Are you a corporate trainer who is looking for customer service training to deliver to your team?

Myra Golden’s Trainer Facilitator Kits

Fully Customizable Facilitator Kits Using the Myra Golden Training Method

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Training Kits Available for the Following Topics:

  • Telephone Skills
  • Call Control Skills
  • Complaint Handling
  • How to Handle Difficult Customers

All training kits include:

    • Reproducible comprehensive participant workbook that drives home key points and serves as a reference point long after the training is over.
    • High-impact PowerPoint slide deck that you can use as-is or customize with your logo and specific examples.
    • Detailed trainer’s notes to help you quickly get ready to train.
    • Certificate for free consultation with Myra Golden – Consult with Myra about the philosophy, objectives or delivery of this training program before you deliver it!
    • Delivered digitally so that you’ll have this entire training system at your fingertips in minutes!
    • How-to hints for delivering the very best training.

Explore All Training Kits Now

Sorry Works! The Bottom-line Benefit of Apologizing to Customers

Confident Mature Businesswoman At The Office

One of the easiest and quickest ways to diffuse anger, create rapport, and regain goodwill with unhappy customers is to apologize. Offering an apology to a customer who experiences a problem should be a natural response from customer service providers. Yet, recent research reveals the startling fact that 50 percent of customers who voice a complaint never receive an apology from the organization.

Not only does an apology provide “soft” benefits such as creating calm, shaving minutes off of talk time, reducing stress on the employee, etc., but it can also translate into significant and measurable savings in decreasing lawsuits, settlement costs, and defense costs.

Doctors and hospitals are beginning to discover what savvy customer service professionals have always known: sorry works. A new program for doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators called Sorry Works encourages doctors and hospitals to apologize quickly when mishaps occur and to offer a fair settlement upfront to families and their attorneys. The Sorry Works program has resulted in a dramatic drop in lawsuits. The University of Michigan hospital recently implemented Sorry Works and reports that the number of pending cases has dropped and defense attorney fees decreased from $3 million to $1 million annually. Clearly, sorry does, indeed, work.

Does a 2 million dollar savings based solely on an apology sound too good to be true? Let me walk you through exactly why sorry indeed does work… here are the facts:

Continue reading “Sorry Works! The Bottom-line Benefit of Apologizing to Customers”

The Issue is Not the “Issue.” It’s how the issue is “handled.”

Here’s a “throw-back” customer service training video from our early years. But the point remains relevant today. Most times, the problem the customer experienced isn’t the issue at all.

The company’s response to the presented problem usually ends up being the real “problem.” Service recovery has a significant impact on customer satisfaction because customers are more emotionally involved in and observant of recovery service than in routine or first-time service and are often more dissatisfied by an organization’s failure to recover than by the service failure itself.  Enjoy this 90-second customer service training video.

This training video is from our customer service eLearning suite…

Complete Customer Service Training Suite

Our flagship program is comprised of 6 online customer service training modules with video, interactivity, downloadable handouts, and quizzes. You have the option of enjoying our interactive online training  right here on our site or on your Learning Management System (LMS).

This course includes: Delivering WOW Through Service, Telephone Techniques, Call Control Skills, How to Handle Difficult Customers, and Email Customer Service.

Learn more


4 Tips for WOWing Customers Who Experience Problems

Seven years ago I had a new oven delivered to my home. The Sears deliveryman quickly pointed out that there was a small dent on the right side of the oven. The dent did not affect the performance of the oven and would not have been seen because the adjacent cabinets would have camouflaged it. It truly was no issue at all to me. But the Sears delivery guy quickly got a Specialist on the line and then handed me his cellular phone.

 

Mrs. Golden, I understand there is a dent in your new oven and we are so sorry about that. We can exchange the oven or we can offer a discount that you think is fair.” I explained that I didn’t need a replacement so she asked me to come up with a figure that I thought was fair. I threw out a reasonable figure and immediately the discount was honored. Both the deliveryman and the Specialist were courteous, sincerely apologetic, and clearly empowered. Their quick recovery WOWed me and believe me, that’s not easy to do.

