Ineffective Email Words & Phrases – Are You Guilty?

Ineffective Email Words & Phrases – Are You Guilty?

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training We did a survey a while back at one of my speaking engagements. I wanted to know what really bugged folks about emails they received. Without hesitation, the top 3 were: * Poor spelling and grammar – Your, you’re; there, their, they’re; here, hear; to, too, two and the list goes on. * Email that are too long; too wordy. * Wrong subject lines that don’t match the body copy. There were others, but these rose to the top. I’m about to share a few of the phrases used in emails that are not very effective. They are not bad; simply useless and unnecessary (i.e., not needed). When these phrases are eliminated, the emails usually read better; sound stronger. Here we go: “Just a note to let you know…”or “Justwanted to say…” or “I’m just checking back to see where we are on the order.” JUST is a weak, wimpy word. Not necessary. In fact, lame and useless. Eliminate the word JUST in your sentences. Read those sentences without the word “just” and see how much stronger they become. “As I (or you) mentioned on the phone”or “Pursuant to our call (conversation, whatever).” Double work, not needed, not

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2018 TOP JOBS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE – WITH SOME CAVEATS

2018 TOP JOBS FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE – WITH SOME CAVEATS

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service   One of the hottest job sectors in 2018 will be in customer service. According to a story in USA Today, several industries will be hiring and stepping up their customer service to compete and attract and keep customers. Of the top five selected – they all have one thing in common. The need for customer service training. (But then don’t they all????) Computer Support Specialists – IT departments in nearly every office in corporate America depend too much on technology and not enough on personalized service. Many computer support specialists come into the job unprepared in the field of customer service and communication skills. They nail it on the computer and fail it with the human touch side. It’s one of the top areas where customer service skills are desperately needed. Computer schools teach technology, but most don’t teach customer service. Financial Clerks – Those who work in the industry clearly have their numbers down cold. They couldn’t get the job without that. But while they are number experts, many lack communication skills. They tend to talk ‘over’ the customer’s head and miscommunications are high. So, there’s a big need

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It Take More Muscles to Frown. Why Overwork?

It Take More Muscles to Frown. Why Overwork?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote/Workshop Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   “Nancy, can you really hear a smile?” Yes, you really can hear a smile. And more important, you can also hear the lack of a smile as well. If you happen to already be a smiler, you might want to pass this article on to those who aren’t smiling (or not). SMILE from Webster’s dictionary: SMILE: To smile, be astonished; to have or take on a facial expression, showing pleasure, amusement, affection, friendliness, irony, etc…and characterized by an upward curving of the corners of the mouth and a sparkling of the eyes I like the “sparkling” part. And smiling is something most everyone can easily do. Don’t you wonder why more people don’t smile?  Show me a picture of you that you don’t like and I’ll bet it’s a picture of you without a smile. Say: Eggplant or Cheese? A New York Times review by Roxana Popescu of the book A Brief History of the Smile written by Angus Trumble asks a very good question: “Why do English speaking people say CHEESE to make you smile, but Chinese speakers say Eggplant?”  And Trumble continues, “The spontaneous smile of the little child is essentially truthful.” I’m not

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4 Semi-Useless Words You Use Every Day

4 Semi-Useless Words You Use Every Day

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote/Workshop Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   HI, HOW ARE YOU? Looks harmless, right? Yet it’s been labeled “social noise.” Especially to those we don’t know, haven’t met, and may never see again. SEMI-USELESS! There are dozens of other ways to open and start a conversation in person or on the phone. A few are: * Nice to hear your voice. * Good to meet you. * Glad to talk with you. * Good to see you. * Thanks for taking my call. * You’re looking great. * Glad to make your acquaintance. * You sound/look chipper. * And so many more. “Hi how are you” can reduce effectiveness, especially on a first-time introduction, call or meeting. And for people you see every day at work, or all the time elsewhere, it’s ineffective as well. Say something creative, unique. You pass someone in the hall at work, on the street, wherever. It usually goes like this: “Hi, how are you?” * “Fine, how are you?” * “Fine.” Done. * Over. * Nothing. * Nada. * SEMI-USELESS. Use a more original, caring comment. You’ll see a big difference. And so will the other person. Again, it’s not bad

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How You Can Fight ONLINE Sales

How You Can Fight ONLINE Sales

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Seems so many businesses are feeling the technology disruption. The “Amazon Effect,” the popularity and ease of online shopping, and the related changes in consumer behavior and preferences is forcing businesses of all types, large and small, to take a new look at customer service. More business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment than poor product. Companies spend thousands of marketing dollars trying to convince us to buy their products and services, but if that contact is not handled just right at the point of sale, all that money is wasted. Poor customer service and dissatisfaction not only impact sales and return business, but can damage a brand and lead to shaming on social media. Businesses who are concerned about online sales should now invest in customer service training programs. They are so busy trying to survive that they overlook the importance of customer service as a way to counter the online threat. In all businesses, from retail store salespersons, to a greeter at a restaurant, to representatives at a call center, to manufacturing and more…business owners and managers need to train their employees on

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How You can Compete with the ONLINE Surge.

