Using your voice will help your business image and your sales.Small business entrepreneurs build strong relationships with their customers by providing solutions to their problems. If the sound of the voice creates negative responses then this relationship will not matter.
It’s the entire team of the business, including the owner, which must exude the same attitude and understanding of relationship building as a foundation to your business growth. How this attitude is revealed to the prospective client or customer is through your interaction face to face, over the telephone, over video communication, or various other social media strategies. Indeed, this is where your speaking voice plays a critical role in your overall execution of great customer service.
So how do you make your voice match your company’s values and attitude? Attitude is displayed through the sound of your voice, its tone, pace and choice of words. Training in the most effective use of these 3 essential voice techniques is what every small business should develop.
First, Tone of your Voice:
A positive concerned voice will convey that you are listening and understanding what your customer wants. If the tone of your voice conveys that this is the hundredth time I’ve heard this question, and here is the answer; and you deliver it in a tired, bored tone, or a sarcastic tone, or a disrespectful tone; then your customer will be gone.
How many times have you been in the role of a customer expecting to find someone who can direct you to the product or get information about the product, only to be re-directed to someone else; but, through the tone of voice, you sense that this person does not want to interact with you at all?
Use a calm, low tone of voice to not only dispel the irate customer; but also, assure the client that you are a confident business owner or employee, leading your customer to rely on you for the service. Creating a win-win situation for both sides can start with using the correct tone of voice that matches your attitude to make your interaction with your customer a positive one.
Shouting back at a customer is a sure fire way to escalate matters, for the customer feels that he is not being respected. The best way is to keep a moderate level of volume when interacting with a customer and show a courteous tone. This is especially effective when speaking over the telephone.
Second, Pace of your Voice:
Communication as a small business owner must be clearly articulated. The rate of speaking will affect how this communication is received. Often, speaking too quickly conveys the sense that you are in a hurry, or you really have no interest in helping your customer. Moreover, your fast pace usually leads to indistinct speech sounds, dropped endings of words, and missing information. Use a varied rate of speech so the customer is interested in listening to what you have to say in a clear intelligent manner without having to ask you to repeat yourself, or having to fill in the rest of the sentence for himself.
Third, Choice of Words:
Positive word choice creates positive reaction by customers. For example, if the small business team focuses on phrases that show a willingness to help the customer, such as, “I can find out for you,” rather than “I don’t know” or “it’s not our policy...,” then the customer is more willing to give you positive feedback.
Putting the blame on the customer or using words that have a negative connotation, such as, “You claim that...,” or “You should...,” or “You failed to ...,” does not give positive appropriate actions. Taking the time to use positive vocabulary and phrasing will help keep your customers coming back. Here are some common positive phrases: “One option is ...,” or “thank you for...,” that will show your customer that you are on their side not the enemy. Putting the smile back into your words will bring the smiles in your customers’ faces and make them feel valued.
Small businesses that focus on the communication skills and their application will be able to effectively adapt to each customer’s needs and provide excellent customer service. Whether it is improving a single team member’s vocal image or simply have the employees attend a voice workshop or training session, the time for small business owners to take the leadership so their business will grow exponentially is vital.