What Do You Sound Like on the Phone?

By Tom Grandy

Have you ever called a business only to have the person who answers the phone talk so fast or so muffled that you were not really sure you called the right number? It happens to me a lot! Sure, you are a tech and you seldom talk to the customer on your cell phone, however seldom, implies that you do talk to customers every once in a while. The impression a customer has of your abilities begins with your ability to communicate.

I attended a regional franchise meeting for one of the national trades a while back. Prior to the meeting, the home office called many of its franchise offices and recorded the person answering the phone. To make a point a dozen or so of the recorded calls were played for all franchises to hear. Wow, what an eye opener! Most of the people answering the phone did such a poor job the listener would have been challenged to be 100% sure they called the right number. It was quite embarrassing to say the least … but it definitely made the point.

It’s hard to do but most of us need to consciously speak slower when on the phone and especially when leaving a message. We all know how important first impressions are and those first impressions are difficult to change once the words are spoken.

Telephones, or in most cases our cell phones, often represent our first impression from the customer standpoint. Slow down when you answer the phone and/or are leaving a message. From a purely practical standpoint have someone record your end of the conversation when answering a call and/or when you are leaving a message. The next part is tough. Listen to it! Hearing is believing. Perhaps all it will take to change how you talk on the phone is to listen to a couple of your recorded conversations. Give it a try; it might be the difference in keeping or losing a customer.

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