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Your Voice Determines How Every Call is Going to Go

If you are an agent, you are probably thinking,  Maybe my voice makes a small difference, but it doesn­t determine how every call is going to go. Your voice has more power than you think. It is true that some callers are going to be upset when they dial in. Some callers are going to be friendly. Your voice will impact both of those calls, and every other one you take today.

Your voice can either express that you are interested in hearing what the client has to say, or it can tell the client,  Let­s get this over with. What­s your problem? It is up to you. If a client is upset at the start, a friendly voice will not change that, but it will begin to calm the client down. As you shift to a more empathetic voice, most clients will have relaxed quite a bit more. As your voice shifts to proactive and confident ( Let­s take care of this for you right now, Mr. Jackson) you will have a calm client who is on the verge of being another satisfied customer.

Never forget how much influence your voice has on a call. They cannot see you. If they could, your voice would lose up to 70% of its power. On the phone, a client has only your voice and its vocal variety.

Here are three quick tips for improving your voice before your very next call.

1) Energy: Energy will solve many voice problems. Deliver each statement using plenty of air and consistently strong volume ± no shouting. Your callers will allow you to control and direct the call in most cases.

Some agents feel that sounding energized is easy to do at the beginning of their shifts, but impossible to do after a few hours or late in their shifts. This is all mental. Recently, I was listening to an agent who sounded lifeless and practically depressed. Her complete lack of energy was causing some clients to become frustrated. They started tying to steal control of the call by asking more questions and suggesting possible solutions to their problems. A few minutes later her shift ended. She was invited out for a drink as another agent passed by. After a quick phone call to tell her roommate she no longer needed a ride home, she shouted across the center to the other agent,  Sharon, wait up. I­m ready. I­m coming! Don­t leave without me! Her lifeless voice suddenly had energy, volume and variation. It communicated that she was a super hero who could handle anything. Wow. What about that lack of energy? Your voice is easy to energize. You just have to remember to keep it lively until the end of your shift. It will make your calls go more smoothly.

2) Clarity: Many agents sound like they are mumbling for two main reasons. First, many talk too fast. What happens to syllables when you squash them together? It sounds like mumbling. If a client has a hard time understanding you, he/she will ask you to repeat yourself. Worse, they may hear something you did not say, which will probably have to be cleared up by another agent on the next call they make to your center. Always slow your voice down enough so that clients can easily ascertain what you are saying.

The second reason agents are hard to understand is low energy/low volume. Solve this by speaking with plenty of volume (and energy). Do not worry about distracting the agent next to you. We do not mean shouting. As we said with Tip #1, volume solves most voice problems, or at least reduces their impact.

3) Always Annunciation: The final way to improve your voice is to  annunciate. On one episode of the TV series  Friends, the gang teased Ross because he  over-annunciates. With each attempt to defend himself, they teased him more. Ross is a great example strong annunciation. Whether he sounds whiney or confident, his voice is clear and easy to understand because of excellent annunciation. Simply put, annunciation means sounding out every syllable as you speak. Give it a try. It will be rather easy to do after a few sentences.

Your voice is your lifeline to the client. Keep these tips in mind and your calls will immediately improve.

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