If someone is praising you verbally and he has a scowl on his face, then how would you interpret this? Have you seen a well-known romantic comedy – Hitch? Its opening scene is well crafted, including a monologue of Will Smith. He says, “60% of all human communication is nonverbal, body language; 30% is your tone. So that means that 90% of what you’re saying ain’t coming out of your mouth.”
Pretty amazing, right? These statistics were generated on the basis of a communication theory developed by UCLA professor, Albert Mehrabian, in 1960. Since then, he has pioneered the understanding of communication. Let’s have a look at this model:
His research shows that the participants were able to interpret messages better when accompanied with physical gestures and verbal tones as compared to passive or neutral body language.
In today’s scenario, the communication model of Mehrabian is quite relevant to customer services. The body language and verbal communication are the two most crucial components of customer service. Without them, one cannot successfully support consumers.
In this straightforward guide we will discuss the role of body language in customer service, its importance, and some of the best practices you can implement to improve your customer services.
Importance & Role of Body Language in Customer Service
As highlighted above, 90% of the communication is through body language as well as voice tones. Therefore, your consumers are more likely to react to how you say things to them, rather than what you say. Your nonverbal language will certainly affect the reactions of your customers. Therefore, it is extremely essential for the sales representatives to improve their body language skills for providing consistent and delightful support experiences to the consumers.
Even if you are interacting with your customers over the phone, you need to pay attention to your voice tone and body language. You might be thinking that the customer on the other side of the phone cannot see your physical gestures; therefore, what is the use of improving body language skills. Well, just because the person on the other side of the line cannot see you, doesn’t mean that your body language isn’t at work. It will reflect in your vocabulary or tone of voice. When you are tensed or frustrated, you are more likely to use the vocabulary and voice tone that will reflect such emotions. If you are optimistic and relaxed, you might use a pleasing vocabulary and voice tone. Moreover, you will be more empathetic to your customers’ problems even if you are just chatting with them.
Now that we have become cognizant of the importance and role of body language in customer service, let’s emphasize some best practices for improving it:
8 Best Practices to Improve Body Language for Customer Services
Maintain the Eye Contact
Always make eye contact with the customers, whether you are speaking to them or they are saying something to you. By maintaining eye contact while you are speaking, you will be able to reflect your confidence to the customers, which may lead you to earn their trust. In addition, if you maintain eye contact while your customers are speaking, it ensures that you are carefully listening to them and paying attention to their problems.
Your facial expressions also affect the whole communication. When you express compassion and empathy on your face, it shows them that you actually care for their problems.
Improve Your Postures
The way you sit, stand, walk, etc. also affects the consumers’ reaction. Your posture is directly related to your confidence, especially in customer service. Therefore, in order to appear more confident to your customers, you need to practice good postures. The more good posture you have, the more confident you will appear. It will certainly make the customers trust your abilities and solutions, especially if the situations are too complicated for your consumers.
Smile at Appropriate Times
You should never let go of the opportunity to smile with your customers. Smiling when it is appropriate, reflects that you are happy to help your customers. Moreover, it also reflects your optimistic feelings about the customer’s case. If you are showing your unwilling or pessimistic behavior, then the customer will certainly think that you are not interested in solving their problems.
Limit Unnecessary Movements
How would you feel when you want to say something important to someone, and all he is doing is moving here and there? You will probably feel frustrated and may think that the person is not at all interested in your talks. Isn’t so? The same goes for customer service. Making unnecessary movements can distract the customers from the case, or in worse cases, it can reflect that you are not interested in the conversation and more focused on other tasks.
Therefore, whenever you are attending your customers, try to avoid unnecessary movements. Stand or sit still and limit your motions to your hands. By using hand gestures, you can effectively convey your enthusiasm for the case. However, always keep in mind that over-use of hand gestures can distract your consumers.
Keep Your Stance Open
By keeping an open stance, you appear more approachable to the consumers. Instead of running away, face the customers, and engage with them. Always keep in mind all the tips of keeping your stance open when a customer approaches you.
Be Aware of Your Tone
Your tone of voice can dramatically affect how your consumers interpret your message. It’s always crucial to be conscious of your tone, especially when things aren’t going as planned. If you will be too enthusiastic, that may reflect that you are insincere. Whereas, if your tone is monotonic, it may reflect that you are not interested. Therefore, find a suitable medium to communicate with your customers. Be friendly, but at the same time maintain the professionalism of your tone.
Avoid Crossing Your Arms
Sometimes, crossing your arms may give the wrong message to the consumers. It may seem intimidating and as if, you are persuading the customers rather than helping them. Therefore, always try to avoid crossing your arms and keep them by your sides.
Speak with Clarity, Loudness, and Confidence
Your loud and clear voice indicates your confidence. Make sure to speak clearly rather than mumbling in a slow voice. Always pay attention to the pace, as many customers can get confused if you will talk too quickly.
Start practicing these eight tips and witness the change in the quality of your customer services.