If we are in the habit of giving out our phone number, the numbers roll off our tongue with ease, requiring very little thought on our part. The difficulty arises because our listener isn't always mentally or physically prepared for the information. Their brains need to shift gears in order to process and store the numbers that we are able to repeat with little to no effort. When that happens, the client is forced to play back the message (keep in mind that many will have to listen to the entire message just to get to the part where you give your number) in order to write it down. I can tell you there have been times when I have had to play a message several times in order to decipher the number because the person speaking spoke so rapidly - mumbling as they did so - that I couldn't understand them until I had listened to the message over and over. This is a poor communication habit that can alienate your clients.
The solution is so simple - costs you absolutely nothing - and can mean the difference between a customer being satisfied or not with your service.
I suggest two things to improve this aspect of your communication. First, teach your employees that whenever they must leave a message, they begin with - "Hello, this is Chris Mahan with the Mahan 9 Group. My number is 574.453.0572. I'll repeat that at the end of this message." (Using their name, business name and phone number, of course) Second, when reciting your phone number, enunciate clearly and physically write the numbers (with your finger in the air, or with a pen on a piece of paper) matching the speed at which you recite the numbers to the speed at which you are able to write them down.
Beginning your message as I suggest accomplishes two things. The listener knows you are going to give the phone number again at the end of the message so they have time to get a pen and piece of paper so they are prepared to write it down. If they are not able to prepare to write it down by the end of the message, they can replay the message but the phone number is given right up front so they don't have to listen to the entire message again just to get your phone number. It saves them a great deal of frustration.
By physically writing the number as you recite it forces you to slow down, enunciate the numbers and speak at a pace your client will more likely be able to match.
How we communicate with our clients is one of many ways we demonstrate how much we value them. This simple act of leaving our phone number in a way that makes it easy for them to write it down and follow-up can actually speak volumes.
How is the communication within your business? Are you effectively communicating a consistent message to your customers in all of your spoken and written communiques? How about the intra-office communication among your employees? Is it effective and productive or dysfunctional and counterproductive. The Mahan 9 Group can perform a communication audit and help you identify areas where your communication can be improved. Contact us to learn more.