I’ve been spending a lot of time helping clients to enhance their staff’s level of service. In the world that we live in everyone expects the red carpet to be rolled out for them. We all want, and most of the time expect, that special white glove service. Whether you are working with an internal or external client, providing great service should be consistent and always top of mind. It’s easier to provide excellent service if you are doing it all the time, regardless of who the service is being provided to.
In the most recent training sessions that I’ve facilitated, there has been a lot of conversation around effective communication. So often we are hidden behind a computer (or smart phone) going back and forth through email. We rarely have face-to-face meetings and even struggle to pick up the phone to have a voice conversation at times. When we do get on a phone call, a lot of the times it’s a conference call with more than one person on the line. A conference call, although maybe effective for some, is my least favorite method of communication. It’s always a battle of who thinks their message is the most important at that time or whose voice is the loudest. Most of the time when on a conference call I find myself muted and just taking notes. It’s hard to get a word in without talking over someone else. I cannot stand the feeling of being interrupted, so I don’t ever want to give someone the feeling that I am interrupting them.
If you are participating in a conference call, here are 5 steps that I try to follow –
- Join the call at least two minutes before the start time. When people join after the start time, it’s distracting to those that were on time. (By the way… if you are on time, you are late)
- If someone joins the call late, don’t catch them up. Encourage them to connect with someone after the call to see what they missed.
- Keep your sentences short and pause regularly between ideas. This allows people to jump in or ask questions without interrupting.
- Don’t check email and then ask for a question to be repeated. Either close your inbox or remove the pop-ups on your screen so they don’t distract you. Give the call your full attention.
- Use the “mute” button unless you are speaking. Background noise or paper shuffling around is obnoxious when you are speaking or trying to listen to another speaker on the line. When you do have something to add to the conversation, don’t forget to “unmute” yourself.
Hopefully some of these tips are helpful for you and others that participate in conference calls. If you have time for a quick laugh, check out this video of a conference call in real-life. This sums up my conference call experience on a pretty regular basis and at least gives me a good chuckle.
Interested in learning more about our white glove/client service training? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!
-Jenna Fuchs, Director of Consulting