Albert Einstein once said “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”.
I think you’ll agree he’d roll over in his grave if he could see the rate that technology has exceeded our humanity in the 21st century.
Do all of your staff know how to project a professional, helpful and friendly image when they answer the phone or make a call and that will reflect the true professionalism of your organisation?
We have been finding more and more that younger employees are very well versed in Facebook and SMS but not so in oral skills.
By 2020, over 50% of the workforce will comprise of Gen Y and Millennials, and studies have shown that they prefer to use instant messaging and other social media rather than talk with someone. With these two trends at play, we must consider the impact on business relationships and the ability to effectively collaborate, build trust, and create employee engagement and loyalty.
With communication being more preferred via emails, texts, instant messaging etc, the potential for misinterpretation is increasing. Rushed and stressed people often do not take the time to consider the nuances of their writing. When someone writes a text in all capital letters, DOES IT MEAN THEY’RE YELLING? Are one or two-word responses a sign that the person doesn’t want to engage? Conclusions are drawn on very little information.
So what can we do about this? I hear you ask. In my never ending quest of helping to improve the communication standards of organisations, I have found that most of the young people I’ve come into contact with do genuinely want to know how to communicate more effectively. Problem is they’ve never been taught. In this new age of social media, they have never learnt what to say when they answer the phone, how to convey a voice tone that will increase the client’s perception of a professional organisation, how to handle challenging people or the right words to impress clients and help increase your profit.
These are skills that most organisations assume they already know, and yet they are unleashed without the right skills at the frontline of companies all over the world.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s teach them what they need to know and equip them with the tools to diffuse client grievances and make their own lives less stressful, as well as those of their customers’. Here are my top 3 strategies.
# 1 Smile when you answer the phone – the caller will hear the smile in your voice
# 2 Don’t be defensive when dealing with a customer grievance – the caller isn’t blaming you personally, they are angry at the company and see you as ‘the company’.
# 3 Always inform the caller what you can do rather than what you can’t do – this will help put a positive framing on every situation, even the most challenging ones.