Watch That Tone Of Voice
By Nancy Friedman
Mom was right. It’s not
what you say, but how
you say it. Several times
while I was out shopping recently, I’ve been told things that
frankly, weren’t that bad, but the tone of voice was so
wrong. I walked away
not wanting to do business with that company anymore.
It reminded me of that game we played a long time ago.
You take one sentence and emphasize each word one at a time
every time you say the sentence. Something
love my job.
I love my
I love my job.
can take most sentences and do that.
Point being, the way we emphasize and use our tone of voice
means a whole lot in the customer service arena.
Think of all the ‘tones’ and deliveries we can use.
A few that come to mind are:
can take your own sentence and infuse it with any one of the emotions
listed above. Certainly
you can think of other emotions to use also.
there are various tones we don’t want to use in certain situations.
As basic as this sounds, we cannot forget that our voice is a
key instrument delivering customer service.
go back to the opening paragraph – and my true story.
I had gone into a store and purchased an item.
When the clerk told me the amount, I wrote out a check.
He took it and looked up my account.
Without even looking up at me he said, “If you're gonna
write a check, I have
to see a picture ID.” The
tone he used was rather threatening in my perception.
I’d been a customer there a long time and this was the first
time I’d been asked for ID. I
immediately made a decision not to return there any more.
were several ways he could have told me he needed ID.
Especially since he saw from the database, which he found prior
to my handing him the check, that I had been a frequent customer.
have said, “Mrs. Friedman, I see you’re on the database and
shop here often. Most
clerks know you. However,
I’ve only been here three days and haven’t met everyone yet.
If I can get your ID this time, next time I’ll recognize
just one way. Gosh, you
even feel the difference just by reading the words.
See the difference? More
importantly, I'm sure you could hear the difference.
the other end of the customer service spectrum, I went into a jewelry
store the other day to pick up an item.
When I said to the owner, who does know me, that I was here to
pick up my watch, I could sense he seemed to blank out on my name.
With a big smile he said, “Good, glad to get it.
By the way, which name will that be under?”
A class act.
practice using your most positive tone with which to talk to
customers. Then, practice
saying positive things. It
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