Have you ever heard the phrase, “it’s not about what you say, it’s how you say it”? Turns out there could be more truth there than we realized. For starters, enthusiasm is everything. Have you ever been to a presentation where the speaker is just monotone the whole time? BORING. It’s hard to pay attention to someone who isn’t excited about what they’re talking about. So no matter what you have to say to a customer, whether it’s welcoming them to the store, talking about a product, or offering a service, being genuinely enthusiastic will be more appealing!
Also, focus on the projection, inflection, and volume of your voice. This is key to avoiding sounding monotone and boring. Take a deep breath and exhale from the bottom of your diaphragm. This opens up your lungs and makes your voice slightly deeper and fuller. Get in the habit of taking full breaths while speaking! Not only does this prevent your voice from sounding small, but also can allow you to better vary your voice pitch and volume. This allows you to emphasize important words for your customer to pick up on. However, it is important to avoid “uptalk” and “vocal fry”. Uptalk is when your voice goes up at the end of a statement, as if you’re asking a question? Many people have this problem, and once you notice it, it’s hard to stop? It makes you sound less confident and assertive, so be aware of this issue. Vocal fry is when the voice is incraspy or scratchy, and sounds uncomfortable or painful. It makes you sound less warm and welcoming, and may give a bad impression to the customer.
3. Eye Contact
Making eye contact communicates sincerity, loyalty, and warmness. In American culture, it shows respect for the customer and confidence in yourself. Always make direct eye contact with the customer, but never stare. Staring is aggressive, confrontational, and just plain weird. A good habit to get into is by looking at the customer, down at the product, and then back at the customer. This keeps the customer engaged in the conversation, bringing their attention to you and the product, and prevents staring or wandering gaze, which indicates disinterest.
While making eye contact, continue to nod your head while you listen. This shows interest in what the customer has to say and is also an indicator of, “Yes, I am understanding what you are saying” and “please continue”. By simply showing interest in the customer, you can increase customer satisfaction and positive feedback to you as an employee and your store in general, which will lead to returning (and new) customers.
6. Conclusion and References
So as you can see, there is so much more to customer service than simply the words that you say to them! With these 5 pointers, you will be able to see an immediate difference in the way customers, coworkers, and your boss treat you. They will see confidence, trust, and enthusiasm like never before. It takes some practice, but given time, anyone can master the tactics of nonverbal persuasion!
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