#annoyingcustomers

Five reasons to avoid the FRIEND zone with customers

Conventional workplace wisdom espouses the virtue of employees being friendly with customers. While friendliness is a good thing, too often employees interpret it as encouragement to become their customer's friend. That's not such a good thing. The key question is what is the most appropriate and profitable employee/customer relationship? Having conducted customer service training seminars for hundreds of organizations over some 22 years, I've come to the conclusion that there are 5 things every employee should consider as they develop relationships with internal and external customers...

To read the article click:  The Dreaded "F" Word at Work

One word other than sorry, to calm unhappy customers

When things go wrong with customers or coworkers, consider the impact of using I language. When I do presentations for CEOs on how to respond to the media in a customer service crisis - such as a product recall or customers being injured - I explain the importance of starting sentences with the word I. I remind CEOs that in a crisis they need to immediately go the site themselves or talk directly to the people involved. Then when answering media questions, they should respond in the first person with, “I” as in, I talked with... or I viewed the damage. Using I language proves you’re fully involved in resolving the issue. Similarly, when you address a concern with an unhappy customer or co-worker, using I language (and actions) helps regain trust.

The Real Secret to Winning Customers and Getting Promoted

A Secret to Business Success and Career Advancement 

There have been volumes written on how to grow your business and advance your career. Many encourage you to network and get noticed by the right people. After some two decades of working with senior managers and observing what really impresses them from their employees, I’ve found that trying to be popular is the last thing that works for employees. The real secret to winning customers and being valued by senior managers is profoundly simple: keep your promises no matter what it costs you. That means making clear commitments. Telling others, “I’ll try” or “I’ll do my best.” is saying you have no idea if you’re really capable, so you won’t make a firm commitment. Better to say no up-front than say I’ll try and give excuses later. In today’s world of wishy-washiness, just the act of making clear promises – and keeping them no matter what – makes you stand-out.

 

Was this helpful?   For additional information on this topic:  Influence and Persuasion Skills 

You’ll find more of Jeff’s Trusted Advisor Customer Service tips or subscribe to receive a new Business Building Tip every two weeks and stay up to date on all our upcoming events.

Curious about Jeff's training resources?  Click on Shop for details.  If you're interested in a customized presentation for your organization contact Jeff at [email protected]

Jeff Mowatt is a customer service speaker, customer service trainer, award-winning speaker, and best selling author. To inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit www.JeffMowatt.com

Easy way to reduce customer stress

Of all the causes of daily stress, one of the most common is a loss of control. It’s when you get stuck in a traffic jam caused by someone’s stalled vehicle. Perhaps your computer freezes for no apparent reason. Or on the phone you find yourself stuck ‘on-hold’ with no indication of how long it will take. That’s why in my Trusted Advisor seminars I remind participants about the importance of giving customers a greater sense of control. It’s a simple as offering to a caller, “I’m going to check the file for you and it will take me several minutes. Would you prefer to hold or would you rather leave your number and I’ll call back within 15 minutes?” That way, even if the caller opts to wait on hold their stress level will be dramatically lower because it was their choice. When we give more control we get calmer customers.

Transferring Upset Callers

Imagine you’re a customer phoning to complain about unexpected charges. You explain the problem to the switchboard operator. She transfers you to accounts receivable. You repeat yourself to that clerk who transfers you to the manager. You now explain the problem that manager who says you’ll need to talk to the operations manager. They transfer you to that manager’s voicemail which states he’s on vacation. Contrast this nightmare scenario to instead when you call the switchboard operator, she apologizes for any error, says she’ll look into it and will return your call within 24 hours. She contacts the person who commits to resolving the problem. She then phones you explaining who will be taking care of this. Later that manager phones you beginning with reiterating his understanding of what your concern is... The lesson, transferring upset callers only makes things worse. Instead, take ownership: do the legwork yourself, convey vital information and you’ll save time, money, frustration, and most importantly, customer loyalty.

Two questions you shouldn’t ask customers or co-workers

This may be surprising, but few people actually want to do business with you. By that I mean people may want the benefits of your products or services. But the actual process of arranging for your services may be more of a have to do than want to do. That’s why it’s often a mistake to ask customers or co-workers questions such as, “Would you like me to... ?“ or “Do you want me to...?” Frankly, they don’t want to go through the decision process at all. Instead, word your questions along the lines of, “Would it make sense for us to...” Would it be helpful if I...?” “Would it be useful...?” In general, we get better results with questions that focus on resolving the customer’s problem, than with questions that encourage them to think about their mood.

Two questions you shouldn’t ask customers or co-workers

This may be surprising, but few people actually want to do business with you. By that I mean people may want the benefits of your products or services. But the actual process of arranging for your services may be more of a have to do than want to do. That’s why it’s often a mistake to ask customers or co-workers questions such as, “Would you like me to... ?“ or “Do you want me to...?” Frankly, they don’t want to go through the decision process at all. Instead, word your questions along the lines of, “Would it make sense for us to...” Would it be helpful if I...?” “Would it be useful...?” In general, we get better results with questions that focus on resolving the customer’s problem, than with questions that encourage them to think about their mood.

The Most Common Over-Sharing Blunders

You’ve no doubt noticed the train-wrecks people create for their reputations by over-sharing on social media. Unfortunately, this lack of discretion isn’t limited to YouTube and Twitter. Here are some of the most common examples of customer service indiscretions.

  • Emailing customers with bad news.  The tone of an email can inadvertently offend and generate replies that are copied up the ladder; taking more time and involving more people than simply phoning.  Better yet, if you can, go in-peron.
  • Telling the customer about your organization's internal communication issues, lack of staff, etc.  Customers don't want to hear it and it makes you look bad for staying there.
  • Complaining to co-workers about certain customers.  Left un-checked, this boorish behavior becomes the norm.  Customers start picking-up the vibe that they're being regarded with more contempt than caring.

The reminder for all of us is to think twice before speaking... or emailing, texting, etc.

Stories that Sell for You

Customers have so many options of where they can do business that your company can be perceived as a mere commodity. They assume that everyone's selling more or less the same thing, so why not just go with the cheapest supplier? That's why it's so impactful when you use this simple tool to help customers remember you. In fact it may be the only thing that makes you stand out from the competition. And it happens to be free...

To read the complete article click: Stories that Sell for You

One Word that Enhances Cooperation by 57%

Harvard Psychologist, Ellen Langer discovered a surprising way to gain cooperation.   In her study, researchers would interrupt someone making photocopies; asking if they could make their copies first.   Only 60% of machine users would comply.   Next, researchers would interrupt another user, this time adding a phrase beginning with the word, "Because..."   Apparently, it didn't matter what came after the word.   Even saying, "Because I'm in a hurry," resulted in 95% compliance - a 57% increase!   The lesson - anytime you're asking a customer, co-worker, or family member to do something, remember to add, "because..." and you'll gain greater cooperation.   Not bad for remembering a single word!

 

Was this helpful?   For additional information on this topic:  Influence and Persuasion Skills 

You’ll find more of Jeff’s Trusted Advisor Customer Service tips or subscribe to receive a new Business Building Tip every two weeks and stay up to date on all our upcoming events.

Curious about Jeff's training resources?  Click on Shop for details.  If you're interested in a customized presentation for your organization contact Jeff at [email protected]

Jeff Mowatt is a customer service speaker, customer service trainer, award-winning speaker, and best selling author. To inquire about engaging Jeff for your team visit www.JeffMowatt.com

REDUCE CUSTOMER CONFLICTS

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