This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers

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One of the easiest ways to make your conversations with customers more conversational, and friendly, is to speak in complete sentences.

It is so familiar to hear interactions like this:

Last name? First name? Zip code?

It’s undoubtedly efficient to ask customers questions in this manner. However, it’s not the friendliest approach. In this article, I’ll talk to you about instantly improving your ability to connect with customers and sound friendly by just speaking in complete sentences.

Yes, speaking in complete sentences will take a few more seconds, but it’s so worth it, because of how the conversation will flow, and how you’ll be perceived, by your customers.

When you have to ask your customer questions, I want you to do two things:

Continue reading “This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers”

Having Trouble Controlling Conversations with Customers? This Will Help.

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Studies show the average business call lasts 2 minutes longer than it needs to. Customer service employees struggle with call control for a variety of reasons, including they don’t want to be rude to the customer, they aren’t sure how to move to closure or because the customer is rambling or angry.

Using the principles of harmony, assertiveness and leading from the martial art Aikido, Myra walks your employees through the steps to politely and confidently control conversations.

The outcome of this training is employees who possess the soft skills to make customers feel heard and understood, politely lead conversations and assertively bring calls to closure.

Take this course now for free. Continue reading “Having Trouble Controlling Conversations with Customers? This Will Help.”

Three Proactive Things You Can Do to Pre-empt an Escalation with a Customer

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Tomorrow morning I’m headed to Phoenix to deliver a workshop at the Salesforce Trailblazers for the Future Conference. I booked an extra night at the Arizona Biltmore just because I wanted some “me time” for relaxation and reading. I do this a lot, adding a day or two on to a business trip to chill, explore, and enjoy local restaurants. Do you take time just for you?

Before I wrap things up in my office today and prepare for tomorrow’s early flight, I’m sharing with you three things you can do to pre-empt an escalation with a customer. These tips will help you handle interactions in such a way that you significantly minimize the chance of a customer becoming so incensed that they feel they have to talk to a supervisor.

1. Reflect Your Brand Promise

One of my clients is a furniture protection plan company. A point of upset for a lot of their customers is when customers discover that the damage to their furniture is not covered under warranty. Customers get intensely agitated because they feel what they purchased is not the same thing as the service they are receiving. I encouraged agents in this company to reflect the brand promise in every interaction. I had them focus on explaining first what the protection plan did cover, and then by quickly going over a few of the many benefits of the plan.

Instead of merely telling the customer that their damage was not covered, I instructed agents to say something like,

“You have an excellent plan here. It covers such things as scratches and broken pieces. In this case, we do not cover discoloration of the leather, as fading is a natural occurrence that comes from body oils and usage. If anything else should come up, though, please give us a call, and we’ll be happy to look into things for you.”

Reflecting the brand promise, in this situation, is reminding the customer of the many benefits the protection plan does offer, and by serving customers with a friendly demeanor.

2. Don’t Push

Continue reading “Three Proactive Things You Can Do to Pre-empt an Escalation with a Customer”

Everything You Need to Know About Texting with Customers

In this video, taken from my online customer service training suite, I answer the questions I’m asked most often about what’s appropriate for business texting. We’ll look at everything from grammar in text, to emojis, to what to do if you get a prank text.

Watch the short video, and use it in your own customer service training.

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Trying to Hire Millennial Employees for Customer Service Roles? Make Sure You’ve Mastered These 3 Things First.

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One of the most significant challenges facing companies today is attracting and retaining right-fit front line customer service professionals. For sure, this is challenging, but you can find and keep good-fit employees if you know what’s important to Millennials as it relates to the job search and company culture.

Millennials now make up about 50% of the workforce. And Millennials approach jobs and careers differently from Generation X (my generation) and Baby Boomers.

When I work with companies on finding, hiring, and retaining the best customer service employees, I focus on three things.

1. Developing an attractive social presence (This is tremendously important merely to get Millennials to consider a company.)

2. Hiring for motivational fit. You want people who are motivated to deliver exceptional customer interactions, people who are the best cultural fit for your brand and your customers.

3. A solid coaching and motivation strategy. You’re going to have to coach to develop your people because this is extremely important to Millennials.

Let’s look at each of the three elements of attracting, hiring, and retaining Millennials. Continue reading “Trying to Hire Millennial Employees for Customer Service Roles? Make Sure You’ve Mastered These 3 Things First.”

4 Keys to Delivering Lousy News to Customers

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I’m sipping black tea and listening to classical music while I custom design a customer service workshop for a utility on the east coast. One of my deliverables for this training is to equip employees with the skill of giving lousy news to customers in such a way that the customer accepts the employees’ answer as the final word.

You’re in for a professional development treat today, because I’m sharing with you what I’ll facilitate in Philadelphia next month. You’re about to learn how to deliver bad news with confidence and in such a way that you minimize backlash from customers.

You can give a customer bad news easily and without fear of how your customer might respond when you use 4 Keys. When you have to deliver bad news to your customer, you need to:

Say what you have to say Assertively

Acknowledge how hard this is for the customer

Manage Expectations

Offer Options, when it makes sense

 

Let’s look at each key.

Key 1: Say What You Have to Say Assertively

Continue reading “4 Keys to Delivering Lousy News to Customers”