Would you hire me to be a customer service representative for your company? I hope so. Would someone hire you? The answer depends on your voice.
This weekend I was in Los Angeles for business and had a very interesting experience checking in for my flight home. For some reason there was a glitch that wouldn’t allow me to get my boarding passes using the Delta Air Lines app on my phone. To fix this I had to call Delta Customer Service. The woman who answered my call was professional, courteous, and helpful. She had completely resolved my issue within 5 minutes, and following the call I was invited to take a 1-question survey, which I did.
Here was the question: “Based on your experience with the person who helped you just now, how likely is it that you would hire that person as a sales representative for your company?” I was able to give her a 5 (the highest possible rating), and I realized the only basis for my impression of her was her voice. This was an audio call only – I couldn’t see her. I judged my willingness to hire her based subjectively and exclusively on a combination of the tone of her voice, how well I could understand her, and how I felt at the end of the call. That’s it.
Without being able to see someone, a person’s voice is the primary factor in how we perceive them. Think about it. I had a great experience with this Delta representative, and it left me with a very positive view of not only her but more importantly of the entire Delta Air Lines company. I will fly Delta again as a result. But if she had had an unhelpful tone, I couldn’t understand her, or I was frustrated with my experience, my poor impression would have been of all of Delta Air Lines – not just her – and I would have thought twice about flying with them again. Either way, I would tell everyone about my experience and Delta would gain loyal customers or lose credibility depending on my impression. It’s true: it only takes one bad customer service experience to impact the revenue of a business, even a large global company like Delta.
I admire Delta’s asking this question because there is a lot riding on the voices of their customer service reps. I appreciate that they care about my experience with them and are taking action to continuously improve.
From solo entrepreneurs to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, all businesses should be asking the same question: Does the voice of my customer service representative(s) make people want to buy my services or products? If the answer is no, the success of that business is at risk.