Voice inflection is a term used to refer to the tone of voice when speaking; it includes the volume, tone, pitch and pace at which you utter your words. As a telemarketer, your most powerful tool is the way you speak. It can help keep your customers interested and engaged throughout the call or the other way around.
Evaluating your voice inflection from time to time may help you become a more effective telemarketer. If you find your customers are less engaged during your conversations, then maybe it’s time to make some improvements in how you present yourself. Here are some useful tips that may help you enhance your voice and become a better presenter and a more productive telemarketer.
Smile When You Present
The most effective way to affect your voice inflection over the phone is to smile; if you smile when talking, the soft palate at the back of your mouth raises and makes your voice sound more relaxed. Your tone sounds better if you open your mouth wider when you speak. Smiling can help you achieve a friendlier and more receptive voice that more customers are comfortable with. This is why many call centers have installed mirrors above their agents’ desks – it’s a reminder to always smile. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, so long as you curve your mouth upwards you will project a more pleasant and positive tone.
Speak Using Variable Speeds in Your Pacing
Another factor that you should look after is your pacing; are you speaking too fast? Do you sound like you’re ‘eating’ your words? Customers get annoyed when they feel like they have to work to understand what you are saying; they want their experience to be easy and enjoyable. Customers are not supposed to keep up with you because they are calling in for a solution to their problem; it is your job to assist them as quickly as possible. Use of variable speeds in your pacing will help you sound less monotone. Slow down when you have something important to say and you want your customer’s full focus attention, then speed up your pacing when you need to get through something not as important. Variable speeds in your pacing will help you sound more natural and your customer will be more engaged.
Observing proper emphasis on your words may also improve your voice inflection over the phone. Avoid putting the emphasis on the end of all your sentences because it may give your customer the impression that you are always asking a question. But if you put proper emphasis on your words, your customers are encouraged to focus on your confidence and willingly give you important information.
Here is an example that will clearly explain how stress on words can affect the meaning of what you say. The sentence is “What would you like us to do about it?”
- When stated in a defensive manner, the emphasis is on the words ‘would you’.
- When stated with curiosity, the emphasis is on the words ‘like us’.
- When stated with apathy, there is no emphasis at all.
Watch Your Breathing
Your breathing has a big impact on your voice inflection over the phone; to sound more confident and at ease, take long and deep breaths before and when answering the call. When you are under pressure, you tend to take shallow breaths that make you sound stressed and strained. Your vocal cords have the tendency to tighten which can make your voice go up; a high-pitched voice does not sound very pleasant over the phone and it may discourage your customer from providing you with important information or worse yet your customer will feel annoyed. Breathe from your diaphragm, this will help you take less breaths. Your air will last longer when breathing from your diaphragm.