How to Handle Difficult Customers Using Verbal Aikido

Myra Golden Customer Service Training Highlight

Verbal Aikido: A non-aggressive, highly effective strategy for handling difficult customers

Myra Golden Slide Deck WIDE.001

Thanks to the Internet and social media, customers are more savvy now than ever before.  Although this sounds like a good thing, the net result is an increase in stress for frontline customer service professionals. According to Newsweek magazine, the stress level of consumer services professionals is comparable to that of air-traffic controllers and police officers.  In short, the role of customer service now ranks as one of the 10 most stressful jobs in the U.S.

In this keynote Myra Golden reveals that extremely difficult customers are determined to force corporations—via the customer service professional—to give in to the consumer demands—reasonable or not.  This means the customer service professional must develop a response plan.

Myra, a former global head of customer care, teaches leaders how to achieve harmony with dissatisfied and difficult customers through the use of empathy, conversational aikido and a solid recovery strategy.

The outcome of this keynote is an audience that is prepared to develop a customer-recovery plan that empowers customer service professionals to understand how to create calm; how to find resolutions that balance the interests of the customer and the company; how to reduce escalations; and how to create a positive conversation.

——————————————————————– 

“If your organization’s growth relies on improving the customer experience, you would benefit enormously from an engagement with Myra Golden. Her vast hands-on experience in a wide variety of service organizations differentiates herself from many other consultants we have worked with in the past. Our organization has utilized Myra’s online webinars with outstanding results as well. Very high value for your consulting dollar.

Beth Dockins

Former Director, Customer Service, Audit, Admin at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. 


Key Take-aways:

  • Learn exactly what it takes to restore customer confidence and regain goodwill after a service failure.
  • Examine the 6 steps for a customer recovery plan that empowers employees with excellent decision-making and judgment skills, resolves problems at the first encounter and restores customer trust.
  • Discover how your employees can communicate assertively, create calm and take control with difficult customers by using conversational aikido.
  • Explore ways to build stronger emotional connections with customers through Extreme Empathy
  • Execute your new customer recovery strategy faster by using a new fiercely focused project plan that gets all of your horses going in the same direction.

——————————————————————– 

“I am still receiving compliments on your polished and actionable presentation! You are a complete professional who can connect with your audience through warmth and deep knowledge. I hope to have you back again!”

Michelle Singer, President, American Marketing Association – Tulsa Chapter


Download a PDF brochure of this keynote description

Videos discussing key points from Myra’s Verbal Aikido training workshop 

This video is about the Aikido principle of “don’t push”

This video is about the Yielding technique, another Verbal Aikido principle Myra’s participants learn in the Verbal Aikido workshop

 

Myra Golden

Customer Experience Designer & Professional Speaker

Myra Golden Media
Phone: 918-398-9368
Fax: 832-218-8464
info@myragolden.com

Visit Myra’s Keynote Speaking & Customer Service Training website: www.MyraGolden.com

Connect with Myra on Twitter: @myragolden.

Special Video Training for Customer Service Representatives – How to talk to customers: Empathy and Tone

How to Talk to Customers: Empathy, Tone and Making Personal Emotional Connections On Demand Webinar Training

This new video contains a step-by-step approach to speaking with customers with a friendly tone, empathy and concern.

Your people will lean the secrets for making personal emotional connection over the phone, personalizing email and chat, and how to convey empathy and concern.

How to Talk to Customers: Empathy, Tone and Making Personal Emotional 

mg000002235467Small

The biggest problem with the customer experience in most companies is how employees talk to customers. All too often, employees come across as indifferent, cold, uncaring, rushed or rude. This employee “attitude problem” can be the tipping point that sends customers to the competition. This attitude problem is what drives customers to tweet and blog about a poor customer experience. The great news is, with the right training, monitoring and coaching, employees can learn how to soften tones, truly convey empathy, make customers feel taken care of and even make memorable personal emotional connections with customers.

Watch 15-minutes of How to Talk to Customers

In this extended training event, Myra shows your employees, step-by-step, how to talk to your customers. $299.

Download How to Talk to Customers Now

Ways I Engage My Audiences

Don’t do for attendees what they can do for themselves.

With the distractions of texting, social media, and email, it’s harder now than ever to keep adults engaged in corporate training sessions. But as a professional speaker and trainer, it’s my job to keep my audiences engaged and learning. One way I do that is to not do for my attendees anything they can do for themselves.


