The 9-to-5 Show Starring YOU!

SpotlightMy colleague Bene’ has a saying she frequently uses in call coaching:

"When you get on that phone, it’s the 9-to-5 show starring YOU!"

In call coaching, it’s very common to hear a litany of excuses for providing poor service. Here is a sampling of a few I’ve heard:

  • "I didn’t feel good that day."
  • "My dog is really sick and I’m worried about him."
  • "I have all sorts of personal problems weighing on me."
  • "I have a bladder infection."

In fact, we’ve actually had CSRs request that we only record their calls during certain hours of certain days because those are the only times that they are in a good mood (no, I’m not making that up). Without being dismissive of people’s personal problems, the reality is that we control our voices. We can manipulate the pitch, power and pace of our voice to communicate any emotion we wish to communicate. And, if you think about it, we do it all the time. Part of being a good Customer Service Representative is being able to communicate positively – even if that requires the conscious manipulation of our voice to do so.

The customer doesn’t care about your personal problems. When you pick up the headset and take that call, you have become the voice of the company to that customer. You are being paid to represent the company in a positive, enthusiastic manner. While some people seem to naturally be positive and upbeat all the time, others of us have to figure out how to flip that internal switch and "turn it on."

I’ve always said that HR should make sure the job description for Customer Service Representatives should include the phrase "voice actor."

Many days, that’s exactly what we are.

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