on what your doing also means you're less likely to make an error - satisfying the customer with your service.
These are just a few things ways I have found to enhance the customer service experience. What are some things you do that you find successful? Comment Below.
Jeremy Wright is a self described opinionated bastard. Follow him on Facebook.