Service With Your Voice
Your Voice Matters:
November 22, 2005
© Radiant Publishing 2005
Welcome to our many subscribers who signed up through our web site or at an event where Marlena Reigh presented.
IN THIS ISSUE
- Greetings From The Author Marlena Reigh
- Telephone Tips Series:#2 Delivering Great Customer Service With Your Voice
- Quote of The Month: John Corry
- Voice Skills Tips: Look Ten Years Younger in Ten Minutes A Day And Sound Great Too-The Posture Factor
- Personal Communication Story: Even a Thirteen Year-Old Knows.
- We’d Love To Hear From You
How we communicate to others can make them feel good about who they are and it can make us feel good about who we are and the value of our product or service. The Telephone Tips Series #2 can apply to anyone doing any kind of business on the telephone. It’s a matter of a warm voice means a warm heart. The quote is an powerful observation of the voice of Ronald Regan. Do you want to look and feel younger in only ten minutes and day AND it doesn’t cost a thing! Check out #4. Also, the story about the thirteen- year-old is my favorite because it really demonstrates how the voice can have an impact on our personal lives.
The sound of the voice is a physical experience for the listener and accounts for up to 97% of the impression we make when on the telephone. On top of that, 30% of our voice energy is lost over the telephone equipment making us sound more impersonal.
We all have dealt with customer service, often with mixed feelings about receiving care with our best interest at heart. Much of our misgivings are directly correlated to how the customer service person “sounds” when taking care of us.
In audiences I have polled, attendees said the voices that turn them off when on the telephone sound: abrupt, in a hurry, indifferent, pushy, rude, insensitive, and sometimes not professional in the words and language being used.
Sue, an audience member and an operator for a large telephone company, told us that her call goal was to make each person she talked to feel they were special. I asked the audience if they experienced this with calls they received and almost all said “No”. “How would you feel about having a conversation with Sue?” The response was, “It would be great.”, ” I would want to talk to her and do business with her.” Sue knows the key. Our voice reflects our intentions and attitudes. What she was talking about was building a relationship with each client. She made them feel good about themselves and doing business with her.
We too can help others feel good about themselves and the choice they made to do business with us.
Here are ways for you to boost your energy and your intentions for building customer rapport over the telephone:
=> Know what you want your voice to project Enthusiasm, sincerity, caring, warmth?
=> Warm up your voice before speaking (see warm up exercises on our web site)
=> Put a smile in your voice by smiling
=> Sit erect at your desk
=> Use your voice to guide them at a feeling level
=> Listen-really listen for needs
=> Use a moderate volume
=> Demonstrate sincere interest
=> Stand up or walk around to relieve stress
=> Use a mirror and look at it before and during the call
=> Be patient
=> Respond not react
=> Think before you think before you speak-make each word count When you have a tone of voice that others love doing business with, you will making and receiving your calls with more personal satisfaction.
Add a friendly and sincere tone to the following words and language and you will truly be appreciated by your customers and well remembered.
Acceptable words and language that build relationships:
🙂 This: “Hello, Good morning…”, “Good afternoon…”
- Not: “Hi there”, “Hey…”, “What’s up?”
🙂 This:”My pleasure…”, “I’m glad we could help.”, “Happy to do so.”
- Not: “No problem.”
🙂 This:”May I put you on hold?”
- Not:”Can you hold please?”(and you don’t wait for a reply), “Hold on.”, “Just a sec.”
🙂 This: “Yes. Certainly.”
- Not:”OK.”, “Sure.”, “Uh huh.”, “Yep”, “Yeah.”
🙂 This: Listening to complete sentences from customer
- Not: Interrupting while someone is already talking
🙂 This: Getting clarity by rephrasing back, “What I hear you saying is…”
- Not:Being defensive, rehearsing your answer, making assumptions.
🙂 This: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
- Not:(hanging up first)
🙂 This: Proper grammar
- Not:Ain’t, got none
Always listen for ways to respond that serves your customer. As a professional communicator it is your job to maintain a positive win-win attitude. Say “Today my customers will hear a warm voice that will let them know we have a warm heart.” Build your communication muscle every day.Practice talking out loud before you get to work to warm up the voice, body, and mind. Or you can talk to the other drivers if you don’t already do that!
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” Voice Skills For Telephone Success” is one of the hottest programs Marlena Reigh offers. Have Marlena come into your organization to evaluate and coach the voices on your team. Email email@example.com
“His voice is his great weapon. It is not an orator’s voice.
It is husky, and sometimes it fades to a whisper. Meanwhile,
it is extraordinarily intimate. Mr. Regan does not speak to
audiences; he speaks to individuals.”
