Customer Service Tip of the Week

Be SomeBODY to Your Customer - 12/18/18


Jenny lives on a farm, and she's often running errands to get things for the animals or the family. She goes to one particular store to get her hay, and she always chit-chats with the person at the register. Marie is always friendly and cordial, and Jenny always buys Read more

A Representative Success! - 12/11/18


I was in a meeting recently with a client, and it was interesting to chat with one of their best customer service representatives. This is an employee who works with the same business clients every month, and when she described what she does, best practices started flowing. She knows her Read more

Of Carly Simon and Corey Feldman - 12/4/18


Anticipation. It's a fine song by Carly Simon. She talks about how it (anticipation) is making her late, and it is keeping her waiting. The song is also the theme for the cheesy Corey Feldman 1970s Heinz Ketchup commercial. But that definition of “Anticipation” talks about the Read more

Use Customer Comments to Continuously Improve - 11/27/18


It’s that time of year when all good Americans due their duty – to purchase holiday gifts online. Okay, maybe it’s not as much a duty as it is a joy or chore, depending on your point-of-view. Before I purchase anything online, I seek out reviews. This may Read more

No Matter How You Say It, Say Thanks! - 11/20/18


Gracias. Grazie. Gratias tibi. Obrigado. Tack. Merci. Danke. Thank You. No matter how you say it, say it. Say Thank You. You can say Thank You in many different languages (shout out to Google Translate for what's written above!). You can say it Read more

Why to Become an Empathy Expert - 11/13/18


People who are great at customer service, understand that one of their most important attributes, one that is a must, is the ability to empathize with others. People want to be understood. They want to be heard. And before you can meet their need or address their feelings or Read more

Love is never having to say you’re sorry - 11/6/18


Love Story – great movie. Alli McGraw. Ryan O’Neal. And a surprisingly poor rating on Rotten Tomatoes – but I digress. The most famous line from the movie is “Love is never having to say you’re sorry…” Unfortunately, great customer service isn’t about love, per se. Read more

Words that Convey You Care - 10/30/18


Of course you care about your customer and your co-worker. You wouldn’t be reading these tips, trying to learn and improve, if you didn’t care. But sometimes that caring doesn't get translated based on the words that we may use. So, we're going to walk through 3 Read more

Execute at a High Level - 10/23/18


The football coach was in the midst of a season where his team had not won a game. After a recent loss, the head coach entered his press conference. One of the reporters asked a simple question: What do you think of your team’s execution? The head coach Read more

Be the Culture - 10/16/18


As a customer service consultant, I am often in situations with clients where we're trying to figure out how to deliver a better experience to the customer. It might be an effort undertaken to retain more clients and grow the top line. It may be an effort to streamline Read more

Water Rippling in the Pond – 8/14/18

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You drop a rock into a creek, and you see the mini waves created. You watch a golf tournament, and a golfer dumps a shot in a lake – and it ripples. You see a water sculpture with a basin below, you toss in a penny to make a wish, and the water flows in every direction.

Ripples in the pond.

So much of the environment that we’re in – literally, and more so the mental environment that we’re in – is influenced by the words of others. If we hear constant negativity, if others voice constant obstacles, if there is rancor and anger and confusion, then there’s a great risk for those in the environment. We can allow those words to affect our mindset, our behavior, and maybe our own words as well.

Sometimes the environment that we’re in is full of encouragement, reinforcement, positivity, and appreciation. Sometimes those words build us up and are filled with thanks. The words in our environment can emphasize what COULD work and what possibilities for good exist. Those words also affect our mindset, our behavior, and maybe the words that we use as well.

Realize that the environment that we are in is often influenced by communication. The environment created by the words we use is like water rippling in the pond. Our words can influence others. They have the ability to change a perception or a mindset or a behavior or an outlook.

So, when we need to use words, choose words that move the environment in a direction of good.

Remember, your words create an effect like water rippling in the pond.

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Take Away Their Worry – 8/7/18

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One summer, Janet was given a new chore. She had to take out the trash and recycle bins to the street every Tuesday night so that they could be picked up Wednesday morning. She would go out around 7 or 8 o’clock at night, take the bins out, and come back inside. As summer was about to end, it began getting dark earlier, so Janet began putting the bins out earlier.

Janet was worrying about things. She kept hearing noises and didn’t know what they were, so she decided to at least avoid the darkness when putting out the bins. Her dad asked why she kept going out earlier, and when she explained, he said that the noises were probably some small animals, and she shouldn’t be afraid.

The next week she went out a little later – when it was a little bit darker – and she heard some noises and ran back inside. Her dad asked what was wrong, and when she explained about the noises again, he got out his flashlight, and they walked out together. They heard a noise, he pointed the flashlight in that direction, and it was a squirrel. They walked a few feet and heard another noise, and the flashlight revealed a bunny on some leaves. It was a windy day, and after another noise, the light showed a small branch that had fallen.

What the dad had said a week earlier had been proven true. Janet continued her chore, and she did so at night – and she usually went out with a flashlight.

For our customers, similar to Janet, sometimes things are scary. It could be that patient’s unexpected visit to an urgent care, or possibly that a sports fan was about to make a big payment on season tickets. Maybe that resident was not used to dealing with the government on the tax issue.

If we can tell them what they’re going to experience, it can make them less worried. Better yet, it we can SHOW THEM what’s going to happen – being that flashlight – noting all the steps they could be experiencing through the process, they become even more comfortable.

When you are interacting with a customer on something that may create worry or anxiety, do what Janet’s dad did for her. Patiently describe what the experience will be like; shine the light on the path they’ll be going down to bring down their emotions.

Take away their worry.

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Unleash Your Persuasiveness – 7/31/18

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Sometimes the facts are not enough. The customer is irate, or they don’t like the alternative you’re suggesting. You need them to do something, and they want you to do it. They need to do options A or B, and they want to select imaginary option Z.

You need to persuade them so that the right choice or a reasonable choice or the best choice for them is the one they select. So how do you unleash your persuasiveness?

Here are four (4) key points of consideration:

  • Identify what’s in it for them, or how it would benefit them. Then reference this in the conversation. The customer is more easily persuaded to take a certain action if they understand the benefit to them of taking that action. Instead of purely understanding what needs to be done and understanding why it’s beneficial to you or your organization, use a little empathy to understand what’s in it for them.
  • Model positive behaviors – nods, eye contact, smiles. Persuasion is not just about the words you use. Persuasion is something where they are feeling the positive energy associated with the option you’re promoting. They feel the confidence that you have not only in what you say but how you’re saying it. They feel a level of sincerity in the message you’re sending. You do this with your body language and tone of voice as much as you do it with your words.
  • Build their confidence by sharing successful experiences in a simple/relatable way. Let them know you’ve done this successfully with others. Oftentimes, customers come into situations with one solution in mind, and if that solution is not the one you’re suggesting, they need to be able to envision a successful outcome clearly like they’ve already envisioned that outcome using their own solution. So talk about other customers that have successfully utilized this option; talk about clients similar to them where this has worked well. Keep it simple, and make sure they can relate to the examples of success you provide.
  • Uncover their concerns with the potential solution/alternative. In the end, what you’re really doing is overcoming their fears and concerns about the option that you’re providing. So ask them why they would prefer a certain option. Ask them what in particular is causing them to hesitate about selecting a particular alternative. The more you can uncover the specific concerns, the better you can address them.

 

Unleash your innate persuasiveness!

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