In today’s competitive business environment, it is often the individuals that stand out the most to a customer that gain a competitive advantage, which in turn results in increased profitability. Often times, the first few seconds of contact that a potential customer has with a business will determine whether or not they end up becoming sold on a product or service in the end. This begins, often times, with an initial phone call. Yes, that is right, even in today’s digital age where the Internet reigns supreme, individuals still long for that human contact that only the telephone can readily provide. Many companies claim to understand this, but you can be sure that when the writers at Message Direct discuss the importance of a trustworthy telephone voice, you should listen.
Components of a Quality and Effective Telephone Voice
We do not often think about the reality that our voice communicates a great deal about ourselves, true or not. Perception, as they say, is reality and this rings true even with a person’s telephone voice. It is important to convey an air of trustworthiness over the telephone so that the individual on the other end of the line feels comfortable enough to truly listen to what is being said. Studies have revealed time and time again that one of the primary components that compel an individual to desire to transact business with various types of organisation is related directly to the interaction that they have with employees via the telephone. They feel a certain vibe and connection with a pleasant voice that makes them want to learn more about the company and possibly be convinced to purchase products or services. Naturally the opposite is true. A telephone voice, if not properly projected, can cause an individual to lose trust in an organisation and lead them to look for other options with competitors. This is obviously not the outcome that any size of business, small, medium, or large, wants to have, so it would be helpful to focus more on projecting that telephone image that the public desires.
What to Look for in a Telephone Voice
There are some aspects of our voice that are easily conveyed on the telephone. Even though the party on the other end of the line cannot see us, an image of our personality is often painted in their mind based on how they sound. One famous company used to put individual sized mirrors next to all of the telephone customer service representatives. The aim was then to be able to look at themselves as they spoke and ensure that they were smiling throughout the conversation. It has been revealed that individuals on the other end of the line could sense when the employee was actually smiling, and it is no surprise that those individuals felt better about giving the company their business at the end of the conversation. While it is true that each human is unique to the individual, there are still certain attributes that each of us can manipulate to convey a feeling of trustworthiness and to captivate the party we are talking to. When such a voice is portrayed, the conversation, even if it takes place on the telephone as opposed to face to face, is likely to be far more effective.
There are five common elements to the human voice that one should consider when focusing in on their ability to speak well via the telephone. These include tone, inflection, pitch, rate, and volume. The tone of our voice is often considered to be the most critical component of conveying either a positive or negative impression to the individual we are speaking with. Tone involves more than just how loud or how soft we speak. In essence, the tone of voice that we use reflects the facial features that we are conveying. Now, when we converse with a person face to face, we are often cognizant of this fact and we alter the tone of our voice to reflect the feeling that we truly want to convey. When speaking on the telephone, however, we often neglect this important component of voice. If we do, then the individual on the other end of the phone will almost certainly pick up on the fact. Because of these important factors, it is important to focus on the tone of voice and the message that it conveys.
Another component of voice that should be considered is inflection. This is how we change our voice to reflect the importance of certain keywords or phrases that we want to emphasize in the conversation. This might be a difficult skill to master, but effective telephone voice personalities have been able to effectively emphasize key parts of the conversation at just the right moment in an effort to create the proper message that they are trying to portray.
Rate is also important. This refers to the speed at which we talk, and it can be extremely important when talking on the telephone. Speak too quickly and the other party will either not understand you, or they might feel that you have something to hide. This could potentially result in that feeling of untrustworthiness developing that we are specifically trying to avoid. Speak too slowly and the other party may quickly lose interest, or they might feel that you do not really know what you are talking about. Rate is probably the least focused on of the voice components discussed here, yet it should not be neglected.
Finally, remember to consider both your pitch and volume as you speak on the telephone. The pitch of our voice reflects whether we have a high or low sound. Something in the extremes of both ranges should not be the objective; rather, you should aim for a voice that is in the middle to communication that calm and trusting voice that others will want to listen to and believe. Equally important in this regard is volume, as it is important to speak loud enough to easily be heard, but certainly not so loud that you could be accused of yelling. Consider each of these components as you continue to perfect your telephone voice moving forward.