How Pulling Away for 3 Hours a Week Can Actually Make You More Productive

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Every week I set aside three uninterrupted hours to work on me. In this “Strategic Block,” a term coined in the book “12 Week Year,” I don’t allow emails, calls, or meetings, and no regular business tasks. I focus solely on personal or professional development.

Pulling back from the hustle and grind to self-develop gives me energy and creativity to come back and own my week, and I promise you, this exercise will help you boss up, too.

In this week’s Strategic Block, I’m working my way through week eight of the twelve-week “Artist’s Way” course, while I explore a new coffee, “Oddly Correct.”

Here are some things I’ve done in my Strategic Blocks:

Continue reading “How Pulling Away for 3 Hours a Week Can Actually Make You More Productive”

The Miracle Of Visualizing, Planning, And Executing Your Best Customer Experience Yet – Through Quality Monitoring

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Twelve years ago, I created a vision board. On it, I had a specific vehicle, a goal of annual family vacations, antique office furniture, a whole new backyard, including patio furniture, and a playground for my kids, and a few other coveted things. I manifested every image I tacked on my board. EVERYTHING.

The success of my vision board is a lot like a project I’m working on with some of my clients.

When I work with customer service and marketing teams to improve customer interactions, I always ask some form of these questions: Continue reading “The Miracle Of Visualizing, Planning, And Executing Your Best Customer Experience Yet – Through Quality Monitoring”

Enhance Your De-escalation Skills During Your Lunch Break!

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How to Handle Difficult Customers (with a focus on de-escalation)

Training Length: 30 minutes, with knowledge checks

Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers are savvier now than ever before.  Although this sounds like a good thing, the net result is an increase in stress for frontline customer service professionals. According to Newsweek magazine, the stress level of consumer services professionals is comparable to that of air-traffic controllers and police officers. In short, the role of customer service now ranks as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S.

Creating calm with difficult customers is not a matter of using aggressive tactics. It’s also not about employees being a doormat, giving in to customer demands or escalating to a supervisor. This training is about how to take assertive control, create calm and pre-empt escalations.

Course Introduction:

Key Takeaways:

  • The 3-step process politicians, police chiefs, and CEOs use to de-escalate a crisis situation and how you can use these same steps to de-escalate conversations with difficult customers.
  • Exactly what to say to the customer who demands to speak to a supervisor. This method is polite and effective.
  • You cannot ignore a customer’s expression of anger – find out why.
  • The psychology of anger – Understand what is going on in the mind of your angry customer.
  • Three things angry people want – knowing these things is the most powerful way to preempt an escalation.
  • The outcome of this training is employees walk away with specific techniques to create calm, take control of the call, defuse anger and move the call to closure.

Course Outline:

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“In regards to your eLearning course, your coaching has immensely helped me with a few difficult calls these past three weeks. The particular course that was pivotal to these calls was your “How to De-escalate” section.”

–Anna Hoang, Customer Support Specialist I, Vertafore

I have had the pleasure and the privilege of attending several seminars given by Myra Golden. I have come away from each one with valuable knowledge that has assisted me in my job and in my everyday life. I still quote her on many occasions and use her ideas with great success. She is knowledgeable, articulate and dynamic in her delivery. Her warmth and soft style have kept me glued to her every word. Start looking for her name on the seminars you are offered and sign up. You will not be sorry.”

Ligea Adsit, Former Supervisor, Customer Care, Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.

Single License for How to Handle Difficult Customers (with a focus on de-escalation) – $50 for a Limited Time!

Purchase single license for How to Handle Difficult Customers 

3 Things I Know For Sure Motivate Customer Service Employees

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We all go through times when we’re not feeling the whole work thing. The mere thought of work brings on dread, we mop ourselves into the office later and later, and our eyes are rolled to the back of our head more often than not. These are all signs that we’re burned out or morale is very low.

If you’re a supervisor or manager and you see signs of work exhaustion in your people, you need to act fast, or you might lose your people to burnout, or another job. I’ve had depleted employees, and I’ve been the used up person (even in my current position).

Here are three things I know for sure meaningfully motivate employees. I know these ideas work because I’ve used them in call centers I’ve managed, and right here at Myra Golden Seminars.

1. Plan a Team Building Outing

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I keep things spicy at Myra Golden Seminars by regularly getting the team out for fun. We’ve done escape rooms, painting with wine in hand, and I once brought in a game from my childhood home, Simon, which gave way to energy and belly laughs. Look for ways to bring your team together outside of work.

2. Highlight What They Do Well

Continue reading “3 Things I Know For Sure Motivate Customer Service Employees”

How Merely Asking Yourself, “What Else?” Will Transform Your Customer Experience

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My daughter and I were exploring supplements at Whole Foods on Saturday. I’d grabbed Matcha powder, MCT oil, and ground flaxseed. An employee with happy robin eyes spotted my bounty and whispered a tip, “If you can wait a few days, all of our supplements are going to be 25% off August 2-4, and Prime members get an additional 10% off. I can get you a bag and hold your items for you if you like.”

I needed the ground flaxseed for a vegan recipe, but the other times could wait. “That’s so generous of you to share! Yes, I’d like to start a bag, please,” I said, shocked by the employee’s helpful tip, and grateful. My little bag was chock-full when I handed it back to the happy-eyed employee to hold for me until Friday.

The Whole Foods employee used a technique that I call the “What else?” approach. This technique is to think of what else can I do/offer to make this experience the best it can be? I’ve had three recent happy experiences of front-line customer service employees asking “what else?” with me. Let’s quickly look at these situations, and then I hope you’ll take my challenge of asking “what else” you can do to surprise and delight your customers. Continue reading “How Merely Asking Yourself, “What Else?” Will Transform Your Customer Experience”

Six Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes With Quality Monitoring In Contact Centers

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After I deliver a customized, engaging customer service workshop, I help my clients reinforce the main ideas. One way I do that is by teaming up with the company’s Quality Assurance team. When working with the quality people to help make sure employees apply the soft skills I teach them, I find six typical mistakes. Here are the Six Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes In Quality Monitoring In Contact Centers.

1. Calculus-Difficult Scoring

In my last contact center job, the Quality Form that was in place when I started made me dizzy. One had to subtract, divide, and multiply to get the final score. My Dad, a retired mathematics teacher, may as well have created this form as an algebra project in word problem form for his middle school students.

Make scoring and interpreting your monitoring data as easy as reheating pizza in the microwave. Yes, I’m serious. We’re not preparing six-course culinary brilliance. We’re just trying to measure the customer experience.

2. Needlessly Long Quality Form

I remember sitting down with Ava, a customer service supervisor, to discuss her Quality Form. It was a stupendous seven-page mess. The form evaluated everything from dead-air space to the accidental use of “uhs” and “ums.” My reaction was, “What the actual?” If your Quality Form is more than three pages, you need to cut the drama and ask yourself, “What problem are we trying to solve?” Measure only standards and objectives that help you achieve the sound, flow, and feel in interactions that reflect the soul of your brand. Ditch everything else and get that form to three pages or less. If you need help with designing your quality form, get a seat in my August 9th webinar where I walk through the quality form components and give out sample forms. 

3. Monitoring Sans Coaching

Reviewing employees’ interactions and giving them guidance on how they’re doing go hand in hand, like a wick and flame. This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised to know how many companies take the time to rate customer service contacts – and then penalize employees for lousy performance without bothering to meet and discuss variances with employees. Employees expect and deserve feedback and guidance on their performance.

4. Skipping Calibration

Continue reading “Six Common Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes With Quality Monitoring In Contact Centers”