When people discuss phone etiquette and improving customer service over the phone, their tops focus on what you should say to improve the experience. While what you say is important, how you say it is just as important. Most people don’t think about how they sound on the phone and how that impacts the overall experience. If you want to see instant improvements in your phone calls, make changes to how you sound on the phone, specifically how you use your voice to communicate. Here is how to make your voice sound better when you answer your business phone.
Why How Your Voice Sounds Matters
The way that your voice sounds over the phone is very important to the quality of your communication. There are many factors that go into this, but the main thing to be concerned about is if you can be easily understood when you talk on the phone.
Everyone has had an experience where they are on the phone and cannot understand the person on the other side. Whether it’s because that person is too quiet, too loud, or otherwise difficult to hear, it is an experience that no one wants to repeat.
Making yourself sound better on the phone not only makes it easier to communicate clearly, it also makes it easier for you to control the quality of the call. When customers speak to you on the phone, there are many things that they want to convey. If you are hard to understand, the focus is on trying to understand you rather than on addressing customer concerns, communicating effectively, or improving the overall experience.
In short, port voice quality means a worse call experience for customers and it stops you from providing good customer service.
10 Ways to Sound Better on the Phone
Having a good phone voice is essential for any successful professional. Whether you are trying to ace that job interview or need to deliver an important message, it’s important to be able to sound better on the phone. Here are 10 ways to make sure your phone conversations sound their best:
1) Speak Clearly and At a Moderate Pace
Speaking clearly and at a moderate pace is essential when it comes to effective communication. Your voice must be loud and clear enough for the listener to understand you but not too loud that it becomes uncomfortable. It allows them to better understand what you are saying since they can easily distinguish each word and phrase.
Furthermore, speaking at a moderate pace allows for proper pauses between words and sentences so that the listener can keep up with your thoughts. This also helps them absorb the information better as well as remember it more accurately.
2) Improve Sound Quality by Reducing Noise
Limit the sources of noise around you so that you can get a better sound quality for the call and so that you can focus on the call. Phones are built using microphones that pick up a wide spectrum of sounds. While your mouth may be close to the microphone, it can still pick up any sound in the background.
Phones also amplify the volume of background noise, making it much louder than it normally is. This becomes very distracting for you and the person on the other end of the call. If it is difficult to hear yourself or to focus on how you are talking, then your voice quality will suffer.
3) Smile As You Talk To Create a Friendly Tone
When talking, one of the best techniques to make your voice sound more friendly is to use a mile. A mile is when you speak at a slightly slower pace and intentionally lower your pitch. This will make your voice sound more relaxed and inviting, which can be very helpful when having a conversation with someone.
Additionally, by speaking at a slower pace, it gives the other person more time to think about what is being said and respond accordingly. That way, both parties can easily understand each other correctly.
4) Use Proper Grammar and Pronunciation
Having good grammar and pronunciation is essential for effective communication and helps you develop a clearer, more lyrical voice tone. You have a different way of talking for different situations, and a part of the difference is the patterns, pitch, and structure of what you say. When speaking with proper grammar, your tone becomes more lyrical and becomes more appealing to listen to. It also becomes easier for people to understand what you’re saying.
5) Try Not to Use Too Many Filler Words Such As “Um” or “Like”
Along the same lines of grammar and punctuation, you want to remove words from your vocabulary that create breaks in your speech patterns where they shouldn’t be. These are often filler words such as “um” or “like”. They provide little value to what you are saying and serve to interrupt your train of thought often. Removing them makes your speech flow in a way that is easier to understand.
Imagine walking down the sidewalk trying to get somewhere important at a brisk pace. Suddenly, there is a signpost in front of you. You weren’t expecting it so you stop, turn, and walk around it. Every six to ten steps, there is another signpost to walk around. As you can imagine, you wouldn’t get anywhere fast and would likely be confused about what is happening.
This is what it is like when you constantly use filler words. Removing them would be the same as moving to the center of the sidewalk where there are no signs. You can proceed at a steady pace and there is a clear path to where you are going. This is how you want your call to go, so remove the filler words that keep getting in your way.
6) Limit Distractions When You Make Phone Calls
Filler words are not the only thing that can interrupt your calls. Try to limit distractions when you make calls so that you can focus on improving the quality of your voice and your words.
Before you make a call, turn off any background noises such as music or television that may take away from your concentration. Additionally, try to find a quiet space where you can talk. That way, you have more control over the overall experience.
7) Have Confidence in Yourself
One of the fastest ways to improve the sound of your voice is to have confidence in yourself. People pay more attention to confident people when they talk. At the same time, people who have confidence make subtle changes in the way that they speak to project that confidence.
They speak with a clear and steady tone. There is energy in their voice, and their tone is both reassuring and assertive. If you want to make an immediate change to your voice, work on speaking with confidence. Even if you are not sure if the other person picks up on it, it will have an effect on how you speak in a positive way.
8) Adjust to The Other Person’s Tone
Another powerful tool in improving your speaking voice is to match the tone of the person that you are speaking to. If the person on the other end has energy and speaks quickly, try to keep up. Conversely, if the other person is a slow talker, slow down a bit yourself. People tend to subconsciously connect to others when they mirror what that person is doing. If you can mirror how the other person talks, then you can create a vocal tone that they are more likely to connect with and have a better call experience.
9) Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Staying hydrated directly impacts the sound of your voice. Talking on the phone for long periods of time can dry out your mouth and vocal cords. However, regularly drinking water can help keep them hydrated so that you don’t struggle to talk and can maintain a more vibrant tone when speaking.
At the same time, avoid drinking too much of anything else. Caffeine and sugar can have a dehydrating effect on your body as well. Make sure that if you drink a lot of coffee, you follow it with enough water to stay hydrated.
10) Speak Naturally As If Talking to A Friend
Speaking naturally is an important part of communication. It allows us to express our thoughts and feelings in an honest way. When we speak naturally, we use everyday language like we would with a friend. We don’t have to worry about using overly formal language or complicated grammar.
Instead, we are able to just talk and share our thoughts without worrying about sounding too intellectual or not making any sense. This can be especially beneficial in situations where there are a lot of people around and you want to make sure
Get More Help With Your Company’s Phone Calls
If you are struggling to provide the level of customer service that you want over the phone, consider hiring an answering service. Trained phone operators can provide effective customer service over the phone for a wide range of business needs. It is one of the most effective ways of quickly improving your company’s customer service ratings.
If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to support your business while it grows.