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Telephone Skills Presented by: Deborah Edwards Components of Communication Verbal Communication Face-To-Face Phone 1. Body Language,55%0% Gesture, facial.

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Presentation on theme: "Telephone Skills Presented by: Deborah Edwards Components of Communication Verbal Communication Face-To-Face Phone 1. Body Language,55%0% Gesture, facial."— Presentation transcript:


2 Telephone Skills Presented by: Deborah Edwards

3 Components of Communication Verbal Communication Face-To-Face Phone 1. Body Language,55%0% Gesture, facial Expression 2. Tone of Voice38%85% 3. Word Content7%15%

4 Basic Listening Skills 1.Tone of Voice 2.Word Content 3.Rate of Speech

5 1. Tone of Voice Remember 85% of verbal communication happens through our tone (or our attitude). A good listener will listen for verbal clues from the caller (i.e. a sigh might mean the customer is frustrated or tired. Hint: When you smile while on the phone, the tone of your voice reflects your facial expression.

6 2. Word Content The third component of verbal communication is the words the speaker chooses. Improper use of technical words might indicate the customer has a lower level of expertise.

7 3. Rate of Speech A good listener will make note of the rate of speech the customer uses. A slower rate of speech might indicate confusion or fatigue. A faster rate of speech might indicate anger or impatience.

8 Seven Listening Dos 1.Pay attention 2.Listen for ideas 3.Take notes 4.Assess the customers emotional state 5.Assess the customers level of expertise 6.Read between the lines 7.Listen for unspoken service requests

9 1. Pay Attention Factors That Prevent Us From Listening Environmental Distractions Listening To More Than One Conversation Jumping Ahead Emotional Filters (i.e. a known difficult customer) Mental Side Trips (Whats for lunch?)

10 2. Listen For Ideas Listen for Ideas and Central Themes. Any number of speech idiosyncrasies can become a distraction. Resist the temptation to let the following from becoming a distraction: –Having an extremely high or low pitch –Using excessive vocabulary, or speaking with a heavy accent. –Speaking excessively fast or slow

11 3. Take Notes Taking notes will help you stay focused. Jot down the major points of the problem. Draw pictures (particularly flow charts) of the problem. Combining your written notes and pictures can improve your problem solving capabilities.

12 4. Assess Emotional State A Customer might have worked a long time to solve a problem and might be quite frustrated by the time he or she calls you. A good listener can determine whether a customer is frustrated, bored, angry, or afraid.

13 5. Assess Level of Expertise A good way to tell a customers level of expertise is by listening to their vocabulary, their understanding of the problem, and the type of information they offer. When solving customers problems, its very valuable to know if they are novices or power users. Knowing your customers level of expertise can save a lot of time.

14 6. Read Between The Lines If the customer says they are attempting to do something that can be tricky or even dangerous (such as reformatting their disk) you need to ask them, What do you want to accomplish? Why are you doing this? You must read between the lines in the case where the customer might inadvertently destroy their data, and blame the person who told them to do it.

15 7. Listen For Service Requests Listen for unspoken service requests such as: –I hear the newest version of Netscape is great. –I really should clean up my hard drive, but I dont know how… These request for service can be addressed at the end of your call like so: –I can refer you to Software Support for an appointment to assist you with cleaning up your hard drive.

16 Three Listening Donts 1.Dont interrupt 2.Dont finish a customers sentence 3.Dont assume

17 1. Dont Interrupt This is particularly important with an irate caller. Let the customer vent by telling their story – as painful as it might be. If you interrupt you might solve their problem, but they might still feel discouraged.

18 2. Dont Finish Sentences Resist the temptation to tell customers the moment you know the solution to their problem – they may find this belittling. If youre incorrect you may embarrass yourself and detract from your credibility.

19 3. Dont Assume You need to avoid providing a solution to a problem until you know all the facts. Sometimes a customer will give you the general parameters of a problem that will lead you to the wrong solution.

20 Three Communication Styles 1.Passive 2.Aggressive 3.Assertive

21 1. Passive Passive people are characterized by over- agreeing. Passive people are characterized by sacrificing behavior. Passive people under-use their personal power. They dont stand up for their rights.

22 2. Aggressive This behavior style is characterized by dominating language. Aggressive people blame others. They use phrases like you should, you are wrong, its your fault. Aggressive communication tends to be adversarial, excluding the other person from the problem-solving process.

23 3. Assertive Assertive behavior is characterized by I statements and we statements. Assertive people use direct, positive, participatory language. Instead of blame-oriented, assertive people are results-orientated. Assertive people stand up for their own rights, but understand and respect the rights of others.

24 Six Speaking Dos 1.Smile 2.Use the callers name 3.Echo important points 4.Incorporate courteous remarks 5.Acknowledge the customer and the problem 6.Mirror your customer

25 1.Smile Smiling conveys a pleasant attitude by the tone of your voice. Your posture, body language, and facial expression will be communicated through the tone of your voice. If you make it a practice to smile, you will begin feeling more enthusiastic.

26 2. Use The Callers Name Using the callers name helps to establish rapport. It shows that you care and engages the customer in the conversation. Address the customer the way they introduced themselves to you (first or last name, or title, e.g. Professor).

27 3. Echo Important Points Repeat the main points of what the customer says, especially if youre not sure what they said. You might find that you understood the problem incorrectly, or that the customer didnt phrase the situation exactly right.

28 4. Incorporate Courteous Remarks Use words like: –Thank You –Please –Im glad to help you Your Customer will be left with a greater perception of our organization because it is staffed with courteous, helpful people.

29 5. Acknowledge Customer and Problem Try to use empathetic, assertive statements such as: –That happed to me once… –I know how you feel… They dont care what you know, until they know you care.

30 6. Mirror Your Customer Listen to your customer and mirror their vocabulary, rate of speech, and point of view. –If your customer is a novice, mirror that. –If your customer speaks slowly, slow down your speech. –Dont verbalize disagreements. It isnt your job to win arguments, its to solve problems.

31 Four Speaking Donts 1.Dont use jargon or acronyms (abbreviations). 2.Dont mumble. 3.Dont use negative language. 4.Dont argue.

32 1. Dont Use Acronyms Customers will sometimes pretend they know what youre talking about so they dont feel stupid. Speak as clearly as possible, even if you have to say the whole phrase.

33 2. Dont Mumble Be careful not to mumble Dont chew when youre speaking. Mumbling makes your customer feel less important. Unclear communication detracts from your professional image and the image of your organization.

34 3. Dont Use Negative Language Language NOT to use: –I wont/cant do that. –Thats our policy. –Ill try. –Ill have to ask my supervisor.

35 4. Dont Argue Never, ever argue with a customer. Whatever ego boost you might gain by winning an argument with a customer is far outweighed by the harm it can do to business.

36 Conclusion Good telephone skills make for more satisfied customers. Effective telephone skills will help you solve problems more quickly and efficiently. By using good speaking and listening skills you will make a substantial impact on the Help Desk and OIT.

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