This is the 7-point call strategy I use when my work is to improve the telephone customer experience in a call center. The lead-in, step 1, gets calls started on a positive note. Steps 2-6 […]
When I listen to phone calls ahead of training for contact centers, medical practices, and customer service departments, I spot five glaring problems in almost every company I work with. The Big Five Are: 1) Blunt, slang-like approach to asking questions, 2) Overtalking customers in an attempt to move the interaction forward, 3) No acknowledgment of the customer’s pain point, 4) Not listening, and 5) Missed rapport opportunities by not pacing.
Today I’m giving you quick fixes for the significant five issues I always see with my clients. You can use these solutions for a short 15-minute team training or in your coaching meetings.
1. Speak In Complete Sentences
Merely going from “Last name?” to “May I have your last name, please?” instantly makes interactions sound friendlier.
There are pretty much three voice tones you can use with customers.
This is the tone you’d use when disciplining a child or if you’re a police officer working to assert your authority. Rarely, if ever, would you use this tone with a customer. Having said this, you might have to speak authoritatively if a customer crosses the line and is profane or disrespectful.
The Authoritative Tone Can Come Across:
Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But, people will never forget how you made them feel.” That point right there – people will never forget how you made them feel – is why we created this course.
This training is about never having your customers hang up with negative feelings about how you talked to them. Here are 10 Takeaways Your Employees Get From My Telephone Skills Training.
- Three keys for how to make the most of the first six seconds of a phone call
- How to bridge into questions, so you sound friendly and helpful
- The art of yielding, so you don’t accidentally over-talk your customers
- Discover why speaking in complete sentences improves the perception of friendliness and helps you build rapport
- Exactly how to gracefully handle dead airspace, so you avoid that awkward uncomfortableness on the phone
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.
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.
If you’re on a call with a customer, and more than three, or four seconds go by, and you haven’t said a word, that’s called dead air space. You’re working… you know that. But for the customer, dead air space feels awkward. So we need to learn the best way to fill the silent seconds.
Today, I’ll show you five ways to avoid the uncomfortable dead air space.
Today I’m going to show you how to use the Feel, Felt, Found method to express empathy to your customers. What’s great about the Feel, Felt, Found Method is it gives you the perfect response when you can’t give the customer exactly what they want. It helps you to be more relatable, and to foster a sense of connection with customers.
The Feel, Felt, Found method is easy to use.
First, you let the customer know you can relate to how they feel.
Then, you explain to your customer that you’ve had other customers who have felt the same way. This helps your customer to realize two things: first, that you get how they are feeling and also, that they aren’t alone. Other customers have been where they are.
And finally, you tell the customer what you, or other customers, have found to work in this situation. This is where you offer empathy and a possible solution, all in one.
The basic model for Feel, Felt, Found is:
How did 2017 go for you? Employees still struggling with how to control calls with unreasonable customers? Your customer experience still not where you know it needs to be? Still trying to get your people to convey empathy? I know. The struggle is real.
The real question is: how will you gear up to make 2018 better?
Let me give your people the tactics, skills, and inspiration they need so they can deliver experiences that make you feel proud.
I try to make my training easy – for you, your employees, and even for me, by offering it online. I still do onsite training, of course, but online training saves time and money. And it keeps me off of planes.
There’s no sense stressing over 2017’s results. Let me help your workgroup thrive in 2018.
In this article I show you what empathy is using an experience with my teenage daughter, and then I deliver 4 tactical ideas you can apply right now to express empathy: Put yourself in your customer’s place, Sense the Situation From the Customer’s Perspective, Discuss What’s Upsetting the Customer, and Coming Up with Ways to Fix the Problem
My daughter and I were in New York. We’d spent the day sight-seeing, and back at the hotel, my daughter’s iPhone showed all of her photos as blurry – not just the photos she’d taken that day, but every picture on her phone.
To my 17-year old daughter, a problem with photos and her phone camera is catastrophic. It would have been easy for me to dismiss this as, “There are bigger things in life for you to worry about.” And that was my real temptation. But I could see she was distraught over this.
Empathy is putting yourself in another person’s place. Sensing their situation, from their perspective. It’s also discussing the things that are upsetting to the person, maybe coming up with ideas to get them out of the situation they’re in.
So, instead of dismissing my daughter’s photo problem as no big deal (because to me, it wasn’t a big deal), I chose empathy.
There are four attributes of empathy, and I teach each of these characteristics in my Empathy eLearning course. One of the characteristics is communicate your understanding.
When your customer is upset, or frustrated, you could communicate your understanding this way: