confidence

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

Let Your Goal Determine Your Question - 2/2/21


In the early 2000s, when the economy hit the skids, companies realized that they couldn’t take their customers for granted.  They needed to ramp up customer service.  They needed to listen to the Voice of the Customer. During the Great Recession in the 2008-10 timeframe, much of the “new marketing Read more

Excellence is Not Perfection, and that’s OK - 1/26/21


Surveys have questions with ratings that range from Excellent to Poor.  We custom-design and deliver Service Excellence Training.  Tom Peters wrote the book “In Search of Excellence.” But how do you define Excellence, particularly in customer service?  Let’s start with what Excellence is not.  Excellence is not something reflected in Read more

Bring Magic to Your Account Management - 1/19/21


One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic.  They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention.  They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department.  They broke it Read more

Customers Want Easy, but Easy is Difficult - 1/12/21


New employees go through days of training to learn products and services.  They have formal workshops to learn how to use their office applications, web functions, and whatever programs are specific to their department.  They test new technology, and they get quizzed on knowledge of policies.  This is hours Read more

Make 2021 the Year of Building Relationships - 1/5/21


I’ve been very fortunate over this company’s 20+ years in business to have great and long-lasting relationships with many clients, colleagues, business partners, and co-workers.  It’s a gift to be able to call on these individuals for advice or referrals or to be a sounding board.  And it’s just Read more

Bring Warmth During Winter - 12/29/20


Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth. Although some of us may like the cold at times of Read more

2020 Holiday Poem - 12/22/20


When in the role of customer service,We are wired to give and give.It’s built into our DNA.It’s simply the way we live. In order to give to others,We need to find ways to give them their fill.We need to pour empathy and openness into them.To serve, we need to have Read more

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

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

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 warms, or I can fear that a big wave is going to knock me over.  I can choose optimism or pessimism.

Optimism is about hope – it’s about faith or belief or confidence in the possibility of a positive outcome.

Colin Powell once said that perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.  In other words, positivity can create momentum, can create power – people are attracted to it and will go with you if that optimism can become a sincere all-the-time thing.

If we want our co-workers and customers to follow our lead, it benefits us to enlist the power of optimism.  If we want pleasant, positive, Yes-oriented interactions, it benefits us to be pleasant, hopeful, and optimistic.

Sometimes it’s easiest to define a word or explain a concept by contrasting it, so let’s consider some examples.  Kahlil Gibran said:  The optimist sees the rose and not the thorns, the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. Here are a couple other quotes…

  • A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.
  • A pessimist thinks there’s nothing so bad it can’t get worse; an optimist thinks there’s nothing so good it can’t get better.
  • An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

 
Now let’s refocus on the good – the optimistic viewpoint – hoping and believing that things will turn out well and imparting that hope and confidence to others:

  • Yogi Berra used to say it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. At the end of sporting events where my team is losing, my wife likes to say:  It’s not over yet.  They can come back!
  • Robert Browning encourages us not to look down, but rather to look up. Don’t focus on the difficulty you’re in as much as the direction you want to go.
  • Walt Whitman said the strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.

 
If times are difficult, remember that today’s circumstances don’t dictate tomorrow’s outcomes.  If times are good, know that they can get even better.

Often our perspectives and our outlooks affect others, and if we want to draw people in and get them to have confidence in us, our decisions, our direction – we can use optimism to be that draw.

Use optimism as a force for good in your service of others.

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

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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, and a customer will recognize both.

Whether the customer is anxious or not, you want them to feel confident in what you or your organization are going to do…confident in what you or your organization says.  You want to impart your confidence to them.

You want to assure them that issues will be resolved, orders will be filled, and needs will be met.  You want them to be confident, and their confidence benefits you.  The more confident they are, the fewer questions they’ll ask.  The more confident they are, the fewer times they’ll contact you for updates.  The more confident they are, the more patient they will be in gaining closure on the situation.

So how do you build confidence in the moment?  You need to assure them.  Assurance is about your being confident – with your words and tone and body language.  It’s about conveying positivity, and it’s about more than you simply telling them the outcome that will occur:

  • Show them the plan – the steps that will get them from Point A to Z.
  • Prove how many times you’ve helped customers in similar situations.
  • Tell a story of a recent success example – how someone in their position got the outcome they’re seeking.
  • Promise or guarantee or pledge what you’ll do next or how you’ll shepherd the situation through to a final positive outcome.

 
To build a customer’s confidence, convey your confidence, and assure them by helping them visualize the path to a positive solution.

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Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right – 8/18/20

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This is a famous Henry Ford quote, and the quote is all about self-belief, all about confidence.

We’ve often spoken about the need to be confident and how to gain confidence, because that confidence – or the lack thereof – is imparted on the customer.

But how does a customer tell if you’re confident?  And why is that important?

As a customer, I’ve been in a situation far too many times when I’m seeking guidance or input.  I’m trying to understand the process or I’m trying to understand a deadline.   If I know the process and the deadline, if I know how they’re going to get to the answer or how they’re going to fix this product issue, my expectations get set.  I have a game plan.  And where there is no game plan, often there is anxiety or worry.

You don’t want your customers feeling anxiety or worry.  And if that anxiety or worry comes from you, then it is attached to your company, and the perception of you and the company is lessened.

As a customer, when I sense that lack of confidence, I’m sensing it because there are long unexplained pauses before answers.  Because there’s a lot of “I don’t know” without a lot of “I’ll find out.”  Because they never say that they can answer that for me or help me with that.  Because I’m put on hold without being told why or am transferred without being told to whom.  Because the voice wavers and there’s a lot of “ummm” and “hmmm.”

So much of that perceived lack of confidence comes from things employees do that they should simply eliminate.

Eliminate the long pauses – keep the conversation going.  Don’t say “I don’t know” unless you follow that up with “I’ll find out.”  If you want to help, don’t avoid saying that you want to or you can help.  Don’t put people on hold or transfer them without letting them know to whom and why.  Don’t provide the unnecessary “ummm” and “hmmm.”

Sometimes saying less conveys more confidence.

Convey your self-belief – your confidence – to your customer.

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