There’s an episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Dr. Amelia Shephered is about to do one of the most difficult surgeries in her career. She’s terrified because of how much the patient means to her and the fact that so many things can go wrong. Before entering the operating theater, she stands in the prep room in a superhero pose.
A medical resident walks in and asks, “What is happening?”
Amelia responds, “I’m being a superhero. There’s a scientific study that shows that if you stand in a superhero pose for five minutes before a really hard task, you’ll not only feel more confident, but you’ll also perform measurably better.”
The intern joins her, and, interestingly enough, the surgery goes well.
Amelia is right — there’s a study that highlights the benefits of the superhero pose, but it has been shrouded in controversy, and there have been calls for more detailed research. Regardless, there’s no denying the psychological impact of how adjusting your physical state can impact your mental state.
Similarly, smiling behind the phone can affect your attitude and, therefore, provide a better customer experience. In this article, we’re diving deeper into the science behind smiling so that you and your team can provide the best possible experience to your customers.
3 Benefits of Answering the Phone With a Smile
A study conducted by Microsoft shows that “90% of customers continue to place a high value on the quality of customer service when choosing or remaining loyal to a brand.” The same study shows that most customers continue to use phone interactions as their preferred channel to contact customer service.
Many factors impact customer experience, one of them being how team members respond to calls. Phone calls offer opportunities for more organic conversations, but they also make verbal cues, such as tone of voice, more prominent. Here are three ways science proves that smiling not only impacts your tone of voice but also improves the overall customer experience.
Smiling improves your mood
Smiling causes a chemical reaction in the brain that leads to the release of ‘feel good’ hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Having that ‘feel good’ vibe when talking to customers helps keep your team level-headed so that they can handle problems appropriately. They may even transfer that improved mood to your customer on the other end of the conversation. Remember that your ability to provide a great customer experience gives you a competitive advantage as a small business owner.
Smiling makes it easier to handle stress
Your receptionists are the first people your customers speak to when they call your office. They sometimes work with difficult customers and have to quickly resolve issues on their own where possible. Depending on how busy your office is, this situation can produce a lot of stress and present a greater risk of your receptionists taking out that stress in some way on your customers.
You can do many things to help your receptionists better manage the stress of their jobs. One possible solution comes from a study done by psychologists from the University of Kansas — smiling can help reduce stress. Sure, it’s not the cure for stress, but it can offer relief for “brief, acute stressors for short periods of time or as an antidote to a passing negative mood,” according to Sara Pressman, one of the psychologists involved in the research.
Smiling puts customers at ease
There’s a principle called emotive perception where we mimic the emotions we perceive. Although typically highlighted in face-to-face contexts, emotive perception can also occur during telephone conversations. Customers can’t see a receptionist’s smile, but their perception of a smile based on the receptionist’s tone can make them happier.
Smiledog’s Receptionists Answer Calls With a Smile
The three benefits of smiling on the phone help you and your team better connect with your customers. That’s why it’s so important to train your receptionists to answer the phone professionally and with a smile. Their smiles are just like the superhero pose giving them the drive they need to offer the best possible customer service.
Don’t have a virtual receptionist yet? Smiledog has a team of virtual receptionists who know how to answer calls with a smile and put your customers at ease. Connect with one of our virtual receptionists today.