By Elaine Senecal / Illustration by Chris Lewis
What do you hear in the voices of your agents? You hear their attitude, health, confidence, and even their education!
Walk around your call center. Do you hear what the caller hears? Do you hear smiles in your agents’ voices?
The next time you make a phone call where you have to listen to someone give you instructions, listen for how they might be feeling today. How does this affect you and the direction of the call? Better yet, call your own staff. As soon as they finish greeting you, you will know how their day is going. Do you hear a healthy, happy person? Having a head cold can cause breathing difficulties and can be heard as a sigh of annoyance. Fatigue can cause yawning which can be heard as boredom or disinterest.
There is something to be said for that person we all know who can’t talk without their hands flying about – enthusiastic and caring! The voice alone has no control, facial expressions and hand gestures send the signals. A fun exercise to use in training is to write a one liner that everyone can read out loud. Pass it around, take turns reading it while frowning, smiling, sitting on your hands, raise your eyebrows, stand up, or walk around.
Another, even more important task for managers is to take a few minutes, make the rounds and listen to your agents. Remember to smile – it’s contagious!
[From Connection Magazine – Jan/Feb 2004]