It is important to adopt a professional and helpful tone when communicating with clients over the phone. There are certain qualities in your voice that you will need to learn to gain that professional touch. They are:
- Alertness. Your telephone voice should have spark and energy. Give the customer the impression that you are wide-awake, alert, and anxious to help.
- Pleasantness. Your telephone voice should be pleasant to hear, not jarring or whiny. Communicate with your voice that you are a pleasant and a happy person.
- Conversational tone. You are a person talking with, and not at, another person. Even when using a script or prompts, keep your tone conversational, and your language simple and straightforward.
- Distinctness. The word you say must be understandable. Bring clarity in your voice by pronouncing each syllable. We assume that the other person will understand us, but as a professional, you also need to ensure that you create the right impression on the other person. Therefore, make sure your speech has clarity.
- Expressiveness. Vary your tone and rate so that you do not sound monotonous. Try to build a verbal picture with your voice.
You may read a piece of writing and check your vocal qualities. On this checklist, tick the appropriate boxes to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.
|Slow (listener starts to wander)||o|
|Good (listener stays on track)||o|
|Fast (listener finds it too difficult to keep up)||o|
|Over-enunciated, sounded mechanical||o|
|Enunciated well, each word was clear||o|
|Mumbled, slurred words or dropped endings||o|
|Too high, sounded whiny||o|
|Too low, sounded grave||o|
|Monotonous, no variation||o|
|Good, sounded natural and varied||o|