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Banish Awkward Silences By Asking This Question - Conversational - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Banish Awkward Silences By Asking This Question

You’re at a networking event, surrounded by smart and capable people that you’d love to know better. You start talking to another business owner and at first, the conversation is going fine. What business are you in? How’d you get your start? Where are you from? But once these preliminary questions are answered and you’ve both run out of things to say, the dreaded awkward silences ensue.

You know the ones – possibly only 3-5 seconds long, but lasting an eternity in your mind. An awkward, soul-crushing eternity that you’re sure makes you look uninteresting and strange to your conversation partner.

But remember this: They’re part of the awkward silences, too. They’re just as uncomfortable about them as you are.


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Banish awkward silences by asking this question

The good news? There’s a way to banish awkward silences from your conversations forever. That’s not a generalization. Once you learn the right questions to ask to keep the conversation moving naturally, you’ll never have to worry about the dreaded long pause again.

Banish awkward silences by asking detailed questions instead of the traditional “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?”

  • How did you end up in (this city/country)?
  • What do you like about (this city)?
  • Did you always think you’d end up doing (this career)?
  • Any restaurant recommendations or must-see attractions in (their past city)?

By delving a bit deeper (not too deep – notice that these questions just scrape the surface of the other person’s life) instead of just asking the traditional “small talk” questions, you avoid the traditional small talk awkward silences.

You open up the conversation and give it a range of possibilities through which it can take off. Now, you two can talk about your hopes and dreams, your disappointments and goals, your hobbies and pastimes instead of just naming the city in which you grew up or the industry you work in.

Another important tip for keeping the conversation flowing naturally and not peppering the other person with seemingly random questions just to keep talking? Know what they’re really asking when they ask you a question.

Know what they’re really asking

At the heart of every question someone asks is a desire to know more. Sure, we’re conditioned to ask the same types of questions upon meeting someone, but it’s more than that.

There’s a reason we ask someone where they’re from or what they do.

If you can give a deeper answer to the seemingly top-level questions people ask, you give yourself and your new conversation partner “talking fuel.” Not just mindless, empty chatter, but serious, get-to-know-me talking fuel.

And how can you give a deeper answer to a seemingly superficial question? By knowing what they’re really asking.

We loved this useful, enlightening example from Charisma on Command:

  1. They say: “Where are you from?” (Act as though they asked “Why did you wind up where you are today?”)
  2. They say “What do you do?” (Act as though they asked “Why do you spend your time doing what you do?”)

This is a great tip to use in conversation because while the other person may not have read this article and learned how to avoid asking dead-end questions that lead to awkward silences, you have. You can apply what you’ve learned to read deeper into the questions they ask you, giving an answer that will keep the conversation flowing rather than stalling it.

There’s one final tip for ensuring awkward silences disappear from your conversations forever. This one takes about 5 minutes, but trust us – it’s worth it.

The essence of you in bullet points

What’s the point of another person conversing with you? Getting to know you better. Learning more about you. Understanding what makes you tick. Think back on the best, most interesting conversations you’ve had – the ones that you didn’t want to end. They probably involved each of you talking about the very essence of yourselves – what you believe, what you have faith in, what you fear, what you know well.

Now, with that in mind, sit down with a blank sheet of paper or a new document. Brainstorm about the essence of you, what makes you who you are. What do you want people to know about you, to sense from you when they speak to you? Now, write them down in no particular order.

Your top 5 traits, values, interests

Once you’ve got your self-descriptors written down, it’s time to prune them down to just 5. Sort them in the order of importance to you.

Which is the trait/hobby/value that you want people to sense first? It might be friendliness, desire to innovate, boldness, etc. Write that down in the number one spot. Do the same for the next 4.

Now, you’ve got a functional list of the things you want people to know about you when they speak to you.

The final step is coming up with some sample statements and answers to questions you might use to reinforce these values, traits, or interests.

For example, if I want people to see me as an intensely friendly person, when they ask me “Why’d you move to Atlanta?” I might say:

“You know, I loved New York City and the fast pace there, but I really missed the friendliness of the people in Atlanta. I like to be able to smile at people I pass on the street, or just spark a conversation with a stranger without being suspected of something malicious. Do you know what I mean?”

An answer like this communicates your values to other person clearly, offers them an opening to respond with a deeper answer, and forges a connection between you and your conversation partner.

