Fixing Customer Service Impediments the EASY Way

Fixing Customer Service Impediments the EASY Way

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Expert; Founder, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   Most of us know what the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE feels like. And some of us know what the Worst Customer Service Mistakes are. To make it even, we’ve compiled the ten worst customer service mistakes. Take note and don’t let these happen to you! Not Being Friendly Enough         Without exception, not being friendly is the number one customer service mistake. Customers should be treated as welcomed guests when they call or visit your company. As we’ve all experienced, sometimes we’re treated as an annoyance or an interruption.         FIX: A happy, friendly smile works wonders, whether you feel like it or not. Poor Eye Contact         Heads that twirl on a spindle when you’re working with a customer is a big mistake. Keep your eyes on the customer. It’s a sure sign the person you’re talking with isn’t holding your interest when you’re glancing all around. And they’ll notice it quickly. Obviously, making good eye contact on the phone is a bit difficult, albeit impossible. That’s where your listening skills are needed.         FIX: When you’re on the phone you need to be completely focused on the

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How Long Do You Get to Make a Great First Impression?

How Long Do You Get to Make a Great First Impression?

By Nancy Friedman, Founder – President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Keynote Customer Service Speaker, Commutations, Sales I posted a LinkedIn blog poll recently on this customer service topic. The choices were: 4 – 10 SECONDS 10 – 20 SECONDS OVER 20 SECONDS All of the respondents (and thank you all who did take part) said “A.” No one is surprised, I know. There were no B’s or C’s. One comment from our friend, Donnie Boivin, Podcast host of “Champion of Your Success,” said at “HELLO.” (Meaning I’m sure as they pick up the phone with your name or company name. https://www.linkedin.com/in/donnieboivin/ And IFPG President, Red Boswell, added a new category of “D” at 2 – 4 seconds. https://www.linkedin.com/in/redboswell/ The best part was NO ONE went over 10 seconds. What surprised me is if most people know that in order to make a great first impression, you only get a very, very short time to do that, then why don’t more people do it? Those of you who know me, or have seen a Nancy customer service program, know I make my living helping companies communicate better with their customers and coworkers. So, why don’t more people make a great first

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Top 30 Reasons Salespeople Fail

Top 30 Reasons Salespeople Fail

By Nancy Friedman – President, Founder of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Keynote Customer Service Speaker, Communications and Sales Your check list to being a winner. Do you or don’t you? Are you or aren’t you? It’s good to know what you’re good at and it’s extra good to know what you’re not good at. If you lack any of these sales skills – really LIFE SKILLS – there is help. Read on. * They don’t hone their skills * They’re not flexible * They’re not team players * They don’t use their sense of humor * They don’t use their imagination * They don’t listen to management * They make no effort after hours * They get too comfortable – too fast *They interrupt the customer * They don’t ask or maybe don’t understand OPEN ENDED questions * They make too many assumptions * Their mind is not on the sale * They’re not able to handle corrective criticism * They don’t have enthusiasm for life * They have poor time management skills * They don’t use their personality on the job; saving it for the weekend * They don’t have a “whatever it takes” attitude * They lose

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Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, Interview with Fred LeFebvre – WSPD Toledo, Ohio

Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, Interview with Fred LeFebvre – WSPD Toledo, Ohio

A fun (LOL) 14 minute interview with Fred LeFebvre – WSPD with Nancy. Worth the 14 minutes. Even the commercial in front of the interview is fun. (You can fast forward if you want.) Remember: If there are 100 solutions to a problem and 99 are negative, start with the positive. Thank you Rev. Geoff Rose.   The Global Salesian Leadership Symposium 2019 Mon, Oct 28, 2019, 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT. The third annual Global Salesian Leadership Symposium, a life-changing program steeped in Salesian virtues, based upon the spirituality of Francis de Sales, the Gentleman Saint. GSLS will provide access and proximity to world-class thought leaders in diverse areas of innovation and industry. The event is being held at the SeaGate Center located at 401 Jefferson Ave.,  Toledo, Ohio 43604. Parking is available in the SeaGate Parking Garage located on Summit St. between Jefferson Ave and Monroe St. You can get your tickets at globalsls.org.  

