body language

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

The Masked Singer is Your Customer – 10/27/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

I cannot get into this show.  I have to admit it.  I’ve watched bits and pieces of it several times, but I just don’t totally get The Masked Singer, but it seems like it’s all the rage!  It seems like everybody wants to guess who is in that crazy outfit.  Who is the Penguin or the pterodactyl or the chicken?  I assume they have non-bird costumes as well, but those are the only types that come to mind…

The premise of The Masked Singer is that people are singing, and you can watch them sing and watch them move, but you don’t really know who they are.  These are all famous people, and there might be a hint or two as to who they are, but that’s where the show gets interesting and the guessing begins.

Just like we talked about the TV show The Voice a few weeks ago, there is something customer service-related about The Masked Singer.  While the singer’s voice may be part of the giveaway as to who this person really is, the movement of the person, their size, and their gait also give you a little bit of an indication of the individual.  

Similarly, in customer service, you can tell a lot about a person – or at least draw some preliminary expectations of the individual and their personality – based on tone of voice and based on body language.  When you watch The Masked Singer, you’re looking for these non-verbal cues to help you identify this person.

Whether it’s on a ZOOM customer service call or it’s a face-to-face interaction with the customer, you have that short period of time to assess the situation with that customer in front of you.  You have to quickly gauge their need and have some understanding of their emotion or the perspective that they’re bringing into the conversation.  And the way you do that is by looking at their body language and really trying to understand whether they’re patient or not, whether they’re agitated or not, whether they’re angry or happy or nervous or anxious.

When you’re in front of these customers in some face-to-face encounter, use some tools of the judges and the fans of The Masked Singer.  Take a moment to go beyond the words and read a little bit into what might be the emotional makeup or the mentality that customer is bringing into the conversation by analyzing their body language.  It may help you to handle the situation much more effectively.

Assess the body language when The Masked Singer is your customer.

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Moving toward Normalcy: The Face-to-Face Keys – 5/12/20

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As we slowly go back to a face-to-face world, here are a few quick reminders for what positively differentiates employees who understand the importance of body language and expressions v. those who don’t.

Especially if you’re wearing a mask and serving customers, ensure your eyes are focused on the other person as opposed to the activities and technology that surround you both.  Spend one minute or two a day in front of a mirror to refresh on the kind of messages the forehead and the eyebrows convey when you’re looking at somebody. That might be all of your facial expression that the customer sees. Ensure that the smiles are visible in these other aspects of your expressions.

Maintain that 6-foot distance, but make sure you have a comfortable posture and the tension is not visible in your arms, your hands, or your shoulders.  Lean in to show you’re listening, but don’t move toward the customer.  Keep the comfort zone between the two of you.

Realize that it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the customer, just like at times it’s awkward and uncomfortable for you – having a mask on, keeping distance from the customer, having a plexiglass between you and the other individual.  But that awkwardness and the uncomfortable nature shouldn’t come across in your body language and expressions.  If anything, we need to be as proactive, gregarious, pleasant, and kind to the other person as we ever have been in order to create that rapport and establish that comfort level.

The facility itself is creating barriers to comfort, so the individual needs to go beyond what they would normally do to create that engaging encounter with the customer.

Since we’re not going to be back to normal anytime soon, be clear on those little extras we need to focus on and deliver to make sure customers are as comfortable as possible.

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Use the Actions of Empathy – 4/9/19

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I firmly believe that the most important personal trait of someone in customer service is empathy. If empathy is understanding the other person, then it’s very difficult to truly serve someone that you don’t understand. Particularly when they’re upset or irate, being empathetic and getting them to feel your empathy can help to defuse the situation.

But to make the customer feel your empathy, you not only have to empathize, but you’ve also got to convey that to the customer. So, work on these key empathy actions to S.E.N.D. the right message:

  • Stop – Stop what you’re doing (e.g., paperwork, computer work, working on equipment, looking at cell phone, etc.). It makes them feel like you are their one priority at that time – that you want to understand.
  • Eyes – Make positive eye contact. It ensures that you’re not appearing distracted or upset. You appear focused on them.
  • Nod – Occasionally nod when they say something with which you agree. You’re showing you’re not a brick wall, like someone disagreeing “inside” even though you’re not verbally arguing. Instead, it shows you’re being understanding of their situation.
  • Document – Take a few notes as they talk. It conveys that what they have to say is important enough for you to get the facts/information right (FYI – Tell them why you’re writing so they don’t feel you’re doing other work.).

 

S.E.N.D. the right message. Convey empathy with your actions.

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