  • Brainstorm what you consider the “essence” of you
  • Pare them down to your top 5 values/traits/interests
  • Come up with sample answers to questions and statements that support these

Try these tips in your next “small talk” scenario. We think they will help you banish awkward silences forever. Do you have any additional tips you use for starting and keeping conversations flowing? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

Source: https://www.conversational.com/banish-awkward-silences-asking-question/

Publish Date: July 1, 2016


2021 Buyers Guide Cloud Contact Center Solutions

Page: 1234
1.) 
Premium Listing
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

2.) 
Premium Listing
iNextrix Technologies

iCallify
iCallify: intelligent call center software is one of the most popular products offered by iNextrix. iCallify is developed using cutting edge technologies as well as the predictive sphere of artificial intelligence. This call center software has some intelligent features along with the standard features available in other call center solutions. Thus, it is truly an intelligent call center software solution.
This intelligent call center software is built to benefit all businesses, no matter what industry vertical they belong to. This call center software has features to empower different campaigns in different call centers and businesses.


3.) 
Accordia Solution

Accordia Solution CIS
Accordia Solution is an innovative developer of seamlessly integrated cost-effective omnichannel Contact Center Solutions specifically targeted at the micro, small and medium operations.Our core business model involves the development and marketing of IP Telephony and IP Contact Center Solutions. We also strive to develop customer interaction solutions which include contact center and customer relationship management (CRM) that enhances Customer Experience Of The Future (CEOTF) and optimizes agent productivity.

Our flagship product, the Accordia Customer Interaction Suites (CIS), offers comprehensive functionality by helping your business meet and exceed the level of service in line with...
(read more)

4.) 
Adversus Dialer

Adverus Dialer
Adversus is a web-based dialer and practical CRM solution for telemarketing, fundraising, and appointment scheduling businesses.

5.) 
Alcor Consulting, Inc.

HoduCC/VoipCor
Omnichannel contact center platform which can be deployed on-premise, private cloud or public cloud subscription. Our contact center provides all of the modern features expected in a full contact center solution. Includes voice, SMS, chat, email, and social media integration. Built-in integrations for all major CRM's (Plus a built-in CRM). Survey module and QA module are also available.

6.) 
Alvaria

Alvaria Cloud
Alvaria Cloud is the only enterprise cloud contact center solution that allows you to adopt best-of-breed Customer Experience (CX) and Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) applications modularly. Start with one or more applications and then add applications with ease when ready for additional capabilities, as your needs change. With the Alvaria Cloud Platform, you have the advantage of knowing that all provisioning, security, user management and other administrative tasks are already configured and in place.

7.) 
Alvaria

Noble Contact Center
Noble offers a modern communications platform for optimizing all customer interaction. Put Noble’s unified platform to work for you — building performance and productivity, improving the quality and effectiveness of customer contacts, and reducing costs. With the critical software technologies that contact centres need most, our solutions provide seamless integration to existing corporate environments, reduce your learning curve and protect your technology investments.

8.) 
Amtelco

Genesis Intelligent Series
Genesis is the latest advancement in Amtelco’s long line of call center solutions. This call center technology is entirely software-based and virtualized, with cloud-based capability. Genesis provides skills-based automatic call distribution (ACD), built-in speech recognition, text-to-speech (TTS), and voice services to improve call routing and management.

9.) 
Arise Virtual Solutions

The Arise Platform
Arise is a pioneer of on-demand customer management business process outsourcing solutions, headquartered in Florida. Through the cloud-based Arise Platform, Fortune 50 and other companies connect to Service Partners who deliver authentic, loyalty-building interactions with their customers. Delivering radical flexibility to meet even extreme contact volume fluctuations, the award-winning Arise Platform is an innovative alternative to the traditional contact center.

10.) 
Astute Solutions

Astute Agent
Astute Agent gives your agents everything they need to work cases confidently and efficiently. This modern case management CRM is the preferred choice for Consumer Relations and Customer Care teams who support some of the world’s most prestigious brands.

Astute Agent balances agent efficiency with customer experience. Here’s how:

- Automated email responses
Using natural language processing, Astute Agent reads incoming customer emails and automatically supplies a response to agents to review and send.

- Auto-populated case fields
AI capabilities automatically suggest reason codes, product codes, and other case information, saving agents minutes per case.

- Time-saving case feat...
(read more)

11.) 
Britannic Technologies

INBOX
INBOX allows any digital interaction to be blended into single or multiple queues with zero service interruption with implementation. Organising them by business context with smart tagging and search filters, the events can be automatically prioritised and categorised. Automating the route to the correct agent or business orchestration rule. It also connects with all your social media channels, enabling you to respond and route accordingly in real-time. Customer sentiment is also indicated. Use it to measure trends across your business or by a single event so that your agents can easily prioritise responses.

