Here’s a Great Energizer for Telephone Techniques Training Classes


In March I facilitated a 2-day Soft Skills training for more than a hundred people for a client in South Dakota. Do you know how hard one must work to keep 100 people fully engaged for 2 full days?

Hard. You have to work hard. And creatively. Of course, one must have endless energy too.

Fortunately I am anointed to engage audiences with boundless energy and stories. But it takes more than that. You have to engage audiences and keep them nearly spellbound. Or else you’ll lose them to their smart phones or thoughts.

I was going into the final inning of this 2-day training in South Dakota. Participants had just returned from lunch. If you’re a seasoned trainer, you know that the hardest part of training is right after lunch. That’s when you are at the greatest risk of losing your audience.

So, here’s what I did. Immediately after lunch I instructed my audience, already clustered in small groups of 8 at round tables, to think of a company. Any company. Small groups thought of all sorts of companies: Wal-Mart, Zappos, a taco restaurant, and pretty much any business you might imagine.

Red Phone

Then I explained to my audience that they would be calling up the company they chose. They would have one person in each small group make the call from their cellphone while the rest of the group listened in on speaker. They were to make a routine customer inquiry. The goal was to look for what made the call amazing, mediocre or poor and then come back and give short presentation to the large group.

Because my audience was large, more than 100 people, I had several groups leave the ballroom and find quiet spots throughout the event center. I allowed 10 minutes for the call activity.

Customer Service Training

After about 10 minutes, I called the groups back in and we heard presentations of horrible customer service calls, WOW calls and lots of unimpressive, but not really bad calls.

This activity served 4 purposes:

1. It got my audience up and moving right after lunch, a time when people might otherwise surf their phones or drift somewhere in their heads. Or even sleep.

2. All audience members were fully engaged. They were engaged in choosing the company, engaged as they tried to figure out where the exercise was going, and they were fully involved in making the call and preparing presentations.

3. Participants learned what a great call sounded like and felt like. In the debrief after presentations, we discussed how we could take the great and apply it to their own calls with customers.

4. People got to hear what bad and mediocre calls felt like. The goal, of course, was to make sure they never left customers with the bad feeling of poor customer service.

Keep your audiences engaged with energizing activities that teach an important point. (This is particularly important after lunch and in the late afternoon.) When you do, your audiences will have more fun, learn more and they’ll think you’re awesome.

Train the Way Myra Golden Trains Using Her Trainer Facilitator Kits!!!

Fully Customizable Facilitator Kits Using the Myra Golden Training Method


Training Kits Available for the Following Topics:

Telephone Skills

Call Control Skills

Complaint Handling

How to Handle Difficult Customers

All training kits include:

  • Reproducible comprehensive participant workbook that drives home key points and serves as a reference point long after the training is over.

  • High-impact PowerPoint slide deck that you can use as-is or customize with your logo and specific examples.

  • Detailed trainer’s notes to help you quickly get ready to train.

  • Certificate for free consultation with Myra Golden – Consult with Myra about the philosophy, objectives or delivery of this training program before you deliver it!

  • Delivered digitally so that you’ll have this entire training system at your fingertips in minutes!

  • How-to hints for delivering the very best training.

Now you can give your representatives even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience and for handling difficult customer situations. Sign up for my email list and learn specific tips, approaches and phrases to help your employees help your customers.


Great Customer Service From the Top of the Day to the Bottom of the Day

When I managed a contact center, I actually had our phones set to come on 5 minutes before our posted hours and to stay on 5 minutes past our posted hours. I did this because I wanted to surprise and delight our early bird customers and I wanted to offer relief to frantic customers who just couldn’t call before quitting time.  A great service experience from top to bottom has always been a fierce focus of mine. Today I discovered a grocery store that shares my idea of opening up just a little earlier for customers and staying open later. I’ll get to that in a minute. First let me tell you about a service fail.