This week I will share with you Four Easy Things You Can Do to WOW Customers in Problem Situations based on my Beyond WOW experience with Sears.

1. Proactively point out problems before the customer discovers the mistake. (when possible). The deliveryman didn’t wait for me to discover the dent and he didn’t try to cover it up. Proactively pointing out problems creates trust between the employee and the customer and puts you on the path to an amicable discussion about how to resolve the problem.

2. Respond with a sense of urgency. Immediately after pointing out the dent in my oven, the deliveryman pulled out his cellular phone and called the office. He could have simply given me a 1-800 number and told me to follow up. His immediate attempt to resolve the problem created calm and peace of mind.

3. Apologize, even when you’re not personally at fault. I know of no better way to diffuse anger than to offer a sincere and unreserved apology. Always apologize, regardless of fault or personal responsibility. You can simply say, “I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

4. Offer options. The Sears Specialist quickly offered me two choices: replacement or a “fair” discount. Giving customers choices makes them feel empowered and in control and when customers feel in control they are less difficult to deal with.

Proactively address problems and you will create calm and resolve the problem quicker and in most cases, for less money.

Everything You Need for a Total Complaint Handling Training 
(Do-it-yourself Training)

Get your training materials now and equip your employees to deal with difficult customers with diplomacy and tact, say “no” without causing resentment, respond to negotiation ploys, and resolve problems without giving away the store. View details.

Looking for complaint letter response guidelines? Here are 5 Tips for the Best Complaint Response Ever.

Bokea IN iStock_9135808_XLARGE.jpg

Q. Can you give tips on writing complaint response letters?

I sure can. Here’s my 5-step process for responding to customer complaint emails. This is really the ultimate cheat cheat on how to write complaint response letters…

1. Apologize

Making an apology to, customers after things go wrong is positively related to satisfaction with the recovery. When a service employee apologizes to a customer, she conveys politeness, courtesy, concern, effort, and empathy.

Take a look at this unconditional apology from JetBlue Airlines after a major service mishap. (See the first sentence of JetBlue’s response)

 Click image to enlarge

Watch this short video of me discussing the JetBlue letter in detail

2. Acknowledge and Empathize

It’s important for you to acknowledge the customer’s situation and express empathy. This helps you establish rapport, and it initiates the trust rebuilding process. Acknowledge and empathize with a phrase such as, “I realize how frustrating it must have been to get the Widget home and discover it didn’t work properly.”

For a picture-perfect example of how to acknowledge and empathize with a customer in a problem situation, take a look at the last sentence of paragraph two in the JCPenney Portraits email below.

Click image to enlarge

3. Provide an explanation of how/why the problem happened

A vital, but often overlooked element of customer recovery is to provide an explanation for how or why the problem happened. Taking the time to explain to a customer what might have caused the problem helps organizations re-establish trust and regain customer goodwill.

Providing an explanation can be as simple as saying, “Thanks for taking the time to let us know about _____. We appreciate customers who let us know when things aren’t right.  Here’s what we think may have happened…”

Here’s how JetBlue provided an explanation of how the problem happened in the example letter from above. 

“The storm disrupted the movement of aircraft, and, more importantly, disrupted the movement of JetBlue’s pilot and inflight crewmembers who were depending on those planes to get them to the airports where they were scheduled to serve you. With the busy President’s Day weekend upon us, rebooking opportunities were scarce and hold times at 1-800-JETBLUE were unusually long or not even available, further hindering our recovery efforts.”

 4. Explain how you will resolve the issue (or tell the customer what you’ve already done) 

Take the time to explain to customers exactly what will happen next. This explanation helps put customers at ease and builds confidence that you really care to resolve the issue and regain goodwill. JCPenney Portraits carried out this step (from the example above) this way:

“To that end, you can be assured that your email will be forwarded to the District Manager, Ms. Johnson for her review and investigation. Additionally you will be receiving a letter for four free sheets of portraits at a future sitting as a way of apology.  I realize that this does not make up for the time and effort already spent with all of this but I do hope that it does in some way show how truly regretful I am.” 

