Communicating over the phone requires a completely different set of communication skills because the people conversing cannot see each other. Even though many of us believe that our body language does not play a part in our communications over the phone, research has proved otherwise. The communication model holds that non-verbal communication affects 55 percent of your communication. The next time you talk to clients over the phone, enhance your communication by paying attention to your body language.
Dress for Success
The clothes you wear do not define you, but they play a vital role in building your self-esteem. Dressing well improves self-confidence. Formal dressing improves your professionalism. If you dress well, you will see the difference in how you carry yourself. You will feel professional because you look professional. It will heavily impact your communications with clients. It is because body language affects our speech and behaviour that many companies require their employees to dress formally even when they would never meet a client face-to-face.
Talking to clients over the phone can become monotonous. To keep yourself eager to help customers, you need to first keep yourself motivated. It is important to remind yourself that each customer is valuable and deserves your time. You may also motivate yourself by sticking a motivational quote over your desk or having a motivational desktop background on your computer. Reminding yourself to keep getting better is vital for continuous motivation and growth.
Training for virtual employees also stresses on self-motivation because of the remoteness and independence a virtual worker enjoys. A telephone communicator is similar to a virtual employee in that respect and needs self-motivation to keep handling each client as best as possible.
How to Say ‘No’
Saying ‘No’ to a client is difficult, but when refusing to oblige a client, the refusal must not sound like a refusal. The skill of saying ‘no’ requires the tweaking of a negative sentence into a positive one. For example, if you cannot provide home delivery of a product to a client, instead of refusing flatly by saying ‘We don’t deliver so far’, twist the sentence into a positive one, like, ‘We hope to expand our delivery to reach your area, but at present you may . . .” Be positive when saying ‘No’ and you will find that the refusal will be accepted well.
Building Rapport, Not Relationships
Building a rapport with a client is essential, but you must stop short from building a relationship. It is easy to begin friendships and associations with old clients, but you must remain professional, i.e., a representative of your company before a client while at work. Building rapport means to be polite, supportive and helpful while building a relationship, but you also need to not engage emotionally. As a professionally trained telephone communicator, it is essential for you not to engage with your clients emotionally because it does not help in your work, and may lead to conflicts because of the involvement of feelings. Remember to build rapport with every client, and a relationship with none.