I have never been a big fan of talking on the phone.
The actual phone itself has always felt like a barrier to me. When Bell invented it, of course, there was nothing like it…but now with the advent of telecommunications, such as Skype or iChat, video conferencing, or Facetime, why bother with the old-fashioned, traditional phone at all?
Well, if your job entails using the phone, such as in a contact centre, you don’t really have a choice. Although we have come far with technology, contact centres still conduct calls the old-fashioned way. Plus, most of my colleagues, including me, who work from isolated home-office environments, may not always like to be caught off guard by video. The phone, as traditional as it is, without a doubt, is still a major communication tool for clients, and increasingly so.
Therefore, how can we, as Teleconsultants or Contact Centre Professionals, utilize the phone in such a way that it no longer acts as a barrier between us and the other party, whether it is a Client, Prospect, Colleague, Direct Report, or our Boss?
Acquiring the communication arts and skills that Johanna Lubahn, our MD of Contact Centres, references so many times in her White Papers is a great place to start. Just like any new learned behaviour, new skills will take effort to put into practice on a consistent basis.
No matter what your view is on spending the time to enhance yours or your employees’ phone skills, there is one thing no one can argue with: when we have a call, whether it’s personal or business, and the other party really listens to us, smiles when they speak with us (although we can’t see them), asks us relevant questions and is truly focused on us, my gosh, what a difference that makes. It is so refreshing to have a call after which you hang up feeling like you have actually come as close as possible to spending face-to-face time with the person on the other end of the phone.
If it’s possible to meet someone in person and still feel disconnected, then isn’t it also possible to have a phone call that feels just like meeting someone face-to-face?
If communication arts and skills are of interest to you or anyone you know, do take time to review any one of Johanna Lubahn’s White Papers: Call Center Cinderella, Call Center Cinderella Part II, and Rushed, Routine & Robotic…and share your point of view.
Neda Bayat is Global Business Consultant for Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. and Breakthrough PerformanceTech, LLC.