No Image Available

Seb Anthony

Read more from Seb Anthony

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Soft Skills for swithboard operators


I'm currently at a loss as to writing soft skills material for swithboard operators. Average call will be around 15 seconds. Listening skills and articulation excercises are written, however I'm struggling with what else to add. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Darren Gallagher

4 Responses

  1. A Fun Exercise
    I had a similar remit and came up with an exercise which was fun but got across a serious point at the same time. With a call time of 15 seconds we timed how much of that was answering and greeting – which was essentially the most important part for this company. Together we timed each person answering and greeting and it was something like 1.5 seconds; then I asked them to do it faster which caused much hilarity, then I asked them to do it as slowly as possible…more laughter ensued. The group deduced they could afford more time then 1.5 seconds for greeting callers and that it created a more pleasant experience for the caller and them. Hope this is of use.
    Nicola Smith
    Oddball Training

  2. Thankyou!
    Hi Nicola. This sounds great. I’ve been banging my head against a wall for a few days now. Thankyou.

  3. Smile!
    Darren, I’ve never trained on these skills – but I did once work on a customer care line.

    The cliche about smiling on the phone really is true.

    I used to keep a cartoon of myself with a beaming smile stuck to the screen; if I’d had a stressful call it was a great way to put the call behind me and smile for the next person.

    So from a training perspective, perhaps you could have a short session where you task your learners to suggest ways to make sure they’re smiling at the start of the session and/or call.

    Maybe an energiser getting everyone to stretch their facial muscles by pulling a series of faces – so long as the last one’s a smile?

  4. 15 seconds – activities
    Having once been asked to prepare staff to build lifelong customer relationships in three minutes I can appreciate the problem you are facing here.

    Whilst 15 seconds sounds like a short time it is plenty of time to establish early rapport through pacing of speed, volume and tone of voice.

    A quick exercise would be to pair up and ask the switch operator to pace the caller coming through.

    Then ask the caller what they felt about the call.

    A really good exercise is to ask the group to identify an organisation or two that they would like to test out re initial response.

    Often the members of the group use this to make a real call anyway about a new car, complaint or other enquiry.

    Get each person to call the organisation with the call on load speaker.

    The rest of the group will listen into the call and if you have a call observation instrument you can get them all to assess the call response.

    There is usually a lot of really powerful learning from this exercise including a lot of “that’s what I do and it sound really good/bad”



Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!