Communication Skills – The Telephone

Cranky Pony Productions Phone SkillsBasic courtesy is an important part of communication. Courtesy becomes even more important over the phone. Because your customers don’t have the benefit of seeing you face to face, they focus more attentively on what you say and how you say it. They often hear a lot more than you realize. So let’s talk about how you should present yourself to your customers over the phone.

Speak Clearly

It’s impossible to provide your clients with the kind of service they demand, if they can’t understand what you’re saying. Many things can effect how you sound on the phone from your mood to your posture to your diet. What can you do to sound your best?

Your customers feel more comfortable when they are speaking to someone with a strong, confident voice.

  • How do you sound confident? By knowing your service or product inside and out. You are the first point of contact that a client or potential client has with your business. You should know everything there is to know about what your business is offering.
  • How do you build your confidence? Training!
  • You have to learn everything about the product or service you are selling.
  • You need to learn how to use your telephone. Make sure you know how to work the telephone or telephone system properly. Take advantage of all the features the telephone has.
  • You need to be confident in using the computer. If you need to take a class on using the products Microsoft Office offers, then please take it. You will learn so much, and you will be amazed at what you can do with different programs Microsoft offers.
  • If your business has its own website that you need to use, for example: MaryKay, Avon, Curves, etc. then you have to invest the time to learn how to use these sites. You need to know exactly how to get to the items your clients are talking about quickly and without hesitation.

Be Confident in Your Product

  • Potential clients are calling because they are interested in what you are selling. When you answer the call, you have to know the product inside and out.
  • Create a script for your products. You never want to “wing it”. The script will give you the information you need to answer the questions you are asked.
  • Role-play with other customer service representatives. Take turns with another CSR being the client. Go through the calls from greeting to closure, and experiment with different types of user personalities, allowing your CSR to respond in the moment. Once completed, take the time to discuss the ways it could have been handled differently afterwards. This is both a fun and effective way to check that the training is working.
  • Use your script and create rebuttals. What is a rebuttal? A rebuttal is your acknowledgement of a client’s hesitation to buy your product or service and persuading them to give your goods or services a chance.
  • Bosses and managers this is for you. Please give your CSRs enough time to learn about the products and services. Role-play with your CSRs. Coach them on their responses.

You can expect to see sincere, customer service focused people bloom and possibly become customer service managers in their own right in the near future with proper training and coaching.

Be confident in your service.

Do you know what the service is you are talking about? Have you seen the service put into action? A service can be anything from dog grooming, to gutter cleaning.

Here are very important pieces of information you need to know about the business you are representing:

  • What are your hours?
  • What is your service area?
  • What are the benefits of choosing you over the competition?
  • Pricing
  • When you answer the phone you want to be knowledgeable about the service your business offers.
  • Don’t be the customer service representative that has to put the potential client on hold to find out the answers to their questions.

Your Delivery


Don’t eat while talking on the phone. Better yet, don’t eat at your desk. Eat somewhere else that is more comfortable and relaxed.

Clients perceive chewing gum and eating on the phone as disrespectful, inconsiderate and unprofessional.

  • Here are two very easy things to remember:
    • Never ever chew gum while on the phone!
    • Never ever eat while on the phone!
    • If you need to, quietly sip water during the call.
  • While on the phone, avoid placing items in your mouth such as gum, cigarettes, candy, pens, etc. They affect the quality of your vocal delivery.
  • Even the most subtle of noises can come through over the phone. Clients can hear more than you think.


Posture can have a significant impact on your delivery on the phone.

Cranky Pony Productions Phone Skills Headseat
Using a headset keeps away the kinks in your neck and your hands free.
  • Smile when you speak. The client can hear it in your voice. It’s best to relax the face and throat to be able to speak more naturally and pleasantly. A gentle smile is fine, especially when it is sincere and reaches not just your face, but also your eyes.
  • Make sure you are sitting comfortably with your hands away from your mouth or chin.
  • Have the phone up to your mouth.
  • Wear a headset if possible.
  • Gesture while speaking.



Good customer service becomes clear when you speak clearly.





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