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”

Here’s What’s In the Mind of Your Unreasonable Customer

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When a customer reaches out to you about a problem, they usually don’t think things will be easy. They expect to enter a fray.

To customers, it’s them against you.

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Visually, it’s like this. There’s a brick wall between you and your customer. You are on one side of the wall, and your customer is on the other. Continue reading “Here’s What’s In the Mind of Your Unreasonable Customer”

The average phone call with customers lasts two minutes longer than it needs to. Here’s how to fix that.

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I read that the average customer service call lasts two minutes longer than it needs to. And from personal experience in my own business and my years of customer service work, I believe this.

Twenty years ago I began teaching a conversation control technique called Ask 3 Closed-ended Questions Back-to-Back.

I learned the technique from a consultant I hired to work with my employees in a call center in Tulsa. This consultant, Sally Cox, had trained police officers to immediately assert their authority over situations. Sally taught my people some of the same things she taught law enforcement.

Sally taught my team to instantly regain control of a conversation with a customer, and move the call to closure by asking the customer three closed-ended questions back-to-back.

Here’s how the technique works.

Continue reading “The average phone call with customers lasts two minutes longer than it needs to. Here’s how to fix that.”

What You Can Learn About Chat From Amazon’s Chat Agents

Last week I worked with a fantastic new client in Cleveland on the chat customer experience. After my workshop in Ohio, I chatted with Amazon about a problem with my Kindle Oasis.

I immediately made screenshots of my chat and sent the images to my Cleveland client. My hope is that my takeaways might help my customer as they prepare to go live with chat in just a few weeks.

And then I thought, why not share my chat experience with you, too.

In this post, I have my exact chat interaction because it’s important for you to see the key points.

Click here for larger image.

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Here’s what I want you to notice.

Continue reading “What You Can Learn About Chat From Amazon’s Chat Agents”

6 More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down

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Eleven years ago I published my first YouTube video. I called it Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down. That little video has gotten more than 2.9 million views. (I have this old-school video at the bottom of the page if you’d like to take a look.)

The style, content, and quality of that video are as far as the east is from the west from my current videos and work. But people watch it, like it and learn from it. So, it serves its purpose.

For some time I’ve wanted to update my Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down tactics. In a few days I’m heading to Montreal to help a new client, a team of Customer Service Representatives, get their demanding and unreasonable customers to back down. I’ve spent the last few weeks coming up with solid tactics and strategies for this client.

The tactics and techniques I’ll use in my Montreal training, as it turns out, are an excellent update to my original Top 6 Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down. So, I’m now issuing an update to these strategies and I’m calling this Six More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down.

Maybe I’ll do a video later when I’m not delivering back-to-back workshops on the road. For now, though, I’ll merely share my new tactics.

1. Create Calm

The first thing you need to do with demanding and unreasonable customers is create calm. Create calm by using anti-inflammatory words and using words that show the customer that getting to the bottom of the problem is as important to you, as it is to them. Statements like these work well:

“I’m sorry you’ve had such a frustrating experience.”

“This is no more acceptable to us than it is to you.”

“Thanks for taking the time to let us know.”

“We want to get to the bottom of this as much as you do.”

Responses like these show the customer that you’re on their side. Customers won’t refute these statements, and you’ll begin to create calm.

2. Limit Your Responses to Simple Reassurances

Continue reading “6 More Ways to Get An Angry Customer to Back Down”