I Showed Up At My Workshop with Nothing But a 12-Foot Pole. And Here’s What Happened.

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Last week I facilitated a team building workshop for one of my favorite clients. Typically, I only deliver training on customer service, but my client had a special request.

My client explained that “We need to work together, make decisions together, and communicate according to the styles of each person. In essence, we need to build a strong cohesive team.”

So I designed a unique Team-building Customer Service event built around a 12-foot pole. Here’s what I did. I showed up with no workbooks, and after 19 years of delivering workshops, training sans workbooks is a first for me.

I stood in front of the audience and pulled out my pole. And I told my group of 13 people that their task was to merely lower the stick to the floor. It sounds simple. Incredulous, the group stared at me, like, seriously?

I divided the class up into two groups and explained the rules. You’ll start with the pole waist high, you cannot lose contact with the pole at any time, and only gravity can move the pole (that is, the pole couldn’t be pushed or pulled down).

After my instruction, I stepped back and watched. Within seconds, the group learned that this exercise was anything but simple. Continue reading “I Showed Up At My Workshop with Nothing But a 12-Foot Pole. And Here’s What Happened.”

4 Things You Can Do To Help Your Customers Cut to the Point

Call centre worker

I just finished recording a fully customized 14-module video course for a new client. My client’s biggest challenge was how to navigate through complex calls, like situations with ramblers and challenging customers.

One of the strategies I prepared for my client’s customized training is 4 Things You Can Do To Help Your Customers Cut to the Point. While this video is tailored to my customer’s specific challenges, I think you’ll get some great value out of the tips.

To learn some fantastic ways to bring customers to the point of the call politely, watch the three-minute video that I call merely 4 Things You Can Do To Help Your Customers Cut to the Point. Continue reading “4 Things You Can Do To Help Your Customers Cut to the Point”

How to Tell Customers What They Don’t Want to Hear In a Chat

Text.jpgI was chatting with a company about a price drop. I’d bought something for my Dad and had it shipped directly to his home. Two days after the shipment arrived, I saw on the company’s website that the price had dropped by $20. So I reached out over chat, and this is what I was told:

“We are constantly looking for the best prices to offer our customers, and that sometimes means a lower price is featured. We do not price match and cannot issue you a refund.”

When I questioned this practice, he wrote:

“Let me see if I can write this in a way that you understand.”

I saw that reply as condescending. Later in the chat, the employee said:

“You can return the item and just reorder it at the new price. But we cannot credit you the difference.”

Now, because this was a gift for my father, I wasn’t willing to drive to his house, take the gift back, package and ship it, re-order, and then send it back to my dad.

So, I didn’t get a refund, and I also walked away from the chat with a very negative impression of this company.

There will be times when you just can’t tell your customer what they want to hear. You can do it better than this company by focusing on two things:

Continue reading “How to Tell Customers What They Don’t Want to Hear In a Chat”

Handling Dead-Air Space On a Customer Service Call

 

Women with headsets working at a call center

If you’re on a call with a customer, and more than three, or four seconds go by, and you haven’t said a word, that’s called dead air space. You’re working… you know that. But for the customer, dead air space feels awkward. So we need to learn the best way to fill the silent seconds.

Today, I’ll show you five ways to avoid the uncomfortable dead air space. Continue reading “Handling Dead-Air Space On a Customer Service Call”

Always Link the Communication Chain In Customer Interactions

Myra Golden De-escalation Session .001

Psychologists talk about what they call the Communication Chain. The Communication Chain says that when a person puts out a verbal message, they expect a response to that message. That first message is a link in the communication chain. If there’s no response to the link, the chain is left unlinked or broken.

Let’s say that instead of reading this article, you’re a participant in one of my workshops. And let’s say, I start the training off with, “Good morning!”

And let’s say, that when I say good morning, the room is silent. No one says a word to me. How do you think I’d feel, if I opened with a high energy greeting, and not one person said a word?

I’d feel awkward. Embarrassed. I’d probably be thinking, this is not going to go well.  Whatever I’m thinking, or feeling, it’s negative, right? And my next response would be dictated by the negative feelings in my head. I might not be my best as a trainer, because I’m a little embarrassed, and feeling rejected.

If most of the people in my live audience, in my example, said back to me, Good morning, the chain would have been linked; I wouldn’t have felt rejected, and all would’ve been well.

When the link is broken, people can feel rejected, slighted, or angry. – You don’t want your customer to feel any of these emotions. Avoid negative feelings by linking the communication chain. You link the chain by acknowledging whatever your customers put out there.

Here are some good examples of how to acknowledge concern:

Continue reading “Always Link the Communication Chain In Customer Interactions”

Use the Right Language to Build Rapport and Sound Personable In Chat

Chat symbol and Quotation Mark

I once chatted with QVC about the status of a return. I just wanted to confirm that my return was received, but I walked away from the chat session with a WOW reaction. The WOW started with this message from the Representative: Continue reading “Use the Right Language to Build Rapport and Sound Personable In Chat”