12.) 
Brook Trout Solutions

CCaaS, SIP Trunking, SD WAN, Interconnectivity
Brook Trout Solutions provides Technology Guide services to help Contact Centers to the best possible solution for their business. This includes:
CCaaS: Talk Desk, Five 9s, Nice, Genesys and more
SIP Trunks: Many Global Providers to lower cost and improve operational efficiency
SD WAN: Connect to customers rapidly with the latest network technology to scale with flexibility.
Our service are at no cost to our customers. We look forward to meeting you!

13.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

CallTrackingMetrics is the only contact center solution with marketing attribution software built in. Our powerful UCaaS platform lets you know upfront who is calling in, what campaigns they were referencing, and their previous history with your company. Partnering this data with tools to automate and streamline your team’s workflow frees you up to focus on truly delighting your customers.

Conditionally direct calls, texts, chats and forms based on:

• Actions the customer has taken on your website
• Whether they’ve previously contacted your business
• Which agent they last interacted with
• Custom criteria unique to your business needs
• The location nearest to your customer

Say...
(read more)

14.) 
CallShaper

CallShaper
Welcome to CallShaper – Harnessing the Power of the Cloud for Greater Sales Efficiency
For sales-based call centers, where margins are so tight, it’s all about closing. Thanks to CallShaper, inbound or outbound call center directors can have a dynamic, highly flexible platform that enables sales agents to focus on making the sale.

Thanks to CallShaper’s flexibility, call center directors who are managing multiple vendors from multiple locations can have everything they need on one platform that offers 99.999% reliability. And when it comes to reporting, CallShaper has no equal in providing real-time transparency.

With CallShaper, clients quickly find that they are better able to manage efficiencies at the sales rep level – and make more money!

15.) 
Cloud Call Center Search

From AI - WFO and everything in between!
Cloud Call Center Search has spent hundreds of hours evaluating and vetting leading cloud software applications (Omni-Channel, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Workforce Management and many others) and their actual use in the trenches with real-world clients. As a result, we understand the strengths and weaknesses of cloud-based call center software solutions. At NO charge, Cloud Call Center Search will match your organization with the cloud software providers that are the best fit to drive positive ROI in your customer experience, sales, and back-office operations.

16.) 
Cloud IT Services GmbH

Dialfire
Dialfire offers you a complete call center solution that is simple and intuitive to use and adapts to your needs. It's completely cloud-based, saving you the hassle of setting up a phone system and installing software. In addition to predictive dialing and call blending of inbound calls, you can create personalized campaigns through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. Features include automated workflows and full control over the agent screen.

You can see the full list of features here:

17.) 
Connex One

Cloud contact centre technology with built in gamification tools, workforce optimiser, omni-channel, speech analytics, artificial intelligence, quality assurance, PCI-DSS payment platform, form builder and much more features. All seamlessly integrating with almost 100% of your inhouse applications & CRM systems - creating one powerful workflow platform. Increasing productivity, customer engagement, saving you cost. Available in opex model - pay per license per month. No binding contracts with NO cost for 24/7/365 support and full training with built in SLA.

18.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium AWS and Amazon Connect Offering
Imagine a cloud-based contact center that can make customer engagement easy, deliver answers, assistance, and resolutions in a very personal manner, and in the context of your customers’ actions. Amazon Connect is a self-service, cloud-based contact center that provides a seamless omnichannel experience through a single unified platform for voice and chat. Contact center agents and managers don’t have to learn multiple tools, because Amazon Connect has the same contact routing, queuing, analytics, and management tools in a single UI across voice, chat, and mobile interface. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully...
(read more)

19.) 
contactSPACE

contactSPACE
Cloud contact software that makes customer contact pain free, so your team aren’t worrying about complex technology and can focus on what they do best. Take control, and design the perfect agent interface with a drag-n-drop visual editor. Combined with AI, leverage data-driven contact strategies to ensure the right agent is contacting your customers at the right time & on the right channel.

20.) 
Content Guru

𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺®
Content Guru makes engagement easy. A global leader in cloud communications solutions, we deliver off-the-shelf and bespoke customer engagement and cloud contact centre services, through the multi-award-winning 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺® platform.

Europe’s largest Customer Engagement and Experience platform, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺, brings together intelligent automation, third-party systems integration, and on-demand scalability to enhance all customer communication functions. With true omni-channel engagement capabilities, 𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗺 gives organisations the power to create consistent and seamless experiences for customers, inspiring loyalty and powering success.
 
Page: 1234



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