When talking over the phone, you’re unable to rely on the nonverbal expressions that are so important in face to face conversations such as facial expressions, body language, use of arms and hands, appearance and environment. All the caller has to go by is what they hear over the phone. What you say and how you say it is very important as you only have words to rely on. You can gain some important telephone etiquette skills by learning how to project a better speaking voice, vary your tone using voice inflection and effectively listening to the caller.
Depending on the type of business or industry you work for, you will also need to know what questions to ask as you guide the caller through the call process to get the information you may need to help the customer.
Display your Enthusiasm to the Caller
Do you remember the last time you called a company and got answered by someone was a real pleasure to speak with? Someone who was interested, concerned and was anxious to help you. Someone who also reflected a positive attitude and displayed enthusiasm for your call. Have you ever wondered why some people are such a pleasure to deal with while others sound like they have just gotten out of bed on the wrong side. Which type of caller would you rather speak to? It goes without saying that most of us would rather speak with the people who have learned the skills and techniques on how to display voice enthusiasm, are friendly and interesting sounding by varying their tone, pitch and voice reflection to better assist you. These are skills that everyone can learn and skills that will make you that person who everybody enjoys speaking with.
Projecting a better speaking voice over the phone is a skill you can learn by practicing some simple techniques that will help you improve the quality, tone, and expression of your voice. It just takes a little know-how and practice. Here are some telephone etiquette tips to follow:
- Speak Clearly and Display Voice Enthusiasm: Remember, when talking over the phone, you’re unable to rely on the nonverbal expressions that are so important in face to face conversations. Therefore, speaking clearly and in an upbeat, enthusiastic tone is extremely important at all times.
- Project Energy and confidence – The energy in your voice reflects your attitude and enthusiasm.
- Control your Rate of Speed: Do not speak so fast that the caller may not be able to hear you. Slow down, speak clearly and distinctively and make every word count.
- Use Inflection: Remember to vary your tone of voice as this adds emphasis to what you’re trying to convey to the customer. Inflection is a powerful technique that you can use to change the meaning of both words and sentences
- Smile and Exhibit Good Body Language: Pay attention to your posture and put a smile on your face. This will be reflected in your voice and attitude.
- Be a Pleasure to Speak With. Be friendly and interested in what your customer is saying. Remember to display empathy by being concerned and anxious to help at all times.
- Breath: You need to be able to breath then add in articulation. Inhale first and then speak. Do not hold your breath but exhale while speaking
- Vary your Voice Pitch: Try not to sound too monotonous by adding some variety to your voice by varying your tone and inflection with some ups and downs, some vocal highlights and some dramatic pauses. Monotony is when someone is talking and nothing is changing, their pitch isn’t changing, their volume isn’t changing and their rate of speech isn’t changing.
- Drink Water through-out the day to stay hydrated.
Need to improve your telephone skills further? Take the Essential Telephone Etiquette E-learning course offered by Phone Skills Trainer on officeskills.org.