I just got off the phone with a call center agent who is in fear of losing her job because her supervisor says her tone, attitude and approach with customers is unacceptable. she has exactly 90 days to improve — or she will be fired.
She said she found my blog when she googled how to improve your customer service skills. I wished I could be there sitting across from this young woman, who I imagine is in her early 20s, and coach her. But she’s in Los Angeles and I have a plane to catch this afternoon, heading to the east coast.
I did coach this young customer service representative, over the phone, on how to soften her approach by making sure she doesn’t over-talk customers, by using what I call a “lead-in” and by listening with the intent to understand.
We talked for nearly an hour and then I gave her a complimentary enrollment in my online learning suite. She touched me with her proactive spirit and now I am determined to help her.
After coaching this young lady, I thought it might be helpful to share with you 4 of the tips I shared with her today. Maybe these tips can help your own employees deliver a better customer experience over the telephone.
Continue reading “How to Establish Rapport with Callers in 6 Seconds Flat”
My husband made an online purchase last week and after several days, he had heard nothing from the company regarding shipment of his product. The “auto-reply” email he received after purchase was generic and didn’t include a phone number or even a web address for the company. After some digging, I found an email address for the company. I emailed the company and got a quick reply. The problem is, the reply was a generic response that provided no details. I replied to that email and got an equally vague response. So, I have no idea if the order has been shipped or if this is even a legitimate company. I’ll put this on the back burner and deal with it later.
Our frustrating experience is a great opportunity for me to share with you an exercise I have my clients participate in in order to drastically improve the customer experience in their companies.
When I’m brought into a company to improve the customer experience, one of the first things I do is ask, “What would you want if you were the customer?”
If this online retailer was my client, I’d ask, “If you placed an online order with this company, what would you want/need/expect?” I think I’d get answers like:
•“I’d want an immediate order confirmation emailed to me.”
•“A tracking number emailed to me once the order has been shipped.”
•“An easy way to contact the company by email or phone.”
•“Quick and easy access to a FAQ section on the website that explains the shipping procedure and estimated shipping times.”
•“A guarantee for products.”
•“A toll-free number prominently displayed on the website.”
After getting the client to tell me what they’d want if they were the customer, I’d facility an exercise where we’d brainstorm ways to align the company’s processes and workflows so that they immediately take actionable steps to create a service experience that gives customers exactly what they expect and deserve.
If you want to quickly improve your own customer experience, gather your team together and simply ask, “If you were the customer, what would you need/want/expect?” Then align your processes, people and workflows to deliver exactly what your customers expect and deserve.
But this retailer isn’t my client. My only concern with them is getting my order.
I just love going inside Contact Centers and discovering how great companies manage processes to consistently deliver an outstanding customer experience. My customer service keynote presentations are made up entirely of benchmarks of real companies doing really fantastic things.
Today I want to share with you a look inside PaySimple’s Contact Center. In this short video, you will see how PaySimple ensures their customers have everything they need to succeed. PaySimple focuses on making their customer’s lives easier by delivering immediate and accurate answers. Watch this video and be inspired.
The Secret Strategy for Handling Difficult Customers
We’re about to reveal a hidden way for you to literally
convert “nightmare” customers into an almost endless source
of loyalty, goodwill and profits.
Simply put, you can use these insider secrets to instantly
turn angry customers into raving fans for you and your
company – without giving away the farm.
Amazing but true … and the best part is virtually nobody
knows about these techniques!
What we’re talking about is Myra Golden’s “Stop Screaming At Me” online video training.
Check it out here.
Last Sunday I grabbed my camera and took my son and his friend to the neighborhood lake for a breather from Wii and PlayStation. I let them go barefoot and they ran on at least 100 feet ahead of me. I stayed back to let them do what boys do: explore, play and discover. I watched as they watched the ducks in complete silence and then I smiled when they suddenly got up and began throwing pebbles into the lake, startling the ducks and sending geese inflight. While the boys explored and played, I took shot after shot of them in action. They all but forget I was even there.
Thirty minutes later I was back home looking at some of the most amazing pictures I have ever taken. Here are 3 of my shots from Sunday afternoon.
