24 May PHONE ETIQUETTE: BE A BETTER LISTENER
If you spend a significant amount of time on the phone each day, one of the first things you realise is how difficult it can be to keep up with the demands of maintaining a positive attitude, treating each call like it’s your first and, above all, coaxing the person on the other line toward the desired result – be that a sign-up, a sale or a simple request for a call-back.
When fatigue begins to set in, one of the first things to go is one’s ability to really listen to and absorb what the person on the other end of the line is saying. Indeed, when you’re on the phone for extended periods throughout the day, it becomes evident that listening is a skill that needs to be cultivated and maintained. In a sense, it’s a discipline.
Given our expertise in message taking, actively listening for the duration of one after another phone call is a skill that we’ve honed and perfected over the years. In fact, you might even say that we’re experts when it comes to phone-based listening. With that in mind, we’re dedicating a post to how you can perfect your phone-based listening skills.
Just adhere to these three tips:
- Be in the moment.
This is good advice for just about any task, especially when it’s repetitive in nature. When it comes to talking on the phone, being in the moment means pulling yourself out of the physical world around you and investing more fully in the conservations. Consider limiting visual distractions by turning off your computer monitor so that incoming emails and other notifications don’t steal your attention away. Likewise, ensure that others in your area understand that you’re currently on the phone and don’t have time to speak with them.
- Be an active listener.
It’s easy to start formulating what you are going to say next when the person on the other end hasn’t finished speaking yet. Resist this urge and make a point of actively trying to listen. This will give you a better idea of what the person feels or desires, which will in turn help you modify your pitch to suit their preferences, thereby increasing your chances of closing the sale. But even if you’re not trying to make a sale, being an active listener will help you carry out your phone-based task more effectively.
- Imagine what the other person thinks and feels.
Empathy is a central component to successful listening. A person only speaks because they hope to be understood, which is reason enough to try and be a better listener. But when you’re in a customer service or sales position, it’s even more important to try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. Doing so will help you to better understand their position, and it’s also going to engender their trust and appreciation.
If you spend a substantial amount of time handling calls each day, becoming a better listener is only going to improve your performance. It’s a critical skill that all of us would do well to improve upon.