voice

Sound Like A Winner On The Phone

At Messages On Hold we conduct 95% of our business over the phone, so we’re acutely aware of how important our phone manner is. We know that nothing drops the buying temperature of a lead like a poorly handled phone call. To ensure every person in our company is not just competent on the phone but confident too, we go through rigorous training.

Customer Service Guru & Messages On Hold MD Kym Illman

Customer Service Guru & Messages On Hold MD Kym Illman

So you can start 2014 by offering your customers unwaveringly brilliant service over the phone, we’ve compiled our five most powerful phone techniques.

1) Smile!

Sounds simple, right? If you smile while you’re on the phone, your voice will sound relaxed, friendly and upbeat. Keep in mind that 38% of communication is tone of voice. Over the phone, it’s north of 50%.

2) Eliminate the hanging or…

“Do you want to hold or…” This sounds unprofessional and indecisive. If you can’t provide a second option, drop the ‘or’ altogether.

3) Never say “It’s not my department”

Believe it or not, customers don’t care about how your company is structured. All they care about is who they’re speaking with – you – the representative of the entire company. Instead, try saying “I’ll help you with this” then do the leg work to resolve the issue.

4) Stop placing your hand over the receiver

Your hand is not sound proof. It merely muffles the office sounds as you shuffle papers about your desk, frantically type on a keyboard or worse yet, call out across the office for a colleague. Remedy this by purchasing a soft touch keyboard or using your phone system’s hold button.

5) Have a pen handy

Almost every phone conversation will result in you having to record details of some sort. Telling the caller that you just have to get a pen & pad impresses nobody. Be ready.

That’s it! Implement these rules across your office and notice the difference it makes to how customers respond to you. To find more helpful tips that you can implement right now to sound like a Fortune 500 company, visit Messages On Hold.

If you’d like to share a useful tip, leave a comment on our Facebook page today!

– Lachy

Writing for the Voice

Posted By Copywriting Dept on 03-Feb-12 09:39

It’s not something I would usually admit to, but when you walk into our copywriting department on a regular afternoon, you’ll often find us talking to ourselves. Yes, you read that correctly, not talking to each other, but talking to ourselves. It’s not that we’re all maladjusted, or that we prefer our own company to that of our fellow copywriters, it’s simply this: when writing for the voice, the best way to read it, is out loud. In fact there a few ways that writing for the voice is different to writing for the page – as I’m sure any playwright, speech writer or script writer will tell you, and that’s what I thought I’d talk about today.

In a drama class I took at University our tutor gave us some interesting advice on how to write dialogue. He actually told us to carry around a voice recorder and record all our friends’ conversations. It was meant to show us how real conversation works so we could apply it to script writing. I decided not to record all my conversations in a bid to not weird out my friends too much, which seemed to be for the best, because since then I’ve learn some much simpler and less intrusive ways to tweak your words for the tongue.

The main thing is the tone. A more casual tone will make your messages sound conversational – so callers feel like they’re listening to a person they can engage with, not just a recorded robot. Now how do you achieve that tone? Obviously some of it comes down to the Voice Talent and how they read it out, but we’re talking about the words, so here are some things we do when writing scripts to make it sound more conversational before the Voice Talent even sees it.

Choice of Words: Choose words that are more casual, avoid industry jargon (unless you would actually use it in a conversation with your customers), and by all means, use colloquial language – the kind of words and phrases you’d never be allowed to put in an essay or research paper but would always use in everyday life.

Ask Questions: We use actual and rhetorical questions all the time in conversations, and it helps the other person feel engaged, why not use it?

Use the First Person: Referring to your company as a thing that the message is talking about puts distance between you and the caller. But if you use ‘we’ and ‘our’ and ‘you’ the caller feels like they are being engaged in conversation with a person, not just listening to someone talking about the company.

Use Contractions: We ‘don’t’ usually say ‘do not’ unless we’re really emphasising a point, also ‘you’ll’ probably notice you say ‘we’re’ rather than ‘we are’ when you’re (you are) speaking to someone.

Most of us are trained to avoid all these things when writing for the page (in essays, reports, newsletters, etc), however when writing for the voice we embrace them, and so should you!

– Rachel Inglis