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How to avoid mixed messages on the phone

By andrew on April 28, 2015

Why the message you send is not the message they receive. This is a lively session as part of our 2 day training courses for both customer service (customer care, contact centre) as well as telemarketing and telesales.

We talk about the difference between what you send and what they receive. This difference leads to mixed messages. Them misunderstanding what you are saying, or worse, thinking they know what you mean, but thinking something else.

You know what you’re talking about, but how do you know if they’re getting the same message. They’re receiving a message sure, but is it the same one you’re sending? In your job role you are frequently talking about the same products and services all day, every day, so you’re very clued up on what you’re talking about.  Therefore because you understand it, it is very easy to assume that everyone else does too.

The fact is that the communication process is being interpreted in 2 different human brains, and because we’re all individuals we all relate to the world in different ways. So what you’re sending and what they’re receiving are likely to be different.

I’ve identified 4 factors that make gaps in my communication with others either more or less likely. I’m not saying these are the only 4 , but they’re things I’m aware of.

  1. Level of knowledge. If you’re talking to someone who has a similar level of knowledge to you, it is easier to communicate, and less chance of misunderstandings as they are more likely to be ‘on your wavelength.’
  2. How well you know them. It always feels more comfortable talking to people you know as you know how to word things, and you have some history with them. This is why most phoners making outbound calls are less keen on making cold calls. Completely understandable.
  3. Age. It is often easier to communicate with people who are similar to you, and who relate to the world in similar ways. Age will generally determine what’s important to you in life and what your outlook will be. Choice of car, holidays, clothes and music are all examples where age will often make a difference.
  4. Background. The other person’s background relative to yours also influences the potential mismatch in communication. Factors such as your parents’ values, type of education, peer group, where you grew up in the country (or more strikingly in the world!) and even industries you’ve worked in all make a difference to how you view the world. If you meet someone with a similar background to you, communication is easier.

Be aware then of the differences between you and the other person. Don’t assume that they are getting what you’re receiving. That’s why asking questions to check someone understands you, and using examples and analogies all help.

On the phone you only have your voice, so your words and tone are all you’ve got.

Mixed messages ‘Why the message you send is not the message they receive’ is a part of the To Market  training courses. Contact us on 01858 461148 or via e-mail info@tomarket.co.uk for more information on our 2 day in-house courses run onsite – designed to help you develop better customer relationships with your customers.

 

 

 

 


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