When I answer the phone, my standard greeting is either “Hello?” or “This is Beth.” I cannot recall which one I used this morning when my phone rang, but the caller immediately asked, “What’s wrong?”
Nothing was wrong, but I’m pretty sure I was irritated by a text I had just received from one of my daughters, and that tone came through in my greeting.
You’ve heard me say that it’s just as important to compose yourself with a smile before you greet a customer on the phone as it is in the store. But here’s something else…
Right after I finished the phone conversation–most of it spent convincing the caller that there was indeed nothing ‘wrong’–I wrote an email. The response I received? “What’s wrong?”
I know tone is difficult to detect in emails and texts, but now I’m convinced that if I compose myself, adjust my attitude and smile before I begin typing my message, the person reading it can tell. If I’m smiling when I compose an email, I often find myself adding more exclamation points than I traditionally use. (None.) And even though I hate myself a little when I use them, the reader is not left to wonder about my dry tone.
So today, spend a few seconds conjuring up a smile before you greet a customer–in the store, on the phone, or through correspondence. I think it will make a difference in the way you both behave.
Also, even though this headline claims that I was smiling when I wrote this, I really wasn’t. See? You could you tell, couldn’t you?