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: Continue reading “This is How to Move Calls to Closure”

7 Things You Can Say to Demonstrate Empathy to Customers

How to Express Empathy

One of the skills we practice in my onsite customer service workshops is Empathy. Here are some of the exact phrases that I share in my training sessions for use in our role-plays – and in real life with customers.

Continue reading “7 Things You Can Say to Demonstrate Empathy to Customers”

You Have to Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger. Here’s Why.

A common mistake I hear customer service professionals make when I perform quality checks is ignoring the customer’s expression of anger.

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There is something known as the communication chain. When people communicate, they expect the person they are communicating with to respond or react…this response is a link in the communication chain. A failure to respond to communication leaves the communication chain broken.

For example, If I open a customer service training with “Good morning!”…and the audience is dead silent, they’ve broken the communication chain. And that leaves me feeling awkward, perhaps embarrassed. I’d have the uncomfortable feeling that the workshop would not go well, based on the lack of acknowledgement.

If a customer expresses anger and we fail to respond to it, the communication chain is broken and the customer feels like they are not getting through. The customer might become even angrier and more difficult, as they are resorting to whatever it takes to feel heard and understood.

Continue reading “You Have to Acknowledge a Customer’s Anger. Here’s Why.”

Here’s a Great Energizer for Telephone Techniques Training Classes

Group of students sitting in a circle.

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. Continue reading “Here’s a Great Energizer for Telephone Techniques Training Classes”

How to Establish Rapport with Callers in 6 Seconds Flat

 

Female customer service representative using headset and laughing

I just got off the phone with a call center agent who is in fear of losing her job because her supervisor says her tone, attitude and approach with customers is unacceptable. she has exactly 90 days to improve — or she will be fired.

She said she found my blog when she googled how to improve your customer service skills. I wished I could be there sitting across from this young woman, who I imagine is in her early 20s, and coach her. But she’s in Los Angeles and I have a plane to catch this afternoon, heading to the east coast.

I did coach this young customer service representative, over the phone, on how to soften her approach by making sure she doesn’t over-talk customers, by using what I call a “lead-in” and by listening with the intent to understand.

We talked for nearly an hour and then I gave her a complimentary enrollment in my online learning suite. She touched me with her proactive spirit and now I am determined to help her.

After coaching this young lady, I thought it might be helpful to share with you 4 of the tips I shared with her today. Maybe these tips can help your own employees deliver a better customer experience over the telephone.
Continue reading “How to Establish Rapport with Callers in 6 Seconds Flat”

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