When you’re only targeting your audience’s auditory senses, conveying ideas can be quite difficult. It’s much easier to capture your audience’s attention when you have visual cues accompanying your speech, such as PowerPoint.
It’s for this reason that the role of a call center agent can be quite taxing, and at times anxiety inducing.
Many agents can sense the tension rising when making or receiving calls, and tend to worry if they’re choosing the right words or if their customers fully understand what they are talking about. An agent who comes across as confident however, has the ability to not only convey their message, but entice the customer to get involved in the conversation.
Here are 5 tips that will help make your call center agents sound more confident:
1. Avoid Upspeak
Upspeak is the tone in our voice that comes across as questioning, or unsure.
For example, if you are explaining the cost benefits of a product or service, you don’t want to ask the customer “does that sound good?” Remember, you are the service provider, so avoid taking a doubtful tone that seems like you’re looking for validation.
You also have to practice answering your customers in declarative tones, and end your statements with a resolved pitch. A confident tone will help you sound assertive and knowledgeable about your product.
2. Stand up
It’s perfectly fine to sit down while talking to a customer over the phone. However, we tend to feel too comfortable when slouching in our seats. Poor body posture will cause you to sound lazy over the phone and you will find it difficult to be vocal with your customer due to your reclined stance.
If you really want to sound confident and professional, sit up straight or better yet, stand. This will facilitate better blood circulation in your body, causing you to be more alert. Standing will not restrict the flow of oxygen into your lungs, this is the same reason singers stand up for better vocalization.
3. Slow down
Speaking fast doesn’t equate to being knowledgeable, in fact it does just the opposite. Talking fast can make you sound anxious, and in a hurry to get the call over with. You have to slow down and catch yourself.
Slowing down your speaking will benefit both you, and your customers. This will help reduce stuttering and will keep your thoughts organized. Plus, being aware of your pacing will ensure that your customers are actually listening.
To get into the habit of talking slower, try opening your mouth and stretching your jaws before taking the customer’s call.
4. “Fake it till you make it”
What we say with our bodies is often more important than what leaves our mouths, and there are ways you can “fake” gestures to emphasize your message. During her TED talk, Psychologist Amy Cuddy proposes that body language can affect the way we think and act.
Even when your customers can’t see you at the other end of the line, act as if your customer is really in front of you.
While you may not always be feeling passionate about your message, you have to be genuine. Smile, assume a proper posture, and use body gestures like using your hands while explaining yourself. It won’t be long before you start to notice your voice taking on the same expressive nature as your body.
5. Mean it
According to vocal coach Matt Farnsworth, effective speaking is like a couple fighting. When in an argument, they don’t mix up their words, and clearly get their points across without hesitation.
It’s easier to speak up when we really know what we are talking about. Don’t overthink or elaborate your thoughts to sound fancy. The best way is to say what you mean and mean what you say, simple as that.
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