When you consider communication, do you think of pictures? Well believe it or not, people speak with words but they think with pictures. In this video, Kit Welchlin offers better alternatives to common responses over the telephone. These responses will optimize your customer’s vision of your professionalism.

It is important to make sure that everyone in your organization that is in contact with customers are painting professional pictures over the phone.

Here are some phrases that create barriers over the telephone and some alternative ones that can be used to keep the image of professionalism:

  • “I’ll have her call you” – There is no guarantee that this will actually happen
  • “He left early” – What does this mean? Is he out golfing? Is he out hunting or fishing? Instead say, “He will be out of the office until Monday.” Customers will hear that and see an office and him not sitting there. That paints a more professional picture
  • “He’s on break” – What does this represent? The customer is told that they can call you at anytime, except when you’re on break? “He’s out to lunch” or “He’s down the hall” – Each of these can paint a variety of different pictures. Some of which are definitely not professional. But if you say, “He’s away from his desk at the moment” that creates a more professional picture, while avoiding painting uncomfortable ones
  • “I haven’t seen her yet today” –  This phrase can bring up images of her running late or oversleeping. Instead let’s say, “She’s not in here office at the moment”
  • Avoid saying idioms such as “He’s all tied up” – For customers who speak English as their second language, that phrase might be a little disturbing. Instead we could say something much more professional such as, “He’s in a meeting with his managers”

What kind of professional paintings are you creating for your customers over the phone? These suggestions not only allow your customers to feel included and welcomed, they will also feel appreciated with the time they are spending with you over the phone. Never forget that people speak with words and think with pictures.

For more information on Kit’s customer service strategies, take a gander at his presentation on Customer Service here. And don’t forget to check back next Monday for another one of Kit’s video blogs.