Why Call Center Staff Should Smile (and How to Encourage Them to Do So)

The most important rule of customer service is to smile. This is an obvious tip for in-person customer service employees, but did you know that smiling is also useful for call center customer service representatives? You may have thought that if a customer can’t see your face, it doesn’t matter whether or not you smile, but experts think it makes a difference. Read on to learn why your call center staff should smile and how to encourage them to do so.

To Start: Some Basic Facts

A cloud contact call center is a great way to offer exceptional customer service while also saving money and streamlining processes. For example, Aspect provides contact center solutions that enable you to avoid upfront capital for equipment and costly technology. It also helps your employees give personalized service because they can have all of the necessary information about the customer in front of them no matter what channel they are using to communicate with the customer.

However, having the best technology can’t make up for not having happy, friendly and helpful employees. Before we get into how a smile can make or break customer service, let’s have a peek at some facts about the smile:

  • Women tend to smile more than men.
  • When people are lying, they tend to smile less than when telling the truth.
  • Darwin was one of the first to study the smile and discovered that smiling is universal, unlike other actions such as body language or verbal communication. He also determined that a smile offers a greater sign of happiness than laughter.
  • Researchers have linked smiling to changes in the body, including emotions and heart rate.

All of these facts go to show that our brains react to what our bodies are doing. So whether you’re feeling happy or not, your brain will interpret happiness when you smile and your mood will follow suit.

How Smiling Improves Customer Service

In sales, the “smile and dial” tactic was derived from the science behind smiling on the phone. Studies show that people can tell whether someone is smiling or not by the tone of their voice. They can even hear the different types of smiles.

This goes to show that a smile does affect how we talk. Over 80 percent of a phone message is gleaned from our tone of voice, reports CTS Services, so ensuring that your call center agents smile is crucial.

Tips for Encouraging Your Employees to Smile

  • Share the research with them: Sharing facts about how smiling is linked to better customer service may be enough to encourage staffers to try it out for themselves.
  • Have them look at a mirror image: Hang mirrors at their desks so they can see whether they’re smiling or not. This is a great way for employees to remind themselves to do it.
  • Hang signs that remind them: Provide signs that agents can place at their desks with friendly reminders, such as, “Are you smiling?” or “Smile before you dial.” A little encouragement can go a long way.
  • Include it in your training: Offer training where employees get in the habit of smiling on customer service calls. Make this a focal point in your business.
  • Make work happier: Happy people tend to smile more, so make your call center a happy, positive place. Whether you offer free snacks, an extended lunch break or positive feedback, do what you can to encourage a smile.