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3 Phrases that can Help Sabotage your Business

3 Phrases that can Help Sabotage your Business

3 Phrases that can Help Sabotage your Business Innocent words, and phrases not normally noticed – yet can do a lot of harm. These are only three of the many phrases that can and will sabotage your business. And there are definite positive alternatives. Said innocently but packing a huge negative image, might be wise to have your team not use them. A One-minute watch that can help your business.  More where those came from Stay tuned. Thanks for watching!

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AIRPLANE PET PEEVES! WHAT’S YOURS?

AIRPLANE PET PEEVES! WHAT’S YOURS?

By Nancy Friedman, Founder, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Customer Service Keynote Speaker Whether you fly a lot or a little, you probably have a few pet peeves. Click here to watch our video. They can be about the aircraft itself. The flight attendants. It could be about other travelers. Or it could be about kids on a flight sitting behind you whose parents don’t care that the kid is kicking your seat or pounding the drop down table 1150 times. That’s mine. The KID sitting behind me. And sadly, the ‘don’t kick’ warning by mom seldom works. You know what works? Me. I stand up in my seat, bend over, towering over both mom and the 2 year old, and I say as nicely as I can and as firmly as I can. “DO NOT KICK THE BACK OF MY CHAIR. Thank you.” it’s one of the only times I don’t use please. I do say thank you. The 2 year old doesn’t quite understand please just yet and like a puppy, they do understand TONE OF VOICE.  But like a puppy, they respond well to ‘good job’ and thank you. Those who know me know I’m not a mean person. But how a mother can sit back

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Are You Guilty? People Before Texting – Watch a Short Video

Are You Guilty? People Before Texting – Watch a Short Video

Dear Friends, Texting is addictive. No doubt about it. Addictive and can ruin a relationship if you’re not careful. I’m not talking about the message you send. I’m talking about being RUDE. Texting while you’re at dinner with your spouse or the family. Or texting while you’re in a meeting when you’re supposed to be paying attention. Or texting at a stoplight and don’t move until the guy behind you honks angrily at you. BLAST, BLAST, BLAST. To say nothing about how many accidents they know that are caused because some folks text and drive. And YES, so many folks text and walk. Not paying any attention where they’re walking or who they’re running into. Especially at the airport. Bumping into folks without even saying excuse me. Hey I get it. I text. It’s a great communication tool. But I’m much more conscious about it since I did this video. Hope you will be more aware as well. Practice SAFE TEXTING.   

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Complimentary Smiles – Get Yours Now

Complimentary Smiles – Get Yours Now

By Nancy Friedman, Founder, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Customer Service Keynote Speaker   Had a super question emailed to me recently: Hi Nancy: My question revolves around how my voice sounds on the telephone. I have recorded messages over and over and I can’t get that happy sound to come across as being natural and genuine. I do want my customers to know that the voice they are hearing belongs to me. So, my question is, what can I do to improve my voice quality? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.  TONE OF VOICE raises its head a lot. Which says to me there are other folks talking and thinking about this as well. One of the biggest complaints I hear is, “They didn’t sound happy, friendly, or eager to help.” The short and easy answer is: SMILE! The LONG answer is: When you’re not smiling you can come across as rude, uninterested, unfriendly and just plain not welcoming. Sadly, many people don’t smile when they’re on the phone. They think they’re smiling, but they’re not. And there are those who say and think, “Well, you can’t tell if I’m smiling or not.” Ah, yes, but we can. “A phony smile is better

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R-T-C: Relationship – Trust – Consistency

R-T-C: Relationship – Trust – Consistency

By Nancy Friedman, Founder & President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training; Customer Service Speaker – GOLD STANDARD TIPS, IDEAS, SKILLS & TECHNIQUES   In interviewing our customers, I found that there were several things they value. Things they want before the product or the service. They boiled down to three basic wants comprising of what we now call the R-T-C factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency. Let’s go over them: R – – Relationship Building rapport is an overlooked art. Call many companies and the first word shouted at you is: “Name?” No “nice to meet you by phone” or even a “good morning.” There’s very little rapport building found in today’s customer service. Relationship starts within the first 4 to 6 seconds of a phone call or within 30 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction. Plus, it lays the groundwork for possible future business. Rapport building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It’s a simple basic process.  T – – Trust If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship will melt to zero. Gaining the trust of your customer is the KEY to relationship. From

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Back to Basics – The Gold Standards Of Customer Service