Watching the ducks and geese
What made these pictures so amazing to me is that I completely got out of the way and allowed the boys to do what came naturally to them. I didn’t make them stop to smile and pose for shots. I didn’t interrupt their natural curiosity and energy. I simply stayed back with a watchful eye and tried to capture the exuberance of two young boys at play.
Imagine the difference in my shots if I’d made the boys stop and pose and smile. The pictures would have been far less exciting and the boys would not have enjoyed their playtime nearly as much. Now imagine your culture and customer experience if you gave your employees more freedom, fewer rules, and if you stayed back just a little.
Isn’t this what we should be doing with our employees? What if we stayed out of their way, had fewer rules, and gave them freedom do what comes naturally? Is it possible that giving our employees room and freedom just might lead to a better customer experience? What if we were there to give our employees support and guidance, but we granted them freedom to be themselves and have fun with customers? (i.e. I kept the boys from danger by not allowing them to go into the deeper waters to get a soccer ball. That’s guidance. Yet, I still let them have fun.) I think it’s possible that staying out of the way, giving freedom and offering support might just make for a more innovative, fun, and profit-generating culture.
Stand back. Get out of the way. Let your employees explore, play and discover.
I was one of the 4 million customers who bought iPhone 4S over the weekend. My iPhone 3GS is fast, fun and it makes it easy for me to work and communicate untethered. Not only did my current phone keep me productive, but it still looks practically new. Still I, like 4 million others, ran out and bought the new iPhone 4s. Why do people drop a couple hundred dollars or more on a new iPhone if they don’t truly need a new phone?
Taking the already extraordinary and making it even more amazing is what gets Apple customers to come out in the millions to buy yet another expensive phone.
The answer is simple, really. Apple has developed a reputation for taking something that is already extraordinary and improving it. They take the elements that make for an amazing customer experience and they make the customer experience even better. iPhone 4s is twice as fast as its predecessor, boasts an 8 megapixel camera, 1080 HD video and over 200 new features. Taking the already extraordinary and making it even more amazing is what gets Apple customers to come out in the millions to buy yet another expensive phone. It’s the secret to earning rock-solid customer loyalty.
I’m working with a client that has a great customer experience. Mystery shopper reports, customer satisfaction surveys and focus groups all confirm that the company is loved by its customers. My charge for my client is to take the very best components of their customer experience and conceptualize, design and implement a minimum of 14 ways to improve upon the customer experience. We’ve dedicated 24-months to this project and we’re looking at everything from speed of response to surprise and delight.
Next week I am hosting a webinar called the Zappos Customer Experience where I examine how Zappos has mastered the customer experience by making the customer experience the most important thing in the entire company. My attendees will gain tips in this online workshop for constantly improving what’s great about their own customer experience.
Here’s a challenge for you. Identify the best part of your customer experience. That is, what do you do better than your competition? What do your customers love about doing business with you? Take that best thing and find 3 ways to take that to the “amazing” level. When you do, you’ll delight customers, get them coming back and you’ll be on your way to earning rock-solid customer loyalty.
How Apple Got the Customer Experience Right
Apple’s 5 Steps of Customer Service Brilliantly Executed
I had a ball presenting to the enthusiastic Managers at the Edible Arrangements Annual Convention in Las Vegas last week. I got Goosebumps as managers described what WOW meant to them and I as I discovered that WOW is not buzzword at this company, but truly the culture. I am happy to provide a copy of my slide deck as a reference for my fabulous clients. Enjoy. Share. Learn.
Myra Golden has spent 15 years benchmarking, interviewing and mystery shopping the best service companies in the world and in her keynotes she shares her insights to help her clients improve their own customer experiences. In her inspiring and riveting keynotes, Myra shares specific customer experience design details from the best service companies of our time: Apple, Zappos.com, Starbucks and Disney. Your audience will walk away with 4 powerful deliverables to help them create the best possible customer experience in their own companies. Explore Myra’s keynotes here.
How I Build a Keynote Presentation
What a Myra Golden Training is Like
Ways I Engage My Audiences
Never Be Boring: 5 Ways to Never Be Boring as a Keynote Speaker
Are you a corporate trainer who is looking for customer service training to deliver to your team?