John CorryHistorical Writer
4. Voice Skills Tips: Look Ten Years Younger in Ten Minutes A Day And Sound Great Too-The Posture Factor
Would you like to look younger? Feel younger? And with no monetary cost? It’s easier than you think. All you need is ten minutes a day and the tenacity to make these practices part of your health regime.
Looking and feeling younger is a big market for various products and services that promise the “fountain of youth.” They focus on wrinkles, gray hair, or sagging chins. Yet there is one major tell-tale sign that is overlooked and can make a major difference on your appearance. The best part is that the cost is only ten minutes a day! When you get in the habit of developing good posture, you will not only look and feel younger but you will gain other health benefits too- Oh, and did I mention that your voice will be more resonant and attractive.
The benefits of great posture include:
=> More youthful looking appearance (poor posture is often a sign of aging.)
=> Allows for proper breathing and clearer thinking.
=> Supports voice production for fuller sound and projection.
=> Permits better digestion with more room for the organs to function at maximum capacity.
=> A lighter and more energetic demeanor.
Poor posture inhibits the expansion of the ribs and back
and is often a symptom of weak abdominal muscles. Poor posture problems tend to become habit and are often difficult
to spot on your own. Evaluate your posture by having someone take a photo of you standing straight on and one with a side view. Don’t cheat because you want to look better. This will be your improvement guide.
> Is my head straight or do I tilt to one side?
> Is my head on top of my spine or is my chin hanging out?
> Are my shoulders square, back and down or do I slouch or have rounded shoulders?
> Is my stomach held in or is it protruding?
> Is my pelvis tucked under or do I have a sway back (hips tilting back)?
> Is my weight on the balls of both feet or is it on my heels?
> Is my weight on both legs or do I favor one leg?
Good posture means good balance of the entire body.
Here are some exercise you can do on a daily basis to improve your posture. The goal is to have good posture all of the time, and that it becomes second nature. But it is an ongoing process due to stress and outside influences on our physical and mental environment. Think of yourself as an athlete.
#1. Clasp your hands behind your back, straighten your arms and raise them while squeezing the shoulder blades together. Feel how the chest is high. Now slowly release the hands while maintaining the position. Notice how it feels on a physical level. This is a yoga exercise called chest expansion.
#2. Stand against a wall with your head, back, shoulders, and heels touching the wall, with the pelvis tucked under. Now move forward as though being pulled from your solar plexus, and keep your weight on the balls of your feet. Get in touch with the way it feels. Practice so the body can mentally memorize what it feels like when you are in good posture.
#3. Stand tall, not rigid, and feel space between your vertebrae. Think of yourself as one inch taller.
#4. Do stomach and abdominal exercises to strengthen muscles that support good posture.
#5. Walk twenty minutes a day, weight on balls of feet, expanding ribcage breathing in and breathing out.
The posture robbers that can age you:
– Slouching at the steering wheel when driving. Remedy by putting your head on the head rest and drive with a high chest.
– Allowing stomach and chest muscles to give in when sitting at a desk for a long time.
– Shifting weight from one side to the other.
– Weakened abdominal muscles from lack of exercise.
– Not standing up straight and erect.
– Protruding stomach.
– Rounded shoulders.
– Chin jutting out.
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Have a voice that gains credibility and gets results. Contact Marlena about personal voice coaching.
Thirteen-year-olds are notorious for speaking their minds often with no regard to how others feel. Perhaps there is something to be said for blatant honesty. As we grow older, we learn to be discreet and sensitive. But what would someone tell you about your voice if they adopted the honesty of a thirteen-year-old?
Jenny was thirteen when she came to work with me on her speaking voice. She told me that her friends said her voice annoyed them and asked that she not talk at all. A thirteen- year-old girl not talk?
This was serious, and this bright young girl knew the cost. Not being able to converse and share could mean losing friends, being ignored by new friends, turning off her listeners–especially boys, and basically cutting off her potential to be the outgoing and sociable girl that she was.
Jenny’s problem was that of an extreme nasal and shiny sounding voice. It had an edge to it that made it difficult to listen to. These were habits that Jenny had, not a physical condition.
Teenagers like to have a lot of fun, so creating a program that Jenny would enjoy was essential. Articulation exercises along with fun readings to eliminate nasality were some of the activities I asked her to practice. Due to her commitment to working through our sessions and her dedication to doing exercises specifically designed for her, at the end of three months her voice had been transformed into that of a young adult. When Jenny answered the phone one day, the family friend on the line couldn’t believe it was her. Jenny was on a social roll again. Today, Jenny is a successful student at Yale.
So even a thirteen-year-old knows that having a good voice can make or break her personal success. Do you know?
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Your questions, voice stories, input, and feedback are always appreciated.
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Please forward Your Voice Matters ezine to friends, colleagues, and organizations who could benefit from developing a voice image that projects confidence, credibility, and motivates others to take action.