Back to Basics – The Gold Standards Of Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman, Founder, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service, Communications, Sales   FACT: Customers go out of their way looking for companies who provide great customer service. FACT: Some find it; some don’t. It’s healthy to go over the good old common sense GOLD STANDARD customer service tips. The ones we all know, yet often get left behind. It’s not rocket science, it’s not brain surgery, it’s plain old common sense. But you and I know common sense is not that common. Here are our BACK TO BASIC – GOLD STANDARD customer service tips, thoughts, ideas, skills and techniques. Short, sweet and to the point. Enjoy and share. The world needs it. “Please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” always have been, and always will be, powerful words. Seldom overused. “You’re welcome” is the best replacement when told, “thank you.”  (NO PROBLEM/NO WORRIES are on the KILLER WORDS of customer service.) “Sorry ‘bout that” is NOT an apology. It’s a cliche. “My apologies” is better, stronger and more effective when there’s a screw up. “I’m sorry” is when you step on someone’s toes. A frown is a smile upside down. Stand on your head if you must but SMILE, darn it! Show me a picture you don’t like &

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3 Easy Rapport Building Tips For Those Having Trouble Rapport Building

3 Easy Rapport Building Tips For Those Having Trouble Rapport Building

By Nancy Friedman, Founder, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service, Customer Service Keynote Speaker Rapport building is an art, not a science. Some of you reading this will pass on this article. Why? Because you already know how to rapport build with someone – client, friend, relative, even a stranger. But as good as you are, you may know someone who isn’t that great at rapport building. This is for them. So if you receive this blog from someone, take it as a compliment. Not an insult. Think of it as ‘closing the gap.’ By the way, these tips are for in-person and on the phone. Don’t limit yourself. Number 1: “Hi, how are you?” is NOT an effective rapport building statement. In many cases it’s an annoyance. It’s social noise. For others, it’s an: “I don’t know what else to say.” For sure: It’s NOT a rapport building statement. These are a bit more effective rapport building comments: “Thank you for the call.” – “Great to see you.” – “You’re looking super.” – “Your voice sounds good, have you been in radio?”-  “You’re looking well.” – “So glad to see (or talk with) you.” The list is endless. And notice none of them are:

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Every Business Has A Phone & Someone Answering It

Every Business Has A Phone & Someone Answering It

By Nancy Friedman, Founder/President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Customer Service Expert, Keynote Speaker   Who doesn’t want to get great service when you call a company? So much business is done over the telephone. First call, in between. Or ends up in a phone call after a chat or online experience. Before delivering a presentation, be it keynote or workshop, one of my ‘things’ to do is to make a few mystery calls to the company that has hired me. Not to make anyone feel bad or to embarrass anyone (I don’t tell the audiences: “Hey, I called some of you the other day and it was terrible.”) That’s not why I do the mystery calls. I call so I can hear what their customers are hearing. And while often it’s not very pretty or very good, I can always bring them Telephone Doctor GOLD STANDARD customer service techniques. I probably haven’t called your organization, large or small yet, so I’ll share one of our GOLD STANDARD techniques we provide to our clients. It always brings me a great deal of pleasure when I can tell my clients, “Your folks are super!” We only need 3 things when we

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5 Unique Ways to Get Your Customers to Remember You

5 Unique Ways to Get Your Customers to Remember You

By Nancy Friedman, Founder and President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training; Keynote Customer Service Speaker If you’re in sales, it’s obvious we remember our customers. But how do we get them to remember us? Consider these: Number one – When you call a customer, don’t ask them how they are first thing; ask them if they have a moment to talk. It’s very considerate. Very few others do this. Be the one that DOES, to be remembered. Number two – When you do have a good phone conversation, send a short email acknowledging it as soon as you’re off the phone. And yes, keep it SHORT. That’s not the time to send a squeal to Gone With the Wind. Also, same process after a face-to-face meeting as well. Don’t wait too long to do this. Number three – After each order you get from a customer, send a handwritten thank you note. You will stand out. They will remember you. Number four – Make them laugh. I have never met anybody who didn’t enjoy laughing. You don’t need to tell a joke to make somebody feel good or laugh. When you hear the laughter, they will remember you. Number

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The Customer Experience Starts Here

