Perfecting the Art of Conversation: The Phone call

Communicating over the phone is the quickest and easiest way to provide good and effective customer service. It becomes much more powerful in urgent situations, when a customer needs support immediately.  

According to Google’s ‘Click to Call’ research, 59% of customers prefer to call because they want a quick answer, while 57% call as they want to talk to a real person. 

Cold calling has given phone calls a bad rep, so it’s imperative to ensure you have a plan before you pick up the phone. We have put together our top five tips for perfecting a phone call to ensure the conversations you have are as effective as possible.   

1. Identify a purpose:

Whether professional or social, it’s important that your intended conversation has a purpose before you pick up the phone. If you’re the person initiating the phone call, especially in a professional situation, it’s important to share the calls purpose so that everyone knows what their input needs to be. Otherwise there might be a risk that either or both of you walk away from the conversation not knowing what the actions are.

2. Listen to your phone calls:

A great technique to improve performance over the phone is to listen to calls. Listening back to calls will give you great clues about how you can improve in the future. If you’re a team leader, listen to your teams calls and provide feedback, better yet, if there are good examples, share them with the team to help internal training sessions come to life.

3. Sit up straight or stand up:

Research has suggested that having good posture when making a phone call helps you to speak with more conviction, making you sound more confident in the process. Sitting up straight or standing up also helps you to project your voice and speak clearly. It can also make you feel more authoritative if you’re having a difficult conversation.

4. Listen during phone calls:

Listening takes up a lot of the time we spend communicating, but do people actively listen? Often, the case can be that during a conversation, time can be spent formulating a response and passively listening while the other person is talking, eager to get a point across as opposed to actively listening.

5. Summarise:

If you summarise what the customer says and repeat it back to them, the customer will acknowledge that you have listened to them and understand their situation. This can also help to diffuse potentially awkward situations if your customer isn’t happy.

From a business perspective, nothing can replace the personal touch and reassurance a customer can get from making a phone call 

Believe it or not, more real business gets done, when real conversations happen.