5 New Thoughts About Work-Life Balance That Will Turn Your World Right Side Up

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It’s rare that I don’t write to you about customer service issues. But I want to talk about balance, not just because it’s so important to me, but because I know achieving peace and balance will help you be a better manager, leader, or customer service professional.

Over the years I’ve found five practices that have helped me find peace and balance between my business and my personal life.

1. Stop compulsively checking emails. Trust me; it can wait.

I’ve just started a practice of pausing my inbox every weekday from 6:00 pm to 8:00 am. I noticed that most of the time I grabbed my iPhone, it was to habitually check email for matters that were neither urgent nor important. Being untethered at night is liberating.

2. Don’t email staff after business hours.

If I follow my first practice, it’s easy not to email colleagues after hours. Here’s why I urge you to hold off on evening emails. When you email an employee at say, 7:30 pm, the late hour implies a sense of urgency and your employee may feel she has to respond to you right away. Taking the time to read and reply to your email is taking time away from whatever she’s doing (drinking wine, enjoying time with bae, watching Netflix)

Help your employees and colleagues enjoy peace after work by not interrupting their evenings, unless the matter is crucial.

3. Make business travel pleasurable.

Continue reading “5 New Thoughts About Work-Life Balance That Will Turn Your World Right Side Up”

3 Keys to a Fantastic Customer Interaction: Swiftness, Friendliness, and Knowledge

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I made a support call to a company yesterday because I was stuck in a loop on an application. I’m glad I called because the representative gave me such a great experience that I found myself smiling and thinking, “She’s good. Really good.”

Here’s a rough transcript of our conversation:

Continue reading “3 Keys to a Fantastic Customer Interaction: Swiftness, Friendliness, and Knowledge”

Customer Service Week Is Great, But…

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Customer Service Week is a fantastic time to celebrate the VIP employees who take care of your customers, and it’s the perfect week to go all out for your customers.

But, if you want your employees to take your focus seriously, and if you’re going to create a customer service culture, you need to also: Continue reading “Customer Service Week Is Great, But…”

When Employees Make Assumptions, It Hurts Your Business. Here’s How to Fix That.

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Recently, I went to buy a replacement charging cable for my laptop. I found a salesperson and told him what I needed. I should also mention that when I approached the employee, he was fully engaged with his cellphone. I felt like I interrupted him.

Looking annoyed, he turned around and grabbed a cable off the shelf and handed it to me. It didn’t look like what I had before, so I asked, “Are you sure this is the cable for my laptop?”  He said, “That’s it.”

I got the cable home, and it didn’t fit.

This employee heard parts of what I said and then just filled in the gaps with assumptions. He assumed he knew what I needed without asking me any follow-up questions.

His assumptions led to me being frustrated, and I had to make a second trip into the store. His assumption led to me having a very poor customer experience.

In my customer service workshops, I teach your employees how not to make assumptions, and I explain this concept in an unforgettable way. I show this short video called “The Cookie Thief.” Continue reading “When Employees Make Assumptions, It Hurts Your Business. Here’s How to Fix That.”

Do These 2 Things To Make Chat Interactions Pleasant and Easy

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When I need to reach out to a company, chat is almost always my preferred contact method. It’s usually quick, and I can be doing other things, like replying to email or making a quick call, while I chat.

Your customers like the ease of chat, too. But it’s not enough for the chat to be convenient and fast. You need to be creating rapport in conversation and speaking your brand voice. That’s why today I am giving you two things you (or your employees) can do to make chat interactions flow like friendly face-to-face conversations.

1. Use Personal Pronouns

Use personal pronouns, I, we, me, you – to make written communication sound more warm and personal. Pronouns, especially “I” and “you” – humanize the employee, and the customer and they bring a personal tone to a chat exchange.

Use personal pronouns in your chat like this actual chat I had last week:

“Oh, Myra, I am so sorry to hear that you received expired products! I credited $7.38 to your account, which will be automatically applied to your next order.”

And don’t write like this: Continue reading “Do These 2 Things To Make Chat Interactions Pleasant and Easy”

Try These 2 Things To Foster Rapport Over the Phone with Customers

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For all of my customer service workshops, I like to arrive at least 45 minutes before we start so I can meet and talk to the people who’ll be spending several hours with me.

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In the past, I’d just hang out in the back of the room, and I’d approach the front only after I was introduced.

But I’ve found that talking to workshop participants before the training starts helps me to connect with my audience before I speak my first word. It makes me more real to the audience, and more likable, and the training goes so much better after this rapport-building.

Just as taking the time to build rapport before my workshops makes a big difference, when you establish rapport with customers, the perception of the interaction is so much more positive.

We have a short video in my customer service eLearning suite that shows you how to use two super-easy techniques to build rapport over the phone. If you, or someone you know, can use a little help with rapport over the phone, watch this short movie now. Continue reading “Try These 2 Things To Foster Rapport Over the Phone with Customers”