Even Nice Employees Can Make Your Customer Mad

I thought I had everything timed perfectly. Dinner was simmering on the stove and I had 2 hours before our guests would arrive. I needed to make a quick run to the store and planned to be home within the hour. I thought I was quite lucky to get someone to help me right away. Tammy greeted me with a smile and asked how she could help. She was very nice! I explained what I needed and she said she could take care of it right away. She asked me for some of my account information and began to enter it in the computer. I sensed there was a problem when she started pounding on the enter key. She looked

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Looking For Leaders in All the Wrong Places

I happened to meet a customer service manager recently who I will call Felix. The call center he is responsible for is experiencing turn-over, they are unable to manage the call volume and their mistakes are high. Felix is a great guy and he is a hard worker. Leadership is puzzled. Why is he failing as a customer service manager? Felix got the position as the manager because he had previous management experience and he knew someone at the company. He had not worked in a call center before and he had no experience in the industry. His lack of industry knowledge has become a disadvantage because

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Office Morale Impacts Customer Service and Sales Efforts

I have a friend who works in a doctor’s office. She mentioned to me that the doctor fixed a couple of her toes the other day and I joked with her as I asked if the

procedure was done at her desk. She laughed as she said I was pretty close to the truth. Not only did she have the office phone with her during the surgery to answer incoming calls, but she also assisted in her own surgery. This bad behavior from her boss didn’t happen overnight. It started out with, “Can you help me out this one time” and “Could you do me a favor”? Before she knew it she was picking up his dry

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The Game of Telephone

Did you ever play the game of telephone as a kid? It was fascinating to see the evolution as one kid would say, “Your grandma wears army boots.”, and after passing that sentence through 6 or 7 sets of ears it came out to be, “Your pajamas are ugly”. The game of telephone may be happening in your office or department right now. Information and solutions are being passed from one set of ears to another and at the end of the day each person has a slightly different version of the original message that was sent. The game of telephone plays a big part in the quality of the customer service

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Dear Doctor

It was a simple shoulder strain. I went through the yellow pages and found a physical therapist for an assessment and recommendation. Brian was professional and thorough, and let me know that I would be better in no time. He offered to call my doctor and take care of the referral. As a customer, I was pleased with the service he was providing. After several attempts by my diligent physical therapist, he confessed to me that my doctor’s office had lost the report he sent not once, but twice. He conceded that I would have to contact them so he could provide treatment. I called

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Price Shoppers

I was sitting with a customer service representative and listening in on her customer conversations to observe her approach and to look for ways to help her improve her sales numbers. She answered with, “Thank you for calling, this is Mary, how may I help you?”, in a cheerful voice. The caller responded with, “Hi Mary. I was wondering how much your weekly service costs.” Mary was quick to respond with, “$19.95- Is there anything else I can help you with?” The caller said no and that was the end of the call. Mary turned to me and said, “That was easy

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Tough Customer Conversations

I love the commercial for Discover Card where the CSR working in some remote call center poses as the supervisor “Peggy” to get out of a tough customer conversation. I thought it was funny until I met my personal version of Peggy going by the name of Boris. I was headed to Albany on an early morning flight along with a handful of other people. I was taken by surprise when my suitcase didn’t make it. I wasn’t going to let a suitcase mishap ruin my day, so I reported the loss to baggage claim and went on my way. I was sure it would arrive before the night was over. I met my customers

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Are You A Good Caddy

I started golfing about 5 years ago. I know, I know- you avid golfers wish I would have stayed at home. But, I fell in love with the sound of my club hitting the ball and the beautiful scenery. And then, there were the times that I hit the ball just right and it felt like I was cutting through butter. When the ball went exactly where I wanted it to go I would tell myself, “That was easy!” But then, as hard as I tried to recreate what I did, the perfect swing became elusive. I resorted to blaming a pulled muscle or fatigue for my inconsistent skills and poor score.

You have customer

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Where Did Customer Service Go?

When I assess a department or call center, I ask the employees to take a short personality test which focuses on the concept of team. You are either a coach, a cheerleader, team player or score keeper. It has been my experience that most great customer service departments have a lot of team player, people pleasing personalities. This personality likes to make people happy and we like happy customers. Customer Service Departments by nature are people pleasers, too. A general manager needs a special project done and asks the customer service manager to take it on. She smiles

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4 Basics to Having an Impressive Phone Routine

One of my very first jobs after high school was as a dance and acrobatics instructor for a well-known local performing group. I had dabbled in gymnastics as a kid, but had never taken a dance class or had any formal training in either area. I responded to an ad I had seen in the local paper and thought it would be a fun job. I felt I had good qualifications; I could do a back flip, I liked dancing and I was a fast learner. I had no idea what to expect in the interview, but I was looking forward to showing off. The interview was like none other. The interviewer was a plump, middle-aged

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