Telephone communication occupies one of the main places in business life. Flawless telephone manners are a must in the business world. Regularly evaluating and polishing your own telephone style is the key to improving your profession. This article provides tips on how to improve your telephone conversation.
Step 1. Understanding
Consider this: When you call yourself, what usually annoys you about other people's mannerisms? Possibly lack of competence? Or maybe you don't like the way these people communicate, such as the use of slang in speech or inappropriate sounds, such as mmm, which usually means that the people on the other side of the wire are not so interested in communicating with you.
- Write down all the points you don't like.
- Assess yourself in the context of your posts; you must hone your own manners before teaching others. If there is work to be done, try to make changes.
Step 2. Start training with a greeting
The greeting and the speed with which you pick up the phone can make the first impression on your client.
- If the phone rings more than three times, it takes too long. Don't make your client bored. On the other hand, if you pick up the phone instantly, you can scare the caller. Find a middle ground, for example, pick up the phone after the first ring, before the second.
- Think of a greeting. Many people find a greeting such as "Hi, Jack is listening" unpleasant, as such a response is often informal, formulaic and suggests that the person is unlikely to be able to help you deal with the problem. Change your familiar phrase to "Hi, this is Jack, how can I help you?"
Step 3. Think about the tone and speed of your voice
Reflect on what annoys you - maybe you don't like the fact that the person speaks too fast, too slowly, in a very loud or low voice, or focuses on certain phrases and words (for example, speaks too cheerfully), or, on the contrary, the voice sounds too indifferently and without emotion, which may suggest that you are not interesting to the person as the interlocutor. Find out how your employees are speaking by listening to their conversation on the phone. You may hear different reactions. This can be obvious discontent and annoyance. Or, a cold, indifferent tone, which suggests that a person is reading information from a computer screen like a zombie.
Step 4. Analyze the middle and end of the telephone conversation
These parts of the conversation are critical. Sometimes, a good conversation can be ruined by a bad ending, just as a great meal can be ruined by poor waiter service while checking out - just one small thing can cause frustration and leave an unpleasant mark after the entire conversation.
- Do not limit yourself to the formal phrase "Good afternoon", people will not want to have anything to do with you, because there is no sincerity in your words.
- Also, think about the length of the conversation. If your job requires lengthy conversations with a client, then allocate enough time for each client. If you limit yourself to brief information, the client may think that you are not interested in him. Long conversation can create problems too. Quality should be prioritized over quantity. Therefore, each employee must be competent in their field.
Step 5. Use the tutorial DVD software
You can use the training courses, both for a group and for individual viewing. It is best to conduct these sessions with two people, as you can do the hands-on part and act out the telephone conversations between them. By doing so, your subordinates can improve their telephone manners and, if necessary, make changes.
Avoid using "study notes" as a teaching method. This is the old-fashioned method of recording and replaying phone calls during class. This method can backfire, as few people enjoy listening to their conversations. In addition, it may be that the employee made the call when he was in a very bad mood, which happens to him very rarely. And this call was an exception to the rule
Step 6. Organize public speaking and drama lessons for your subordinates
This is a great way for small companies. The employee will be asked to imagine himself as the person on the other end of the line. These can be different roles, from a businessman in a large office to an entrepreneur in a small office. Stage lessons have a positive effect on improving a person's telephone manners.
Try another effective method: Smile when you pick up the phone. However, extremes should be avoided. If the person on the other end of the line tries to speak with excessive delight and joy in his voice and tries to be extremely helpful, but in fact - grins through his teeth, or tries to hide his bad mood, he will sound insincere. Best of all, relax your face and neck (this is taught in drama circles) so that you can speak more naturally and pleasantly. A soft smile is good, especially when it is genuine and involves not only your lips, but your eyes as well
Step 7. Consider each client, taking into account his individual characteristics
Remember, what works for one person may not always work for another. Many problems and misunderstandings can arise if this is not taken into account.
- For example, many clients prefer to get straight to the point. They prioritize speed and efficiency; however, others prefer to "communicate" for a period of time to build relationships, build trust, before getting down to business.
- Another important point is the time difference. Misunderstandings can occur if clients live in opposite parts of the world. Few people like it when the phone rings during sleep, eating, talking with family, or at any time outside of office hours.
- Avoid imitating the accent of the person you are talking to or using slang terms that are typical of the area your client lives in. In some cases, this may be acceptable, however, in most cases, it should be avoided. Many people believe that a feigned accent speaks of insincerity and fraud. Others take it as a sign of disrespect.
Step 8. Make sure the people you are talking to on the phone really understand what you are talking about
You may need to clarify some technical terms.
In some cases, it is worth talking to an employee. Very quickly, you will be able to identify the cause of the concern. You may find it enjoyable to communicate face-to-face, but it is rather unpleasant to communicate on the phone
Step 9. Continue to follow the changes
It will be much easier for your subordinates to communicate on the phone if they have the appropriate knowledge. If a person is sincere, focused on the wishes of the client, he can expect a promotion in the near future.
If the employee fails to achieve improvements in this area, then this can affect the entire workflow. In this case, it is better to offer this person a job that does not involve phone calls. However, if you see improvement, you should encourage these workers
Don't use an answering machine. If a customer wanted information from an answering machine, he would use the Internet to find the answer to his question. The person picking up the phone should speak naturally and fluently. Your task is to train subordinates in the correct manner of telephone conversation. There is no need to memorize a specific set of phrases
What works for one person may not always work for another. When someone answers a phone call and speaks differently from the way they usually do, it sounds like they have been forced to speak. In some cases, knowledge and self-confidence remain a priority. This gives positive results. In other cases, a friendly tone is important. You will get the expected result and you shouldn't try to control it.
Example: A technical contact center will have an appropriate approach to customers. Agree, a computer genius is unlikely to sound sincere if he says something like: "I am so sorry about your problem, and we will do our best to fix the situation." Most likely, his voice will sound confident and he will say: "Don't worry, I promise we will fix this right now, I know exactly what the problem is." In the last statement, the programmer sounds more sincere in his apology