The Customer Experience Starts Here

By Nancy Friedman, Founder & President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, and Keynote Customer Service Speaker   Every business has a phone and every phone has someone answering it – eventually, in answer to those who are going to say: “what about the automated attendant?” What company doesn’t want to deliver a better customer experience? Not sure anyone will disagree it starts with the first touch of a customer. No matter what channel of communication you use. It’s not rocket science, it’s plain old common sense. And it can start with any of the 6 touch points of customer service. NOT just a phone call. When you talk about the ‘experience’ you’re talking about everything. NOT ONLY ONE THING. You’re talking about EVERYTHING. Here are six touch points of communication and a few ways on how to get it right the first time. Email – There is an art to a great email and delivering a great experience in this channel. Spelling and correct grammar is a key component. Voice Mail – Have you ever called your own cell phone or office phone to hear what your customers hear on the message? It’s an eye-opening experience and normally needs

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What’s Your Customer Service Grade Point Average?

What’s Your Customer Service Grade Point Average?

By Nancy Friedman, Founder & President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, Customer Service Speaker   How would you rate your businesses customer service? On an A to F scale? Do you train your employees or do you just wing-it when it comes to customer service? If employees fail at customer service and are not helpful and knowledgeable, OR are unpleasant, your business not only could lose customers and lose future sales, but you also risk the chance of getting virally slammed on social media. So, what can business owners and managers do to encourage excellent customer service? Here are five tips that will help up your game and provide customer service that will generate sales and repeat customers: *    Start some sort of training now! If you have even a small dose of customer service training in place, review it with your employees, often. And if you don’t have a customer service plan, consider bringing in training for your staff. No time to train? Reminders are helpful – “Thank you for your business,” “Thank you for calling” goes a long way, costs nothing, and leaves a positive lasting impression. *    Meet with your staff at the end of each day. Discuss what went wrong

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Are You a Double Checker?

Are You a Double Checker?

By Nancy Friedman, Founder & President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training; Keynote & Workshop Speaker at Meetings & Conferences on Customer Service, Communication Skills and Sales   One thing we all know is no one enjoys being rejected. You don’t, I don’t, the folks next door don’t. And certainly, our customers don’t. Negative starts to a sentence are usually poorly received. When something isn’t available, or not ready, or you don’t have it – whatever it is – the words, “Let me double check that for you” will save the day. Every time! Rather than blurting out a negative, start with a positive. Start with, “Let me double check that for you.” Either way, it’s a good habit to get into. Remember – REJECT GENTLY. It speaks VOLUMES. This minute thirty video blog says it best. Watch it, enjoy and please share.

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The Art of Giving Directions

The Art of Giving Directions

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert; Founder and President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, St. Louis, MO Yes, it’s an art. If you are a location where people call and ask, “Where are you located?” this is for you. I’ve had to call for directions both locally and out of town recently and the results are frankly disastrous. It’s amazing how some people do not know how to give effective directions. Let me help you: I called a retail location recently and asked, “Hi. Where are you located?” Simple enough. Right? Wrong! The sweet young lady who answered bellowed out, “Bob, where are we located?” Fortunately, BOB knew. But I’ve called many places as we travel the USA to ask that question and here are a few other answers: “Hi. I’m coming to the mall. Where are you guys located?” Answer: “Right under the escalator.” Me: “Super, thank you.” What she neglected to let me know is there were 4 escalators in the mall. It was a massive mall. Took me 20 minutes to find the right one. Agggg. Yes, I could have asked someone in the mall. I know that. But better if she had said, “There

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Are You Writing Handwritten Thank You Notes After Each Sale?

Are You Writing Handwritten Thank You Notes After Each Sale?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert; Founder and President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, St. Louis, MO Not sure if I’m unusual or not. (Please don’t ask my friends.) However, after each sale (product or service) I’ve ever made, I write a handwritten thank you note. It’s in my DNA. It’s not “I usually do.” It’s not something “I forget to do.” It’s like brushing my teeth; I do it automatically and as close to the sale as possible. That shows excitement. They’re not long notes. And there is no ulterior motive other than a sincere thank you. I don’t mix in asking for a referral in a thank you note. Then it’s not a thank you note. It’s a manipulative move IMO. But I do know, after a handwritten thank you note, the reception I get on follow up calls appear to be very welcomed. It also appears not too many other folks do it. On the other side of the fence, I don’t get many thank you notes from the vendors I use. And when I do, it makes a mental note to me that says ‘nice, thoughtful, company.’ And certainly person. And I remember that

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