Last week I delivered a 3-hour training session on “Recruiting and Retaining Generation Y Talent.” Great topic. LONG session. One of the things I wanted my audience to walk away with was a great benchmark of how the best companies are recruiting and retaining Generation Y employees. I could have read them the list of companies that have a proven track record of retaining Yers and then given them a dozen bullet points on how the companies do what they do. But that quickly gets boring.

Here’s what I did instead. I quickly named the top 5 companies for Generation Yers. These are companies that are known to meet the unique needs of this generation and companies where Yers thrive. Then, I divided my audience into groups of 4-6 people. I asked my attendees to pull out their smartphones and iPads and I had each group research one company. Further, I instructed the groups to prepare a short presentation on what that company was doing to effectively recruit, motivate and retain Generation Y employees. I gave the groups 10 minutes for their research.

My audience loved this exercise. It got them interacting with one another, they were fully engaged, and they loved researching on their personal gadgets. The group presentations covered a depth of knowledge that I couldn’t have covered without boring the audience.

I debriefed this exercise by telling my audience of Human Resource Directors and Corporate Trainers that letting Generation Yers work in teams and use the Internet during training sessions is a great way to engage Yers in corporate training.

Bottom line: When it comes to corporate training, don’t do for attendees what they can do for themselves. Engage your attendees by letting them brainstorm, research and present in small groups. When you do this, your job is easier and your people learn and retain far more.

Learn more about my engaging customer service training sessions by going to www.MyraGolden.com.

Related articles:

What a Myra Golden Training is Like

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

Zappos Only Hires People Who Are Passionate About Customer Service

Zappos is about the very best customer service and that starts with hiring the very best people. Watch this interview as Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh talks about the Zappos Customer Service Culture.

7 Soft Skills to Transform Your Customer Experience Over the Telephone

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 are how to handle the body of the call in a friendly and warm way. The final step, end with a fond farewell, ensures you end calls positively.

If these 7 steps help you in any way, well that makes my day. –Myra

indian call center representative

1. Open with a lead-in

“Good morning. Customer Care. This is Penny. How may I help you today?” (with a 🙂 in your voice)

 

2. Convey empathy and/or acknowledge emotions when appropriate

  • “I can understand how frustrating it is when your rental car breaks down.”
  • “I realize how complicated it is to …..”
  • “I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to …..”
  • “I know how confusing it must be when …..”

Short video on how to acknowledge a customer’s emotion:

 

3. Yield to Callers (Don’t interrupt or over talk customers)

  • Allow customers to finish sentences
  • If you accidentally interrupt a caller, apologize
  • Even when you know within a second or two that the call will need to be transferred, allow the caller to finish their statement before making the transfer

 

4. Bridge into questioning

  • “In order to determine what happened, I will need to ask you some questions.”
  • “Do you mind if I ask you some questions so we can figure out what has happened?”
  • “So I can assist you, may I ask you a few questions?”

5. Speak in complete sentences

Be friendly and conversational and always use a complete sentence:

  • “May I have your zip code please?” –  Not: “Zip code?”
  • “Can I get your last name?” – Not: “Name?”

 

6.  Ask “Is there anything else?”

  • “Ms. Williams, may I help you with anything else?”
  • “May I help you with anything else, Mr. Smith?”
  • “Do you have any additional questions, Mrs. Jones?”
  • “Is there anything else I can help you with today, Mr. Davis?”
  • “Ms. Brown, how else may I help you today?”

7.  End with a fond farewell (include some form of thanks)

  • “Thanks so much for calling us today Julie.”
  • “I enjoyed talking with you, Teresita. I hope you enjoy your new duffle bag.”
  • “Well, if there’s nothing else, all that’s left is for me to wish you a great afternoon! Thank you for calling us today Tammy.” 

Was This Helpful?

I’m asking you because my newsletter offers ideas like this all the time. If you’re not yet subscribed, sign up here.

For more help in how to talk to customers, check out:

Customer Service Onsite Training Workshops – Fully Customized, Engaging, Fun Customer Service Training for your team

Customer Service eLearning– 10 courses to improve the way your employees talk to customers over the phone and email

Watch this short video to learn more about our customer service eLearning.

Learn more or try for free.

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