Tag: Customer Service Training

This One Tip Will Instantly Make You Sound Friendlier On the Phone With Customers

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One of the easiest ways to make your conversations with customers more conversational, and friendly, is to speak in complete sentences.

It is so familiar to hear interactions like this:

Last name? First name? Zip code?

It’s undoubtedly efficient to ask customers questions in this manner. However, it’s not the friendliest approach. In this article, I’ll talk to you about instantly improving your ability to connect with customers and sound friendly by just speaking in complete sentences.

Yes, speaking in complete sentences will take a few more seconds, but it’s so worth it, because of how the conversation will flow, and how you’ll be perceived, by your customers.

When you have to ask your customer questions, I want you to do two things:

I Showed Up At My Workshop with Nothing But a 12-Foot Pole. And Here’s What Happened.

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Last week I facilitated a team building workshop for one of my favorite clients. Typically, I only deliver training on customer service, but my client had a special request.

My client explained that “We need to work together, make decisions together, and communicate according to the styles of each person. In essence, we need to build a strong cohesive team.”

So I designed a unique Team-building Customer Service event built around a 12-foot pole. Here’s what I did. I showed up with no workbooks, and after 19 years of delivering workshops, training sans workbooks is a first for me.

I stood in front of the audience and pulled out my pole. And I told my group of 13 people that their task was to merely lower the stick to the floor. It sounds simple. Incredulous, the group stared at me, like, seriously?

I divided the class up into two groups and explained the rules. You’ll start with the pole waist high, you cannot lose contact with the pole at any time, and only gravity can move the pole (that is, the pole couldn’t be pushed or pulled down).

After my instruction, I stepped back and watched. Within seconds, the group learned that this exercise was anything but simple.

This is How to Move Calls to Closure

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In a series of events, people remember the first thing, and the last thing, more than anything else. That’s why the way you open a call, and the way you end a call, is so meaningful.

Your call closing must do two things.

You need to share any next steps with your customer; and then, you need to end with a fond farewell. In this article, you’ll learn how to assertively bring calls to closure, and end with a fond farewell.

1. Start the call closure process by giving the customer any next steps.

Sharing next steps lets the customer know the call is almost over, and, this helps you to close the call quickly.

If you have next steps, just, share them. “Alright, Deon. I have processed your return. We’ll go ahead and ship the blue Nike Elite socks, and you should have those within 4-7 business days. You can check the status of your return by logging into our website.”

2. And, then you need to end with a fond farewell.

After you’ve shared any next steps, you move right into the final closure. End with the same energy and friendliness you had when you started the call. Nice farewells include:

Training for All Who Serve Customers: How to Talk to Customers: Friendliness, Tone & Connection

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What if the biggest problem with your customer experience was the way your employees spoke with customers? Are your employees ever perceived as indifferent, cold or uncaring? If you called up your own company, mystery shopping as a customer, would you cringe just a little bit at what you heard? If your customer interactions are less than ideal, how would you change them?

How Your Employees Talk to Customers is Everything

How they say ‘no’ when no truly is the only option, the way they explain something the customer doesn’t want to hear, tone, empathy, knowing what to say to the customer who just wants to speak to a supervisor – These are delicate interactions that can make or break your customer experience. Do your employees know how to respond with diplomacy, tact and a caring attitude in situations like these?

Have Your Employees Sit With Me for 60 Minutes. I’ll Help Them.

For the Last Time, It’s Not Okay to Say, “Your Welcome.”

I was behind a truck recently that had a cool LED lighted border around the license plate. Little red lights danced around and framed the driver’s message.  Here’s what this driver had displayed on his flashy license plate border:

“If your reading this, than your to close.”

Do you see what I saw? Not one, not two, but four typos! The message should read:

The Most Crushing Mistake Most Customer Service People Make: Not Being Friendly o_O

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On the way into my office this morning I stopped to get coffee and breakfast for my team. I don’t do this often enough. When I managed a call center, I would regularly pick up donuts or pastries. I have to do better in my own company. Do you bring treats in for your team? If so, how often do you do it? I need the motivation to get back in gear.

I wanted to treat my small team today for working so hard over the weekend and yesterday into the evening on the big project of moving our entire eLearning roster and training modules to a new hosting site.

My first stop was at a fast food restaurant. I pulled up to the window, and this is what I heard. “Welcome to _____. Order when you’re ready.” The welcome, if you can call it that, was delivered loudly, matter-of-factly, and it even suggested that I needed to hurry up and order, and not wait until I was ready.

I placed my first order. I barely finished my sentence when the person said; “Your total is $5.12 at the first window.” I still had several more items to order! When I awkwardly said, “I actually have more things I’d like to pick up today.” the lady said, “Go ahead when you’re ready.”

I finished up this tedious ordering process, and 10 minutes later I was in the drive-thru at Starbucks, which is next door to the fast food place.

I pull up to the Starbucks drive-thru, and I am greeted with:

The 2 Mistakes Your Front Desk Staff Cannot Make in the First 6 Seconds of a Phone Call with a Patient

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I took my son to the pediatrician yesterday afternoon for his annual checkup. The nurse did a quick vision test and then recommended I get my son to an optometrist. I was hoping my son would be the one person in our family who did not need corrective lenses.

In the car on the way home I called the eye doctor we’d used for my daughter a few months ago. Here’s how the call went.

The Psychology of Customer Anger (Flashback Friday)

Flashback Friday! My kids used to post Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday photos on Instagram. They don’t  do that anymore. In fact, they spend more time on Snapchat than on Instagram.

Well, I’m doing a Flashback post of my own – even if flashback posts are out of style.

I joined YouTube in 2007 and one of the first videos I published was “The Psychology of Customer Anger.”

That cheesy video has gotten over 60,000 views. I cringe when I look at the quality of the video and my style in front of the camera. My son laughed out loud when he came into my office last night and I had the video up.

I look so different from back then, nearly 10 years ago. I’ve lost weight, like 30 pounds. I wear my hair kinky curly. I like to think I’m more controlled and poised in front of the camera.

But my strategies haven’t changed. Not much anyway. I’m taking a risk and posting this Flashback Friday video because one, some or all of these tips just may help you get an angry customer to back down.

Try not to laugh too hard.

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard For Getting Customer Service Reps to Convey Empathy

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Two years ago I was working with a company to help their customer service representatives convey empathy to customers. The intended outcome of the training was for employees to speak to customers with care, concern, and compassion.

Achieving empathy in the customer experience is a bit like walking a tightrope. Too much empathy can result in longer talk times and inappropriate sharing between customer service representatives and clients. Not enough understanding and reps can sound cold and uncaring.

You have to find the right balance in empathy. Or else you fall off the rope, and the customer experience is negatively impacted.

I asked my client how she saw appropriate empathy in her company. And here’s what she said.