5. Thank the customer for their business and invite the customer back

End your letter on a positive note with a statement similar to these examples.

Here’s how JetBlue closed its amazing apology letter:

“You deserved better – a lot better – from us last week, and we let you down. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust and all of us here hope you will give us the opportunity to once again welcome you onboard and provide you the positive JetBlue Experience you have come to expect from us.”

JCPenney Portraits did it this way:

“We want to thank you for your patronage and for bringing these concerns to our attention. We certainly do not wish to loose you as a valued customer. I am confident that a future visit to our studio will better reflect our commitment to customer satisfaction.”

Follow my simple 5-step process for responding to complaint letters, and you will restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after even the most devastating service mishap.

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.

Excellent Problem Response Letter From American Airlines

Watch my full customer recovery video to get 5 steps for restoring customer confidence after service failures.

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4 Better Ways to Handle Consumer Complaints

If you WOW a customer at the Moment of Truth , the average customer will walk away and tell 5 people about the experience.

If you fail to meet the customer’s expectations at the Moment of Truth , customers are very likely to tell 11 people about the problem they had with your company.

If you drop the ball with customers at the Moment of Truth , but rebound with a quick customer recovery, research shows that the customer will tell up to 17 people about your service recovery.

Did you get that? Customers will tell 5 people if you WOW them, BUT if there’s a problem and you quickly fix it, they will tell more than 3 times as many people as they would if no problem had occurred at all.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to grow your bottom line is to equip your front line employees with skills to respond to complaints and problems in such a way that they completely regain goodwill and restore the customer’s confidence.

Read on to find out exactly how to do this.

1. Resolve problems as quickly as possible. The faster the resolution, the better the chances for maintaining loyalty. TARP, Inc. found that ninety-five percent of complaining customers would remain loyal if their complaint was resolved on the first contact. That number dropped to seventy percent when the complaint was not immediately resolved. In fact, the speed of resolution has a greater impact on future loyalty than the resolution itself. Strive to resolve complaints on the first contact and when that isn’t possible, final resolution should occur within 5 – 10 business days in order to maintain and build loyalty.

2. Give Them Something. Coupons, product samples, and other freebies have a definite impact on loyalty after a service failure has occurred. Years ago American Airlines gave me 7000 frequent flyer miles after I experienced a gruesome delay. And that gift of miles, was enough to make me come back. But don’t take my word for it: A study conducted for the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP) found that 58% of complaining consumers who received something in the mail following their contact with consumer affairs departments were delighted, versus only 40% of those who did not receive anything. Giving customers token items, such as coupons or product samples, after a service failure both increases the perception of value and serves to maintain loyalty.

3. Only allow the friendliest, most helpful, and diplomatic employees to talk to customers. Employee courtesy and attitude are critical factors in regaining the goodwill of customers who have experienced a problem. Customers contacting a company with a problem want to talk to a person who is courteous, professional sympathetic and understanding. Additionally, employees must be skilled in communicating with diplomacy, expressing empathy, and representing the company credibly and convincingly during times of consumer distress. The attitudes and behaviors of frontline professionals form powerful lasting impressions with customers whether these impressions are positive or negative.

4. Encourage your people to “Be Gumby”. You remember Gumby don’t you—the green rubbery figure that Eddie Murphy portrayed so hilariously on Saturday Night Live? In my seminars I teach employees to “Be Gumby” when it comes to dealing with customers. By being Gumby, I mean do whatever it takes to service customers. This includes being flexible, bending over backwards, making a 180 degree turn when you were heading another direction on a non customer-impacting task. It might even mean standing on your head. The idea is to be completely customer focused. Being Gumby guarantees you’ll always make customers happy.

Everything You Need for a Total Complaint Handling Training 
(Do-it-yourself Training)
Get your training materials now and equip your employees to deal with difficult customers with diplomacy and tact, say “no” without causing resentment, respond to negotiation ploys, and resolve problems without giving away the store. View details.