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Listening & Telephone Therapy

Listening & Telephone Therapy

One of the most frustrating tasks during my twenty plus years in customer service management was quantifying behaviors, i.e., how and why some were better than others.

Some things just seem right in the world of customer service. I was not always able to prove why – that is just the way it was.

I urged agents in my employ for years to allow an upset customer to vent. My directive was based on what I had learned during years of handling challenging telephone calls. “Venting is therapeutic,” I would say.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published an elaborate study on the benefits of psychotherapy using the telephone. A psychiatrist at the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle reported that 80 percent of patients who received telephone therapy along with antidepressants indicated that their depression was “much improved” six months later, compared to 55 percent of those who received medication alone.

The inception of the telephone therapy study was in response to the increasing number of patients who failed to maintain their in-person counseling sessions long enough to detect any benefits. One out of every four patients attending in-person psychotherapy drop out after just one session; fully half would cease treatment altogether by the fourth session.

Watch the below video to learn more about listening.

80 percent of patients who received telephone therapy along with antidepressants indicated that their depression was “much improved” six months later.

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A psychiatrist responded to this trend by contacting their patients by telephone to find out whether that method made it easier for them to continue with their treatment sessions. It did. The resulting telephone therapy study provided clinical proof about something that I have known intrinsically for decades.

What makes the telephone such a powerful therapy tool? I believe it is the amount of imaging that a good telephone voice is able to convey. Eighty percent of what a telephone service professional conveys is in his or her tone of voice.

The cost of ignorance is far greater than the cost of training.

The content or words comprise the remaining 20%. The tone of voice reveals much about an individual, their intent, and their demeanor. For more information on vocal imaging and the tone of voice, check out the World Class Service DVD in our online store.

Service organizations not leveraging their telephone therapy potential are costing their company money. It is my firm conviction that the cost of ignorance is far greater than the cost of training. Improve the skills level at your service operations and maximize the ability of your agents to provide psychotherapy over the telephone.

So the next time you sense that you are providing therapy to one of your customers over the phone – you are.

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Steve Coscia

The road from professional musician to thirty-year customer service veteran to best-selling author and speaker is not a typical career path, but Steve Coscia may have started a new trend.

Coscia is one of the most widely published and quoted authorities in the customer service industry. He has published more than 200 articles, four books and a series of training DVDs. His college curriculum is taught at institutions of higher learning throughout the United States and Canada.

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