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The BASELINE of Successful Customer Service: at⋅ti⋅tude

The baseline for friendly, personable  customer service is attitude. The service experience is what YOU make it.  Watch this video of Southwest Flight Attendant David Holmes as he takes ATTITUDE to unprecedented levels to leave passengers with an unforgettable experience.

 

Q & A with Myra Golden

 

The SOCAP Annual Conference will feature a Spotlight Session, “Leveraging Social Media to Monitor Consumer Feedback.” The moderator for this session, Myra Golden of Myra Golden Media, recently sat down for a short Question and Answer interview to talk about social media and the panel she will lead at the SOCAP Annual Conference.

Q: As a Spotlight Session presenter at this year’s SOCAP Annual Conference, what are some key messages or ideas you hope to convey to attendees?

 A: My goal with this session is to equip customer care professionals with the ability to listen to online conversations, get involved in those social media discussions and use social media tools to engage customers and resolve problems. We are still in the early phases of social media’s influence in the customer care world, but we have also come a long way and learned a lot. I want to fast-track SOCAP members by helping them avoid the pitfalls I have experienced firsthand and sharing the methods it has taken professionals like me years to figure out.

Q: Social Media is clearly a hot issue within the customer care profession but can we expect this buzz to be a passing trend or will it become an integral part of the business approach to customer care?

 A: Social media is a hot issue and I don’t think it’s a passing trend. A recent report from Nielsen found that Twitter is the fastest growing “member destination community” on the Web, with an annual growth rate measured at a staggering 1,382%! FaceBook also continues to more than triple its annual membership as consumers are turning to social media to gripe about brands, create trouble-shooting forums and reach out to companies directly. Cutting-edge organizations like Comcast, JetBlue Airlines, Starbucks, and Cox Communications realized this early on and are now reaping the benefits of well-developed social media contact channels. We can definitely expect more consumer-brand interaction on social media outlets and higher expectations from consumers on brand responsiveness through social media. I envision the day when social media’s use as a customer contact channel is as crucial to companies as email is today.

Q: What significance do you see for customer care professionals in having a Spotlight Session on this topic at this year’s SOCAP Annual Conference?

A: Even before the economy took a downturn at the end of 2008, social media was emerging as a leading tool for integrating multiple sectors of the customer care profession. But now, the need to cut costs, combine operational tasks and offer new customer services has made social media that much more important. This Spotlight Session will hone in on the power of social media to cut costs while still building, restoring and strengthening customer relationships.

Myra Golden’s Spotlight Session on “Leveraging Social Media to Monitor Consumer Feedback“ will also include insight from industry experts Richard Clancy, formerly of Sony Electronics and Frank Eliason of Comcast Corporation. Be sure to attend this exciting Spotlight Session and take advantage of all the other outstanding activities at this year’s Annual Conference in Tucson, Arizona by registering today.
Join SOCAP International and our global community of customer care experts at our 2009 Annual Conference, October 11-14, at the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona.

 http://www.socap.org/Events/2009annual/index.html

Fall Opportunities with Myra Golden

HOW ZAPPOS DOES SERVICE – A CUSTOMER SERVICE COMPANY THAT ALSO SELLS

August 25, 2009 1:00 – 2:00pm ET

For Zappos customer service comes first, with the aim to acquire customers through word of mouth and retain existing customers through good service. In this program Myra Golden reveals what Zappos has done to not only build there image but how they retain their customers through exceptional service. Join us for a 60-minute audio conference where you and your colleagues will discover:

  • How to surprise & delight customers and get them talking
  • What it takes to build positive team and family style spirit
  • How to reflect your corporate culture to the customer
  • How to apply Zappos strategies to your customer service needs

http://www.pbconferences.com/Y9/0

SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE NEW CUSTOMER SERVICE

September 10, 2009 Omaha, NE – Society of Consumer Affairs Heartland Chapter

Omaha, NE

Myra will share all social networking communities brands need to be listening to and participating in and will walk participants through the process of exactly how to do it. Participants will walk away positioned to surprise and delight consumers who post gripes online.

http://www.socap.org

 THE CONFERENCE by Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce

October 6, 2009

Wilkes-Barre, PA

1 day mega business conference 5 tracks, 25 presenters, Keynote by Myra Golden –“Beyond WOW”

http://www.the-conference.biz/

LEVERAGING SOCIAL MEDIA TO MONITOR CONSUMER FEEDBACK

October 13, 2009 Tuscon, AZ

Social media is a major buzz word in Consumer Affairs, but how do you leverage social media tools to track consumer feedback? Who should own this process? Are there “rules” for using social media to monitor consumer feedback? What works and what are the pitfalls to avoid? These questions and much more will be the focus of this Spotlight Session moderated by Myra Golden and including top social media and industry experts. You will hear firsthand insights about using social media tools to engage with consumers and participate in hands-on exercises to help you advance your overall understanding of social media.

http://www.socap.org/Events/2009annual/spotlight.html

How to Get a Chatty Cathy to Cut to the Chase [Customer Service Tip]

Stressful day at work

Research shows the average business call lasts two minutes longer than it needs to. The bitter truth is most of us spend far too much time on the phone with customers and co-workers in idle small talk or listening to the whiner, rambler, or storyteller.

So how do you politely end a call when you know it’s no longer productive?  I’ll give you six of my favorite strategies for graciously bringing a long-winded caller back to focus.

One. Apprise of a time limit early

This doesn’t mean you state that you only have a couple of minutes.  It’s the reverse of that, and it works like this:  “I don’t want to take up too much of your time.” Or “I’ve taken up enough of your time” (even when they’ve called you.) “I’m sure you’re busy, so I’ll make this quick.” “One final thing I need to cover...”

Statements like these setup time parameters for you and help you end the call quickly and politely.

Two. Interject with a question when the caller pauses – This is something you’ll do with the long-winded caller, the rambler, and the storyteller. As they are going on and on, wait for a pause and interject: with a statement like…

  •  “The first thing we need to do is…”
  • “The reason I’m calling is …” 
  • “Listen, I need to get some information from you.”
  • “Real quick, I just need a couple of numbers from you…”

Three. Use the point question technique

Point questions help you bring the conversation back to focus…back to the point of the call after a few seconds of small talk (or rambling). Examples of point questions include:

  •  “How can I help you?”
  • ”What can I do for you?”

Four. Give a minimal response

When your customer asks you an open-ended question like, “How are your children?” you can give a minimal response this way: “My kids are great. What can I do for you today?

Five. Ask closed-ended questions

Avoid asking a talkative caller an open-ended question because they will go on and on in their response. Ask closed-ended questions that require only a one-word answer like, “Will tomorrow at 10:00 am work for you?”  Generally speaking, asking two to three closed-ended questions back to back will put you back in control of the call.

In this video, I discuss the Ask 3 Closed-Ended Questions Back to Back Technique. Share this video with your employees for quick training on call control.

Six. Use closing statements

You’ll use closing statements to signify the ending of the call. Closing statements help you get out of a conversation with a rambler or long-winded caller. Here are two simple closing statements:

  • “Before we hang up, I need to make sure I tell you…” Informs the caller that the call is ending.
  • “One final question for you…”

Don’t let calls get out of your control. The call should last just long enough to be productive. Rambling, storytelling or any idle talk is wasting your time and the customer’s time, and it negatively impacts service with callers who are waiting. Use these call control techniques, and you’ll get the storytellers and ramblers to cut to the chase, and you’ll be polite in your approach.

Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches, and phrases to help your employees help your customers.