Show customers you care by matching their tone.

Reading time:

When answering the phone, you probably do your best to sound positive and upbeat – an excellent default no doubt! We often think of these tones as being synonymous with great service, and they usually are, but some situations call for a different approach. If you sound happy for every single caller — no matter the circumstance — you risk coming across as robotic, providing the same cookie cutter experience to everyone.

Where’s the personal touch? Where’s the empathy?

Without visual cues like body language and gestures, tone of voice can be especially important over the phone and has the potential to help, or hinder, caller connections.

Think of a time when you called a business to complain and consider the response you received. If the person didn’t display any sense of urgency or if they didn’t sound concerned about your frustration, the words they were actually saying to you probably didn’t matter. On the other hand, when someone matches your tone, you start to feel that they are truly on your side.

Some people are tone-matching naturals and do it without thinking, while others experience true empathetic connections but have a hard time using voice to express it. Luckily, this is a skill anyone can learn. It just takes a little practice, so here are some tips to get started!

  • Listen. Simply listen to a caller’s tone and adopt the same. If they sound chipper, amp it up a little! If they’re having a hard day, a more serious tone might be appropriate. A slow talker will probably feel more comfortable if you take it down a notch too.
  • Exercise kindness. Be careful not to match frustration with frustration or anger with anger. An underlying tone of friendliness is a must no matter what state the caller is in.
  • Be wise with word choice. “Have a wonderful day!” is the perfect thing to say at the end of most calls, but to an unhappy caller that might sound trivializing. Instead thank them for calling, offer additional assistance, or tell them you hope their day turns around.

By tailoring your tone of voice for each caller, whether they’re happy or serious, in a hurry or relaxed, you’ll show that you understand their situation and that it matters to you. It’s a great way to give a personalized experience that’s sure to make your callers feel cared for and important.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Circular cutout of Rebecca Grimes, Ruby's Chief Revenue Officer

A conversation with Ruby’s Chief Revenue Officer, Rebecca Grimes

Woman in yellow sweater working in front of open laptop, sitting in home office interior, drinking coffee
Small Business Tips

Happy customers, efficient businesses: How to supercharge growth with virtual receptionists 

Help wanted sign hung in reflective window
Small Business Tips

Using online presence platforms for recruitment

A man in silhouette looks out over a foggy mountain range
Small Business Tips

How to communicate with employees during times of tension

Close-up: professional with blonde pompadour has a conversation over the phone in a co-working space with red walls
Receptionist Tips

How to keep a conversation going

Title card: Leveraging Customer Service as a Value Proposition, with Melinda Emerson, Kate Winkler, and Sharie Hendricks
Small Business Tips

Customer service tips and more from Ruby + SmallBizLady

A white-bearded man looks beyond the frame with a happily surprised expression on his face
Small Business Tips

This is what wow-worthy customer service looks like.

A woman in yellow overalls sits on a hardwood floor among houseplants with a closed laptop, her hands behind her head
Small Business Tips

Achieve remote work bliss with Ruby.

Title card with Sam's headshot: Ruby customer feature series, Sam Hainey, Hilltop Law Firm
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Sam Hainey, Hilltop Law Firm

A man in a blue and white-striped shirt looks through binoculars at the open sea
Small Business Tips

Sick of losing sales? How to find the perfect leads for your business

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.

Legal_Final

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!