E-mail Wars

I remember the first time an e-mail blew up in my face. I wrote two sentences that included factual information and the other person assumed I was accusing her of not doing her job. She wrote back a snippy response and before I knew it, war had been declared. After we met face to face and talked about it, she confessed she was having a bad day and took dramatic license by adding in sarcasm as she read my words. I had an apology to make, too. I didn’t realize how important it was to her that I began with a personalized comment such as, “Good morning, Lisa!”

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Last Call

A few years ago I had made an appointment with my doctor and I specifically asked for the last appointment of the day. After I checked in, a woman in faded pink scrubs beckoned me to follow her to the exam room. She forced a smile as she told me someone would be with me soon. I knew that “soon” usually meant 30 minutes, so I sat in a chair and began to read. I could hear the nurses talking in the hallway and doors opening and closing. It seemed as if I wasn’t the only one with a late afternoon appointment. Thirty minutes turned into 45 and I noticed that things had become awfully

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Fear Of Negotiating

Picture the scene: You have a spring in your step as you follow the secretary into the conference room for your 9:00 meeting. You know this is going to be a perfect way to end the week. Today you will walk out with a signed contract worth millions. You are confident that after a few minutes of conversation you will have them eating out of your hands and that they will not only sign the contract, but be grateful that your company is willing to provide them with such an amazing service. Your eyes scan the conference room

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Don’t Let Your Employees Bring You To The Brink Of Disaster

Customer Service and Operations are the two departments that are the life blood of your district. As a service based business, everything revolves around completing the service safely, on time and in a way that makes the customer feel satisfied. If a driver doesn’t show up for work, you have a crisis that needs to have immediate attention. If you have a CSR at lunch, one off sick and only one person to answer customer calls, you have a crisis. Behind every 5 minute hold time is a situation that could have been prevented if there was a crisis management plan in place. Do you have

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Your Excellent New Customer Service Has Been Cancelled

When you are a new customer, you often times receive better service than if you have been a loyal, long-time customer. We are thrilled when a new sales opportunity comes our way, but we yawn when the same old face shows up at our establishment month after month. New customers are exciting! A customer that calls in each week is dull and uninteresting. Sometimes the customer service you experience changes the moment you drive the car off the lot. Or, there may be small changes over time. The company stops offering free coffee or now charges for something that was free a few months

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I think we have a leak! How to stop cancellations from ruining your sales numbers.

I found myself chuckling when my sister confessed to me that after a long, hot day she filled her dog’s pool with cold water and laid in it with a cool drink! She said it was amazing. Unfortunately, she discovered a slow leak which meant she had to jump up and replenish water, every time she began to relax. After a while, the task of filling the pool created so much work that it took away from the original goal of cool enjoyment. The slow leak caused her to give up and throw the pool in the trash.

Often times, our sales efforts mirror that leaky pool. Great ad campaigns bring prospects

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Stress and Performance

I recently took a stress test. Not the kind your doctor gives you, but a written test that identifies stress factors in one’s life. A few days later, I was handed an information packet as I was walking into the store that gave me a check list of stressors and stress busters. That was followed by receiving information on the body’s response to stress which included:
Increased heart rate; heart palpitations
Muscle tension
Breathing rate increases
Fatigue and dizziness

If I didn’t consider the possibility that I could be stressed before this chain of events, now I felt the cosmos were telling

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How To Tick Off Your Customer!

It’s the little things that make a difference in customer service. Customers want you to know:1) We want to understand what you are saying so please speak up, slow down and enunciate your words.2) The way you sound when you answer tells us how good or how bad the conversation will be.3) We do not want you to call us sugar, dude or an abbreviation of our name.4) Putting us on hold for long periods of time, putting us on hold more than once and transferring us back and forth will bring out the worst in us.5) Do not begin your questions

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Cash Is Calling


Roll-off sales are the icing on the cake when it comes to your hauling company’s revenue. Whether you are in a franchised market or one where the competition is fierce, these roll-off dollars are somewhat of a surprise. You really can’t know how many people are talking right this very moment about remodeling their kitchen, tearing down an old building or helping mom and dad clean out their home. When those calls come in and begin with, “I need one of those big things”, smile. Cash is calling!

Think like a customerThis may be the first time your customer has ever called about

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A Professional Shouldn’t Be Child-Like With Apologies

I must confess that I watch Super Nanny from time to time. I am sure my fascination with ineffective parenting is because my kids are now grown. Aside from some of the absurd family dynamics, I am really fascinated with the process of teaching a child to apologize. There is a pattern. First, there is a refusal to acknowledge what went wrong or apologize. That is followed by a less than sincere “sorry”. After painstaking practice, which seems to take weeks, the child finally learns that listening to what was wrong and a prompt apology leads to a happy family.

I have heard many adults say that

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