2 Reasons Your Employees Are Failing at the Customer Experience

 

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You know your customer service is not where it needs to be. You know your employees aren’t delivering the level of service your customers expect and deserve. And this is keeping you up at night.

There are 2 reasons why your people are failing at the customer experience.

They aren’t establishing rapport with customers. And this is a big one. And, they aren’t in harmony with what your customers need and expect. Let’s take a look at the reasons agents fail at the customer experience and explore what you can do about it. 

  1. They aren’t establishing rapport with customers

This morning I was monitoring calls for a contact center client; something I often do. Here’s how the Agent opened the call. Continue reading “2 Reasons Your Employees Are Failing at the Customer Experience”

5 Ideas to Improve The Way You to Talk to Customers

woman working in call center

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 and strategy, 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. Here are 5 tips to get you started on the right track for how to talk to your customers.

1. Acknowledge customer concern, when appropriate 

This helps you convey empathy and compassion and it helps you make an emotional connection

▪       “I can understand how frustrating it is when _________”

▪       “I realize how complicated it is to …..”

▪       “I cannot imagine how upsetting it is to …..”

▪       “I know how confusing it must be when….”

 

2. Yield to customers

Be careful not to over talk or interrupt customers. Interrupting is perceived as rude. Three pointers for yielding to 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

Here’s a 2-minute video that you can show your employees if you notice a problem with interrupting or over talking customers

3. Try not to correct customers 

Even when customers are wrong, it’s best not to correct them. Telling customers they are wrong can put them on the defensive and make interactions tense. If the matter over which the customer is wrong is not critical, try to let the little wrong slide.

4. Speak in complete sentences

When you speak in complete sentences you sound friendlier and “warmer”. Always speak in complete sentences with customers. Instead of saying, “Last name?” say “Can I please have your last name?”

Here’s a short video on the what and why of speaking in complete sentences

5. Pace your customer 

Try to meet your customer where she is and pace her needs. If your customer is asking lots of questions, sounding confused or frustrated, or continues to ask for clarification, you have an opportunity to pace. You can pace this customer by taking the time to slowly cover every detail and by checking to ensure you are clear and understood. When speaking with a customer who sounds busy or savvy, you can pace this customer by getting right to the point and giving them what they need quickly and efficiently.

 

 

 

Now you can give your employees even more great skills for delivering the best customer experience. Sign up for my newsletter if you don’t get it already – and learn specific tips, approaches and phrases to help your employees deliver a delightful and friendly customer experience.

Here are 4 of the Video Clips I Show in My Empathy Workshops

I’m really excited about delivering my full day Empathy workshop to a fantastic client in Montreal on Monday. I have been preparing for this event for months, and I cannot wait to share my insights and enthusiasm with a group of 70 new hires.

For the benefit of my audience and as a perk for you, I am sharing the videos I’ll be featuring in the empathy training. I use videos to both teach a particular message and to add further engagement during the training.

During and after live customer service training workshops people always ask me for the links to my videos, so I’m being proactive and sharing them now. 🙂

 

“Put Yourself In Their Shoes”

This is a powerful video that truly gets participants to feel for another person. After this video, I divide participants into small groups, and they debrief the video by discussing 4 questions that I hand out. Powerful, powerful video learning experience.

 

 

Patients: “Afraid and Vulnerable” 

This video helps me to get employees to recognize the impact of their words, body language and attitude on customers – be they patients, guests, etc. After we watch this video, I facilitate a discussion on how vulnerable, afraid, or confused customers can be and how we can put them at ease by being patient, fully present, engaging, caring and compassionate. I really love this video as a training tool

 

Sympathy versus Empathy

I use this short video to clarify the difference between sympathy and empathy, and I emphasize that in customer service, we are focusing on empathy, not sympathy. This video always gets smiles and laughs, while quickly clarifying the difference between empathy and sympathy.

 

Brené Brown on Empathy

In this animated video, Dr. Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

I hope you enjoy these videos and that you might even find a way to use them in your own training. Now, time for me to do a complete run-through of this training so I can be perfect for my client in Montreal. 🙂

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.

 

 

I took my client on a field trip to the Apple store today – Customer Experience Design Strategy

Barnes and Noble Field Trip 2

This morning I took a team from one of my client’s branches on a field trip. We’re working to create the best possible customer experience in my client’s organization and I believe one way to achieve this goal is to learn from the best. So, I got everyone out of the office and we went to the Apple store and Barnes and Noble.

Before the fieldtrip, I gave the team a list of questions and observation points so that we’d make the most productive use of our time. At the Apple store, my team observed greeting upon store entrance, analyzed employee interactions and even got to see an Apple employee eloquently handle a not so happy customer. After the fieldtrip, we met in a circle in the mall and discussed our observations and explored ways they can take back some great ideas and adopt and apply them in their organization.

Apple store field trip

We left Apple and headed across the street to Barnes and Noble. The people at Barnes and Noble were so gracious and allowed us to explore, take up a lot of space, meet to discuss our observations and they even let us take photos. My team really walked away with a lot of customer service insights from Barnes and Noble.

Barnes and Noble Field trip

I love what I do! It’s great to make customer experience training and consulting hands-on, relevant and even fun.

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7 Phrases That Convey Empathy to Customers

One of the skills we practice in my onsite customer service workshops is how to acknowledge customer concern. That is, how to make the customer feel heard, respected and understood when they voice a problem or complaint.  Here are some of the exact phrases I share in my training sessions:

7 Phrases That Convey Empathy to Customers 

Continue reading “7 Phrases That Convey Empathy to Customers”