I read an article a few years ago about being friendly in an attempt to deliver better customer service. Shortly after that, I put a smiley face on my keyboard next to the phone. It is to help remind me to answer the phone with a smile in my voice. I don’t always feel like doing that. I get tired or frustrated or distracted like everyone else.
I also try to be upbeat in the emails I craft or the responses I give. However, sometimes they are direct and very blunt, just to get the task completed.
People do business with people they like. That is not a new concept. Obviously the quality of service or product has to be right as does the price point. That is true for suppliers as well as coworkers.
Today there is a great deal of interaction that takes place via video conferencing and social media. I know when I am concentrating, I look very serious - almost angry. This article in the Wall Street Journal discusses how to succeed in today’s environment and why likability matters.
The article reviews factors are not new but it absolutely helped to see them as a refresher.
Make eye contact: On video calls, and certainly in person, look at the speaker. Don’t be checking emails or looking around. I remember being on a date with someone who was always looking elsewhere. Needless to say, we did not continue dating for long.
Smile: It does have to be natural. For me, I will have to remember to do this when I am really focused and concentrating. Then I won’t scare people away!
Tone of voice: Make sure it has various levels of tone and volume. Make sure your presentation or response has inflection and energy.
Listen: This is a big one and often very overlooked. We can talk over each other as there is sometimes a delay in the transmission. Demonstrate that you are listening to the other person and respect their input.
Have you found the new use of technology and social media to alter your approach? Any suggestions for your peers in procurement?
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