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How to Improve Verbal Communication Skills

Businesses are run by people and verbal communication is a vital skill to connect with them. It is a key element that forms the foundation of any business’s success. From internal meetings to customer calls, every interaction determines the scope of an organization.

If you too wish to effectviely communicate with your customers, you must first understand the importance of verbal communication and how a cloud phone system helps with your business growth.

What is Verbal Communication?

Verbal communication is the process of conveying information using language. It includes words—spoken, written, or signed. Verbal communication in the workplace involves face-to-face interactions and conversations via voice and video calls, while written communication involves conversing through text (both online and offline).

Effective verbal communication helps your agents initiate conversations, engage in discussions, build relationships, and do much more with your clients. When you speak with confidence and poise, you are more likely to create a rapport and command respect from the customer.

Robert M. Krauss in “The Psychology of Verbal Communication” explains, “A species’ survival depends critically upon its ability to communicate effectively. The quality of its social life is determined in large measure by how and what it can communicate.”

Similarly, effective verbal communication is critical for the survival and success of a business as well.

Role of Verbal Communication in Business Growth

Two-people-practising-effective-verbal-communication

Verbal communication plays a vital role in any business’s growth. It helps the organization achieve its goals, understand its employees and perform basic management functions better. It also allows them to facilitate healthy relationships among their team members, provide constructive feedback and increase loyalty towards the organization. Good verbal communication allows you to enhance the following avenues thoroughly and scale your business higher.

  1. Team Building

  2. Conflict Management

  3. Work Culture

  4. Productivity

For now, we’re going to place our attention on customer agent interactions using Hosted PBX, given they are the core of a business’s communication operations. Be it for sales or customer services, quality agent-customer conversations determine the future of your business.

If you want to read more about the role of effective verbal communication in the success of a business, check out this blog- Why is effective communication important?  

Top 5 Verbal Communication Skills Your Agents Need

Verbal communication skills are now more critical than ever. They focus on optimally using verbal and non-verbal cues such as body language, choice of words, posture, facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, sentence framing etc. For contact center agents, verbal cues matter the most, as they communicate mostly digitally, where the other party can only hear their voice. 

We spent some time analyzing our agent-customer interactions to nail down vital communication skills required for agents. After some intense research we shortlisted 5 skills required for agents, especially contact center agents, to have quality customer interactions. 

Active Listening

Agents-practising-active-listening

Listening is the most important skill of any conversation. When you listen to someone, it reflects your interest in their ideas and helps you understand their needs better. Additionally, others are more likely to reciprocate and hear what you share when you pay attention to their part in a conversation.

To take this up a level higher, we will talk about active listening. Active listening is paying absolute attention to the speaker’s verbal and non‑verbal cues. It begins with reducing all the unwanted noises and distractions by positioning yourself in a quiet place. Avoid attending to other people and engagements during an ongoing conversation to fully tune into the speaker’s message. 

For instance, a contact center agent who actively listens to a prospect on a sales call can identify hesitation points. They can then mold the conversation into their favor and increase their chances of a successful sale. 

P.S- Acefone’s Call Notes allow you to take notes of vital client information while you’re listening to them explain their concerns to you.

Patience

Agent-sitting-on-hourglass-showcasing-patience

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” says, Arnold H. Glasow, renowned businessman, author and humorist. Patience allows you to take time and reflect upon the other person’s message as well as your questions.  

It helps you structure your thoughts in a precise manner and present it for the client’s better understanding. Also, it helps you resist the urge to fill the silences. Ideally, you must avoid silence as it can make a conversation static and awkward, however, pausing in between allows you to set the pace of the conversation in your favor. 

If you don’t think patiently, you lose the impact of your message. Similarly, it’s equally important to allow the client to talk without interrupting their thoughts. It shows mutual respect and enhanced professionalism. 

Technical Understanding

Agent-sharing-technical-knowledge-with-customer

Having sound technical understanding of your company’s products/ services plays a pivotal role for agents, serving as a cornerstone for effective customer interaction. It equips agents with the knowledge needed to communicate complex product or service details in a clear and comprehensible manner. It enhances the overall quality of customer engagement.

During sales calls, technical expertise becomes vital for agents as it arms them with in-depth product knowledge. They can highlight unique features, address specific customer demands, and convincingly present value propositions. Such agents are better positioned to present the benefits of the product, facilitating a smoother sales process. 

For customer support agents, technical expertise shines through in problem-solving and customer satisfaction. Agents can swiftly diagnose issues, provide relevant solutions, and guide clients through troubleshooting steps. This proficiency reduces query resolution time and enhances the overall customer experience, fostering trust and loyalty.

Empathy

Agent-connecting-heart-to-the-brain

Empathy is pivotal for sales and customer service interactions, as it shapes the way agents connect with customers. It involves understanding and sharing the customers’ feelings. When agents use empathy, they demonstrate understanding of a customer’s needs and concerns, building trust and rapport.

Agents can start by actively listening and acknowledging the customer’s emotions to leverage empathy and achieve a better outcome. By doing so they establish a supportive environment where customers feel heard and valued, allowing agents to uncover underlying issues or desires.

Agents can also use empathy to guide the conversation toward solutions tailored to the customer’s emotions and needs. By aligning their responses with the customer’s feelings, they can offer personalized assistance, making the interaction more meaningful.

Mirroring

Agent-mirroring-customer-behaviour

Mirroring involves subtly reflecting the customer’s behavior, tone, or body language. It helps agents build rapport by establishing a connection based on similarity, making customers feel understood and comfortable.

Agents can employ mirroring to create a sense of familiarity by subtly matching a customer’s speech pattern or pace. It helps establish a connection that feels natural and relatable for them. This technique can foster a more comfortable conversation and build trust between the agent and customer. 

Also, mirroring can aid in enhancing empathy during interaction. When agents mirror a customer’s emotions or expressions, it shows their understanding of the customer’s feelings, creating a more empathetic atmosphere. It allows agents to interact with sensitivity.

Why Cloud Phone System for Effective Verbal Communication

Cloud Phone Systems aka VoIP Phone System offer call monitoring and detailed insights, allowing managers to review customer interactions and look for any scope of improvement. This accessibility ensures effective communication, enabling agents to adequately respond to customer inquiries and capture more sales opportunities faster. 

Acefone’s VoIP Phone Service comes with several cloud telephony features like call detail reports and CRM integrations. The features provide valuable insights into customer interactions, enabling agents to strategize and practice effective verbal communication. By understanding the customer’s preferences and behaviors, agents can tailor their conversations, ultimately driving revenue through increased conversions and upselling opportunities. 

The Takeaway

Tools and features can only take you so far. You must also learn communication strategies that help your agents drive customer satisfaction and attain sustained growth. Acquaint yourself with the top 5 communication strategies and ensure your contact center agents keep your customer happy.

Effective verbal communication skills like active listening, patience, technical understanding, empathy, and mirroring, elevate customer-agent interactions. They help agents foster trust and personalized assistance among customers.  

Implementing a cloud phone system with detailed insights further enhances communication, driving revenue through improved conversions and upselling opportunities. Focus on practicing effective verbal communication via cloud based phone systems for better customer experience and customer retention, leading to business growth.

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