“It’s not only what you say, but how you say it.”
Ever heard that expression?
It’s true. Tone of voice is a powerful thing. Sometimes, even if your words are crystal clear, the message you are trying to get across can be dramatically different depending on your tone of voice. According to Dr. Albert Mehrabian of UCLA, tone of voice can account for up to 38% of how a spoken message is comprehended.
Although tone of voice is a critical element in any type of real-life communication, in a call center environment it becomes even more important. The voices of call center agents are often the only thing linking them with their customers. Even if the agent means well, a misunderstanding because of the way something is said can leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth, and in extreme cases could even lead to a cancellation of service, or worse. Therefore, call center agents must always be mindful of their tone of voice, and work on making themselves sound interested and active even during times when they might really feel otherwise.
Customers want to feel that their customer service representative really cares about their issue. Agents should remember that, although they may have dealt with hundreds of similar calls throughout a particular day, for each individual caller the issue is brand new. A bored or rushed tone of voice will make the caller feel like he/she is just another number. On the other hand, a friendly and enthusiastic tone of voice conveys a sense of caring, making the caller feel special.
Some tips to improve tone of voice for call center agents include:
- Picture yourself as the customer. By putting yourself in their shoes, their issue becomes yours. Therefore, your tone of voice is more likely to seem interested and engaging.
- Be aware of your breathing. The way a person breathes can have a huge effect on how a person sounds on the phone. Breathing shallowly can cause people to speak too quickly or mumble. Breathing more deeply results in increased vocal energy, which is necessary to complete a lengthy script or deliver an important message on the phone.
- Maintain good posture. Bad posture can negatively affect breathing and tone of voice. Therefore, it is important for call center agents to maintain good ergonomic form by sitting up straight in their chairs and not slouching. Your spine will thank you for this!
- Insert inflections into your speech. Consciously altering the pitch of your voice by placing emphasis on certain words, rather than speaking in a continuous monotone, makes you seem more interesting, engaging, and alive. A spoken sentence with many natural inflections is much more pleasant to listen to than an unbroken, unvaried tone of voice.
A lively, engaging tone of voice is one of the key qualities of a successful customer service call center agent.
Tacamor is known for its interesting, energetic and expert customer service agents. Put Tacamor to work for your company today by getting in touch to request a quote.