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Embarrassed silence? This helps against uncomfortable pauses on the phone

A telephone conversation can quickly feel strange as soon as there is even a short pause in the conversation. This silence often occurs when the service employee is, for example, typing something into the computer or waiting for the result of the system. Now comes the big question: should I remain silent or start a small talk?

In this article, we'll tell you 3 tips on how to break the silence on the phone and create memorable communication.

Why do so many people find it so difficult to have a conversation with a stranger? The answer often lies with the person themselves. Often we are simply afraid of being rejected or making fools of ourselves. One might say something wrong. Something that will upset our counterpart. It is in situations of silence that many start to sweat. "What now...", "should I continue speaking now or rather remain silent...".

This behavior is also often found in customer service professions. A job in which you talk to several customers on the phone every day.

Three key factors


Act spontaneously in moments of silence, leave a good impression such as sympathy with the customer.

Positive attitude

Only those who also believe in making a positive difference will actually come across well in the end. Therefore, always keep an optimistic attitude towards yourself to avoid embarrassing situations.


A conversation with strangers requires not only skill but also a lot of courage! Is this something you can acquire? The answer is: YES! Try it with a "To do list" in which you say: Today I try to hold three Small Talks! By all means, don't be humiliated in the process if you don't succeed the first or second time. Your stamina and willpower are much more crucial here!

How to prevent the silence

#1 Explain the situation

Don't leave your customer in the dark. As soon as there is silence, the customer on the other end of the line obviously doesn't know what's going on. Therefore, always keep them up to date to avoid questions like, "Are you still there?" or "Can you still hear me?" from the customer. So if you are in the process of typing information into the computer, feel free to let the customer know. For example, you can say:

"Just a moment please, I am entering some information into our system so I can be of assistance to you".

#2 Build a Personal Connection

A Personal Connection between you and the customer will ensure that a simple transaction turns into a helpful conversation. Building a certain reputation over the phone is no easy task - that's for sure! However, with the right approach, it can work.

Tip 1: If you call your customer directly by name, the call immediately feels more personal and the customer feels taken seriously. Feel free to use the customer's name several times throughout the conversation.

Tip 2: Ask questions If you want to offer their help, this means at the same time that many questions should ask to understand exactly what is to be achieved at the end of the phone call. In addition, you can make recommendations based on your customer's answers. Therefore, good preparation is the key to asking the right questions.

Tip 3: Use your geographic knowledge. Nowadays, customers are served around the world. A personal connection can be made if you know something about the particular place your customer is from. For example, mention a popular dish or something else that is typical of the region.

#3 Ask questions

Any information is worth its weight in gold!

So use this time to ask as many questions as possible that can help you in future proceedings. Information about the customer themselves or even general questions about the process flow in question are some examples. For example, your line of questioning could be:

"I would like to ask you a few more questions while we wait for the system".

Conclusion - be prepared!

A successful interview should be well prepared. Of course, you cannot predict what kind of customer you are about to deal with. Nevertheless, with some key factors, you can prevent embarrassing moments, such as pauses in speech, and keep the conversation from becoming awkward. Always keep one thing in mind: the perfect conversation is casual and relaxed and not forced!

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