How You can Compete with the ONLINE Surge.

Seems many businesses are feeling the technology disruption. The “Amazon Effect”, the popularity and ease of online shopping and the related changes in consumer behavior and preferences, is forcing businesses of all types large and small – to take a new look at customer service. “More business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment than poor product,” says Friedman. “Companies spend thousands of marketing dollars trying to convince us to buy their products, and services but if that contact is not handled just right by at the point of sale, all that money is wasted. Customers service failures and dissatisfaction not only impact sales and return business, but can damage a brand and lead to shaming on social media.” Businesses who are concerned about the online sales should now invest in customer service training programs. They are so busy trying to survive that they overlook the importance of customer service as a way to counter the online threat. In all businesses, from retail store salespersons, to a greeter at a restaurant, to representatives at a call center, to manufacturing and more… business owners and managers need to train their employees how to deal with the consumer if they

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What Does AWESOME Customer Service Look Like? Something like this:

What Does AWESOME Customer Service Look Like? Something like this:

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker – President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training who provides AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE Think of all the words used describing good/great/excellent/etc. service provided. Think of all the companies that say they deliver the best customer service and then don’t. So what does AWESOME look like? Well, it’s not one thing. It’s not one person. It’s a little bit of everything. Here’s a good sample. Names are protected although I really should disclose them for the credit one deserves while the other doesn’t. AWESOME: I walked into a grocery store and picked up an item and said to an employee who happened to be close by: “I think I’ll like this, but I’m not sure.” Without missing a beat, she says, “You know you can take it home, try it, and anything you don’t like – you get your money back.” Wow that was awesome. Felt great. And here’s the other side of the coin: We purchased an exercise 65mm ball. We asked if they could pump it up for us and we’d come back the next day to pick it up. It was about 2 pm. “Absolutely,” she says. “It takes about 30 minutes. We open at 11 am tomorrow,

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BACK TO BASICS 2018 STYLE

BACK TO BASICS 2018 STYLE

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker – Customer Service, Communications, Sales. President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training FACT: Customers go out of their way looking for companies who provide great customer service. FACT: Some find it; some don’t. Once a year (at least) it’s healthy to go over the good old common sense 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. So, at the start of the year, I re-run our BACK TO BASICS article with the hopes they’ll get shared and used. Here are 15 BACK TO BASIC customer service tips that are good old common sense thoughts, ideas, and skills. Short, sweet and to the point. Enjoy and share. 1. “Please,” “thank you” and “you’re welcome” always have been, and always will be, powerful words. Seldom overused. 2. “You’re welcome” is the best replacement when told “thank you.” (NO PROBLEM/NO WORRIES are on the KILLER WORDS of customer service list.) 3. “Sorry ‘bout that” is NOT an apology. It’s a cliché. “My apologies” is better when there’s a screw up. “I’m sorry” is when you step on someone’s

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Why Caller ID Can Be Awkward

Why Caller ID Can Be Awkward

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Be VERY CAREFUL using CALLER ID. Below is a one-minute video blog on why it’s best to answer all phones – office, home and cell (and whatever other phone you might have), simply with either “Hello” or “Hi, this is….” (I use Nancy. Please use your own name.) There are many horror stories of what has happened when you ‘think’ it’s the name showing up and it turns out WHOOPS, it’s not that person. Here’s a 1-minute VIDEO BLOG on why caller ID may be good, but you need to consider the consequences when it’s NOT who you see/think it is. Enjoy and please share to help others. http://www.nancyfriedman.com/2016/12/20/caller-id-can-dangerous/

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Join My “Be Nice” Club – Win a Free “Be Nice” Mug

Join My “Be Nice” Club – Win a Free “Be Nice” Mug

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker – Customer Service, Communications, Sales. President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Unless you live under a rock, you’re seeing a lot about “being nice” on social media and other places. So, I’m starting a club. I need members and the BEST NICE will win a I AM NICE mug. What else will you get from the BE NICE club? A lot of self-satisfaction, good feelings and in many cases a smile. To be a member, you only need to do something ‘nice’ for/to someone. Let me give you things I do that I feel are “NICE” things to do and then I’d like to hear from you on what you’re doing to be ‘nice’ to people. The best NICE wins the mug. BE NICE HINTS: *    Waiting in line with a lot in your basket? Let the person behind you who only has 1 or 2 items go in front of you. *    Holding a door for anyone is always ‘nice.’ *    See a mom or dad with 1 or 2 kids in the car behind you at the drive thru? Pay for them when you go through first or order a round of soda

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A donation to the Fisher House has been made in your honor. Have a wonderful holiday!

