Speak slowly and smoothly for faster service
by Betty Hintch, editor, First-Rate Customer Service Forum
Speaking clearly will improve your customer service. Customers judge you by your voice. That may be unfair, but it’s the truth. Make sure your speaking style is confident and professional by following these tips:
- Speak loudly enough for customers to hear you without straining. If customers often ask you to speak up or repeat yourself, turn up the volume.
- Monitor your diction. If you speak to customers all day long, your speech may grow sloppy. Be especially careful about words that end in “ing.” Say “I’m going to,” not “I’m goin” or “I’m gonna.”
- Pause between sentences. Count one or two beats to make sure the customer is still following what you’re saying. That’s especially important if you have to repeat the same information throughout the day, which can sound like rattling off a speech at customers rather than communicating with them.
- Unclog your speech by eliminating filler words such as “Well,” “You know,” “Like,” “Uh” and “Um.” They make you sound uncertain.
- Slow down. It’s likely that you will speak too quickly, rather than too slowly, especially when handling an angry customer. Keep a sign posted on your bulletin board or a sticky note on your computer screen that says “Slow down.” That way, when you become flustered, your note will remind you to take your time. Use the same moderate speaking pace when you leave voice-mail messages. Customers will tune you out if they can’t understand what you are saying.
Connect with your customers by viewing Communicating for Results: How to Be Clear, Concise & Credible. The video features tips on how to focus on your customers’ moods to promote positive interactions and solve problems quickly.
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