My daughter and I walked into a drug store 15 minutes before closing one night. The lights were already dimmed and the closing announcement blasted over the PA system at least 3 times during our short trip into the store. Employees were busy shutting down registers and scurrying around to get things locked down by 9pm. My daughter and I felt like unwelcome guests at a party and we felt compelled to rush our shopping so that the workers could get out of the building no later than 9:01pm.

This morning I visited Natural Grocers, a wonderful natural and organic grocery store. I noticed their odd store hours posted on the door.

Monday- Saturday:  8:56 am – 8:04pm

Sunday: 9:56am – 7:06pm

Natural Grocers Great Customer Service and Odd Hours

Intrigued by the unusual hours, I went to the company’s website and found this:

We have a real pet peeve about those loud announcements that you often hear in stores, like this one:





Instead, we think if you have come to shop with us we should be happy you are here.  If you come a little early, we will open the doors with a smile to get you inside.  If you show up right at closing, you are still welcome to come in and shop at your leisure.  Those odd hours we list on the door are just a reminder to our staff and to you that we promise to welcome you and we will stand by that promise.

My service experience at the drug store wasn’t horrible, yet it was far from remarkable. The friendly hours of Natural Grocers was refreshing and it matched the service I got in the store. Align your processes, policies and people to deliver an amazing experience at the top of the day, throughout the day and at the very end of the day.  If your contact center hours are 8am – 7pm and someone calls at 6:59pm, they deserve your full attention and a complete and enthusiastic service experience. Do a little extra and you’ll be sure to give your customers a memorable and refreshing customer experience that they’ll rave about.

If you’re into organic and natural food, you might want to check out Natural Grocers. Great selection and really great prices. Not to mention, wicked-cool store hours.

Natural Grocers Tulsa

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 


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. You’ve gotta read this outline!


Download How to Talk to Customers Now


Resources for My Progressive Business Seminar Attendees

Today I’m speaking at a Progressive Business Conference on how to build rapport over the telephone. As a special bonus for my attendees, I am providing resources to help create an amazing customer experience. Enjoy.


Telephone Call Flow Strategy

The telephone is one of the best branding devices out there. Over the telephone you get 3-5 minutes of your customer’s undivided attention. If you get the interaction right, you can create a memorable experience, generate positive word-of-mouth advertising, and build customer loyalty, which leads to increased profits. Getting the interaction right usually requires a call strategy of some kind. Here is the 9-point call strategy my consultants use to improve the customer experience with our clients.

What to Say to a Yelling or Cursing Customer

It’s rare that a customer goes ballistic, but it happens. Here’s how to handle the tough customer. 

Polite Ways to Get the Long-winded Caller to Cut to the Chase

Practical tips for getting chatty-Cathy to get to the point, click here.

20 Diplomatic Phrases to Help You Regain Control in 7 Common Situations with Difficult Customers

Learn how to communicate with diplomacy and tact in a variety of situations from the customer who demands to speak to a supervisor to drawing the line on consumer error. Get the phrases right here.

For help shaping or improving your customer experience, consider working with me or one of my trainers. Explore our onsite customer service training programs.

You might also be interested in our customer service eLearning.

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

Telephone Call Flow Strategy for Call Centers

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)

A short video on the how and why of the “lead-in”


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 videos on how to acknowledge a customer’s emotion:

Why You Must Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger Part 1 of 2

Why You Must Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger Part 2 of 2


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

I talk about the “Yielding” technique in this video.


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?”

Here’s a short video on the importance of speaking in complete sentences that you can share with your employees. 


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 Terasita. 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:

5 Ideas to Improve the Way Your Employees Talk to Customers – Use these free 5 tips (plus videos) to hold a 5-minute training session to help your employees sound friendlier and “warmer”in face-to-face interactions and over the telephone

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

How do I quickly give my agents good phone and customer service skills training?

Q. My agents are good at what they do. They know our products and policy up and down, but I am concerned about the level of customer service we provide over the phone. Can you share some telephone customer service tips I can use to train in a short segment (like a staff meeting)?

Smiling receptionistMyra’s answer to How do I quickly give my agents good phone and customer service skills training? 

Continue reading →