A donation to the Fisher House has been made in your honor. Have a wonderful holiday!

Dear Friends: As Frank Sinatra sang it, “It was a very good year.” And indeed it was! I’m blessed. In honor of all our Telephone Doctor clients, friends and family, a donation is being made to: The Fisher House* Housing and help to our Veterans and their families To those who brought me onsite for a Telephone Doctor program for their team, conference, or sales meeting, thank you for an incredible year. And thank you to the thousands of clients using our www.serviceskills.com platform for your training. We’re proud to be part of helping you communicate better with your customers and co-workers. Have a very merry holiday and much success in 2018! *Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfortable homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.

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Why Tone of Voice is Important

Why Tone of Voice is Important

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   When I do webinars, I like to get questions ahead of time if I can. Requesting questions ahead of time from the attendees is a lot of fun and we’re also answering what’s on their minds. Recently, we received the question below: It was timely and relevant, and I wanted to share it so you all can have the information as well – and share it. 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 learning at your webinar. TONE OF VOICE has come up several times recently. Which says to me there are other folks talking and thinking about this as well. One of the biggest complaints I hear is, “She/he didn’t sound happy, friendly, or eager to help.” The short and

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Fake News Has Been Around Awhile

Fake News Has Been Around Awhile

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   I was a young girl when I got my first taste of ‘fake news.’ They didn’t call it that then, but that’s what it was. It simply wasn’t true. The other day someone shared something with me they had heard. I asked, “Were you there?” “Well, NO, I wasn’t” they said. “So, in effect,” I replied, “it’s FAKE NEWS? In other words, you cannot swear to it, can you?” They couldn’t. They had only ‘heard’ about it. Well, I was there at this FAKE NEWS story. It has no sex, booze or drugs in it. Just good old FAKE NEWS. I learned a lesson very young. You might want to share this one to explain the point, or non-point, of FAKE NEWS, especially to the younger set. When I was about 9 or 10 years old, living in an apartment in the South Side of Chicago, we were awoken by the Fire Department coming into the adjoining building. Separate entrances, but the buildings were connect. We ran downstairs out front and saw the fire coming out of our neighbors apartment in that building. It was scary.

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The Service Mentality – Does your team have it?

The Service Mentality – Does your team have it?

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   Telephone Doctor’s www.serviceskills.com online platform offers 12 series of helpful content to help your team communicate better with their customers and coworkers. This is one of the programs. Most ads have a line of type or two about how well you’ll be treated when you shop or call there. Usually the advertisement reads, “We’re the best” or “Service is our middle name” – something like that. TV, radio, newspapers and the internet are loaded with commercials with companies saying they are very customer service minded. Why then, do we hear so many horror stories about how poorly people are treated? Clearly, not everyone has The Service Mentality. The good news is you can learn the skills of the ‘best.’ No one has a monopoly on a great service mentality. Here are 7 traits that exemplify The Service Mentality #1 – Sympathy / Empathy This trait won as one of the most important characteristics when serving customers. In so many cases you get APATHY, the exact opposite of SYMPATHY. True story: On a recent trip my wallet was stolen. Credit cards, driver’s license and a few dollars…all gone. I got ready to make the

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Will Your Customer Service Pass or Fail This Holiday? 5 Tips to help.

Will Your Customer Service Pass or Fail This Holiday? 5 Tips to help.

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert, Keynote Speaker, President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. The holidays are fast approaching. Few times are more important for your customer service. The holidays can not only make your financial year a huge success, but it’s also a prime opportunity to gain new customers who will return year-round. However, if employees fail at customer service and are not helpful, knowledgeable, or unpleasant, you not only lose customers and lose future sales, but you also risk the chance of getting slammed on social media. So what can owners and managers do to encourage excellent customer service during the beyond the holiday season? Here are five tips that will help up your game and provide customer service that will generate holiday sales and repeat customers in the new year. * Start some sort of training now, before the holiday shoppers arrive. If you have some customer service training in place, review with your employees and those seasonal workers you are hiring for the holidays. If you don’t have a customer service plan in place, hire an experienced expert to spend a day training your staff. And if you have no time to train, remind your

