Smile While You Dial

If you have ever worked in a call center or on the end of a telephone, then someone, somewhere, will have utter these words to you.

Smile while you dial.

It is such a simple phrase and it is really overused by the stereo-typical sales managers, who are trying to not become David Brent, whilst doing their best David Brent impression.

I hate the phrase and I know that when I call up a business, that the second before they answer my call, they are thinking of the phrase. It is a pretty simple theory on life. If you are happy, then the person you are talking to will also be happy. If you smile, then you can hear this in your voice. It brightens up your words and makes people want to speak to you more.

So when I called my phone company to ask about why my contract was going to increase in price, but not in usage allowances, i was prepared for the fake smile. I knew that they would have been pre-programmed to try and be nice to me. They would try and win me over. I knew it. I knew what they were going to be trying.

Then I actually started to talk to Mike. You can tell that this went one of two ways, as I remember his name. Mike listened to my problem and he listened to me complain. He didn’t just go ‘yeah, ahuh, yeah’. Mike offered me a solution straight away.

There had not been an error. The system was correct and the tariff I was on was increasing in price because they didn’t want to run it anymore. They wanted me to move away from it. Mike was honest, he told me why and that there was a better deal for me.

In truth it wasn’t what Mike did or said that mattered. A phone contract is not the end of the world and the way that I don’t really notice the £35 each month, tells me that I accepted this as the true cost of owning a mobile a long time ago.

It was more the things he said around the issues. We had a chat about the random things in life, he genuinely seemed interest in the rest of my day and not just the issue at hand. Whilst he was working through his systems, he was absent-mindedly talking to me about a lot of other stuff.

It has actually changed my view of the people who work on the end of the phones in call centers. The next time I head to and find the number I need to talk to yet another business, then I will be calling them with a smile on my face.

Maybe there’s a lot more in the ‘Smile while you dial’ thing than I really thought.

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