Image by 1950sUnlimited
On the surface, the digitization of the economy has changed the face of business immeasurably. But at its core, business is still about people communicating with other people, and it’s important to keep contact with clients, customers and co-workers feeling direct, honest and organic in a way that’s difficult to render through an email or a twitter feed. This is why when the option is available, using your voice is almost always the best choice for making an impression.
Why Pick Voice?
It’s a well-known fact of communication that the actual words we use make up only a tiny portion of the message we’re putting across – the rest comes from the tone and inflection of the voice, and how it demonstrates confidence and trustworthiness. Customer relations are greatly improved when customers know they’re talking to a person, not getting a standard digitized response to their query.
This means that it’s important to prepare for important calls, such as those to prospective clients. There’s a lot of visual and kinetic cues that aid communication which your voice doesn’t usually have to carry by itself, like your body language, so it’s worth being cognizant of the qualities you could impart with facial expressions and body language, and how to reflect them in your voice. For example, slumping during a meeting creates an impression of not caring that carries over even if your potential client or partner can’t see you – sort of how we can smile with our eyes, we can gesticulate with our voices.
Spending a little time and effort getting the voice performance right, even rehearsing important phrases, can make all the difference if you have a pitch to nail – it can connote an enthusiasm and character that text based communication, however advanced, colourful or instantaneous, just can’t hope to match.
Making The Most of Voice Communication
The main disadvantage to voice communication for growing businesses is that it can be time consuming compared to emailing out automated letter templates. However, this is becoming ever less so, given the new technologies that make voice communication clearer and easier than ever.
Text generally feels like automation, even if you write your correspondence bespoke for each individual scenario. If you’re looking to make sales or build customer relationships, it’s hard to cut through without some human element. In the rush to be cutting edge, a lot of firms seem to forget that digitization and automation innovations for communication tend to be there for efficiency rather than quality of customer experience.
An example of such is a cloud call center, a system which takes much of the busywork and downtime out of call centers such as dialing out, leaving answering machines and waiting for the recipient to pick up. This leaves the operation far more efficient by streamlining the workflow of each call clerk, and since it’s using cloud technology it doesn’t require expensive hardware upgrades or a set location from which to work.
Cloud technology is streamlining conference calls too, with products like Skype and GoToMeeting which can be tailored towards large meetings over long distances. And with webcams and broadband streaming of audio, it’s a vast improvement over the old days of conference calls, with fuzzy audio and the occasional awkward pause then everyone’s waiting for everyone else to speak so as not to talk over each other.
If you have any thoughts on this issue, or know of any other new technologies that help you out then leave us a comment below. It’s not quite a phone call, but still.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Ed Hitchman is a writer and blogger, who also uses his voice to communicate with people. He recommends New Voice Media.