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One Word Answers

Yes. No. Ok. Monday. Yea. You get the picture. When we answer anyone, let alone a customer, client, friend, family member, coworker, one-word answers are perceived as cold and rude. It’s that simple. If you’re reading this I am going assume you went to 3rd grade and I believe that’s just about where we learn “3 words make a sentence”. Answering with only one word probably won’t get you a RED X or cancel an order – but it makes people feel cheated. I know, I know, “well, Nancy, everyone does it. Well, as my Dad used to say to me when I told him “everyone does it (whatever “it” was) His standard answer to me was “well, Nancy if everyone was going to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge would you?” Let everyone else use one-word answers; but love to have all who care – start saying, “Yes, I will”. Or “Your order will arrive Monday” . Or “Ok, that’s something we can do”. Watch our one minute video One Word answers and see if this all doesn’t make good sense to you. Thank you! (that’s 2 words)

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Will Your Customer Service Pass or Fail? Tips to get an “A.”

Will Your Customer Service Pass or Fail? Tips to get an “A.”

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert, Keynote Speaker and President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   The holidays are fast approaching. Few times are more important for your customer service. The holidays cannot only make your financial year a huge success, but it’s also a prime opportunity to gain new customers who will return year-round. However, if employees fail at customer service and are not helpful, knowledgeable, or are unpleasant, you not only lose customers and lose future sales, but you also risk the chance of getting slammed on social media. So what can owners and managers do to encourage excellent customer service during and beyond the holiday season? Here are five tips that will help up your game and provide customer service that will generate holiday sales and repeat customers in the new year. * Start some sort of training now, before the holiday shoppers arrive. If you have some customer service training in place, review it with your employees and those seasonal workers you are hiring for the holidays. If you don’t have a customer service plan in place, hire an experienced expert to spend a day training your staff. And if you have no time to train,

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Here are 7 traits that exemplify the Service Mentality

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert, Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Pick up any ad and there’s probably a line of type or two of how well you’ll be treated when you shop or call there. Usually the advertisement reads, “We’re the best” … or “Service is our middle name” – something like that. TV, radio, newspapers and the internet are loaded with commercials with companies saying they are very customer service minded. Why then, do we hear so many horror stories about how people are treated? Clearly, not everyone has the Service Mentality.  The good news is you can learn the skills of the ‘best’ No one has a monopoly on a great service mentality. Here are 7 traits that exemplify the Service Mentality #1 Sympathy This trait won hands down as one of the most important characteristics when serving customers. In so many cases you get APATHY, the exact opposite of SYMPATHY. True Story – On a recent trip, my wallet was stolen. Credit cards, driver’s license and, a few dollars… all gone. I got ready to make the appropriate phone calls to each credit card company – 4 in all. “Hi”, I said, “my name is Nancy Friedman. And I

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Words that Drive Customers Away

Words that Drive Customers Away

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   We call them conversation diverters. Killer words are words that make your customers and your potential customers (and oftentimes friends and family) veer away from the real point of your conversation. So best we eliminate them from our routine and vocabulary. It’s not easy to do. If it were easy to do, everyone would be doing it and we know everyone isn’t doing it. In no order of importance, here are five of the top-rated killer words. Remove them from your sales and presentations as well as your customer interactions and watch the scene go smoother. 1.  “No Problem” – The customer is thinking, “When was I a problem?” Believe we can thank the ‘islands’ for this one. When we take a cruise and ask for anything, what’s the first thing the waiter says? Right, “No problem.” Well on the cruise it may be okay; however, back home it should be: The GOLD STANDARD of: “You’re welcome,” “My pleasure,” “Happy to help,” and a host of other ways to let the customer know you’re glad to do that. “No problem” appears to be a big problem with your

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Most Sales Are Lost Due To Poor Service Than A Poor Product. Nancy Friedman Interview

Most Sales Are Lost Due To Poor Service Than A Poor Product. Nancy Friedman Interview

As posted on https://www.trainerhangout.com/coach-customer-service-nancy-friedman/ Nancy Friedman is one of the top customer service and employee relations experts in the North America. She believes that most sales are lost due to poor service rather than a mediocre product. So it makes a lot of sense to coach customer service to everyone who interacts with customers. In this interview, she tells us how she started off as customer service expert through a delightful accident rather than a strategic plan. Tell us about your journey My journey was a delightful accident. I was working with my husband in his advertising business and had to call our insurance agent. He was out of the office, but the treatment I received from his staff was shocking. The staff at the insurance agent’s office where we had several policies was so bad. Couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that –  everything was negative. So, I called the agent and canceled all my policies. It was no small incident since we were his most significant client. He was floored. Why? He asked. What did he do wrong? I told him he was never there, that I always dealt with his staff, and they were terrible. He asked me to

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