Raise your hand if you have been in this situation while on the phone to a call center:

Your contact person is trying to input your name or address and in an effort to be helpful they begin to spell it out by saying things like ‘S for sand’, or ‘B for bear’. This would all be a great help except some of the words they use aren’t clear and you spend precious minutes trying to sort out whether they meant ‘C for cirrus’ or ‘S for serious’.

Save time and confusion for your own phone contact staff by getting everybody familiar with the phonetic alphabet – using this clear method of conveying information will save time, keep call time down and create happier customers and employees.

There are three key reasons why the Phonetic Alphabet is king.

  • Each word starts with the letter needed.
  • Each word is phonetically correct.
  • No two words in the alphabet sound alike.

Keep in mind that this is the method the military uses to transmit information, and has the military ever been wrong? Yes … but not about this!

In a war zone there is no time to repeat information, it must be right the first time.
This alphabet was designed to be clearly and quickly understood by speaker and receiver alike through heavy gunfire and bombing. So surely it can be an asset to the much less risky yet busy hum of your business.

This can be as simple as taping the alphabet next to the phone, or using a program to convert text into the correct phonetic alphabet for you; there are even free sites that will do it for you online!

While it’s true that your contact team aren’t facing the life and death situations of a solider on the frontline, they are on dealing with the customer frontline. Showing a professional, organised and more importantly clear and communicative face to your company can only benefit your business.

Use the phonetic alphabet for better calls and understanding with customers.

Phonetic Alphabet

A – Alpha (AL fah)

B – Bravo (BRAH voh)

C – Charlie (CHAR lee)

D – Delta (DELL tah)

E – Echo (ECK oh)

F – Foxtrot (FOKS trot)

G – Golf (GOLF)

H – Hotel (hoh TELL)

I – India (IN dee ah)

J – Juliett (JEW lee ETT)

K – Kilo (KEY loh)

L – Lima (LEE mah)

M – Mike (MIKE)

N – November (no VEM ber)

O – Oscar (OSS cah)

P – Papa (pah PAH)

Q – Quebec (keh BECK)

R – Romeo (ROW me oh)

S – Sierra (see AIR rah)

T – Tango (TANG go)

U – Uniform (YOU nee form)

V – Victor (VIK tah)

W – Whiskey (WISS key)

X – X-ray (ECKS ray)

Y – Yankee (YANG kee)

Z – Zulu (ZOO loo)