Does Smiling On The Phone Really Make A Difference?

Submitted by Dan Faraldo in Customer Service, Industry News, MeloTel Features

Smile before you dial. As far as the MeloTel team is concerned, this should be the number one rule followed by any call centre employee. Believe it or not, a smile can make a huge difference in the tone of your voice. This is why it doesn’t matter that the person on the other end of the line can’t see your face. They can hear the smile in your voice!

As reported by ScienceDaily.com, a 2008 study, conducted by scientists at the University of Portsmouth, found that people are able to differentiate between the vocal intonations of phone agents who are smiling and not smiling. Apparently, people can also pick out the differences between various smiles just by hearing the voices of the phone agents doing the smiling.

“Smiling affects how we speak, to the point that listeners can identify the type of smile based on sound alone,” reports the website on the study’s findings, “The research, which also suggested that some people have ‘smilier’ voices than others, adds to the growing body of evidence that smiling and other expressions pack a strong informational punch and may even impact us on a subliminal level.”

You can’t fake it.

Sure, you can put on a warm and friendly voice, while you’re on the phone, and have a frown on your face. However, it will be pretty hard to fake your enthusiasm over the course of a business day. As the study points out, people have the ability to determine what kind of smile a phone agent has. That means they can also figure out if you’re really smiling or not – or if your enthusiasm is genuine.

“It’s believed that some 50 different types of smiles exist, ranging from triumphant ones to those that convey bitterness,” notes ScienceDaily.com. Remember that your vocal tone is a key ingredient to excellent customer service. Faking your good mood isn’t bound to generate strong customer relationships. According to Answer365.ca, the impact of smiling on your vocal tone is undeniable.

“When you smile, your tone actually becomes more positive and friendly,” states the site, “You can try this for yourself by smiling and saying something really negative aloud to yourself. You’ll probably notice that, regardless of what you say, your tone is more upbeat and friendly when you say it with a smile.”

Smiles are contagious.

During his tenure as a call centre manager, MeloTel’s Founder and CEO, John Meloche championed the “smile before you dial” practice. During his morning meetings with his phone agents, he would highlight his belief that smiles are contagious. When you’re in a genuine good mood, it puts the people who you’re speaking with in good moods. This helps to generate much more pleasant work days and inevitably, much higher productivity.

“Even if a customer calls and has an angry attitude, if they are greeted with a smiling voice, it can be contagious, and diffuse the negative emotions,” agrees Answer365.ca, “Positivity is contagious, and if your employees maintain a good attitude, they have a much better chance of making your customers happy, too.”

Do you conduct a lot of business over the phone? For information about MeloTel’s cloud-based Commercial Phone Services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-888-MELOTEL or use the Live Chat feature on our website!