Resiliency: A Key Service Mentality

Resiliency: A Key Service Mentality

No matter if customer service is delivered face-to-face, online or over the phone, resiliency is a critically important service mentality. Resiliency is defined as having the ability to bounce back from adversity. We’ve all heard the adage, “You can’t control what happens to you in life, but you can control how you react.” This is especially true for anyone in the customer care business. Client-facing team members regularly must serve as the lightning rod for customers who need to vent their frustration. Being aware of the importance that resiliency plays is the first step to changing behavior. Watch this Video and see for yourself.

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5+ Interview Questions and Tips You Probably Aren’t Using and Should

5+ Interview Questions and Tips You Probably  Aren’t Using and Should

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker; Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   Sometimes companies hire people because they’re breathing. We all get desperate. And it’s not fair to anyone – the prospective employee, the current employee, the employer, the entire company and eventually the customer. If you interview applicants, you know, of course, there are rules, guidelines, things you can never ask them; things you shouldn’t ask them and they’re usually the questions you really want to ask them. Most of us know the difference between legal and illegal questions. A few simple examples:   Illegal: Do you have a car? Legal: How will you get to work?   Illegal: How many sick days did you take last year at your last job? Legal: How many days of work did you miss last year?   Illegal: Have you ever been arrested? Legal: Have you ever been convicted of fraud or theft?   These helpful tips are all over the internet. But here are a few more. Years ago, I came up with some out of the box questions and have been using them for a while. Some of the employees who got those questions 15 – 20

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Speakerphone Helpful Hints – One-on-One or Conference Call

Speakerphone Helpful Hints – One-on-One or Conference Call

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker; Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   Ah yes, speakerphones. Conference calls. Lots of people on one call and so forth. Normally, if it’s a conference call, all parties are aware they’ll be on a speakerphone. Sort of a given. But what about the random call where you gather up 4 to 6 folks to make a call to “JOE” and then you put him on the speakerphone and he wasn’t expecting it? Here are some friendly tips for speakerphones. A few ‘niceties;’ guidelines, if you will. Reminders. Refreshers. Things you probably know already, but others may not. Start the call ONE-ON-ONE. Use the handset to ‘start’ the call; then ask the called party if they’re OK with being placed on a speakerphone. When you make a phone call and start the conversation on the speakerphone without asking, you’re 3 points behind the 8-ball and those 3 points can be very difficult to get back. Once the called party you need is on the line, ask if they mind being put on the speakerphone. And yes, it’s a good idea (and a considerate one too) to explain WHY you’d like the call

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“Hi Bob!” Oh my! Maybe it’s NOT BOB???

“Hi Bob!” Oh my! Maybe it’s NOT BOB???

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Why you need to be VERY CAREFUL using CALLER ID. A short video story on why it’s best to answer all phones – office, home and cell (and whatever other phone you might have), simply with, “Hi, this is….” (I use Nancy. . .you use your own name.) There are too many horror stories of what has happened when you ‘think’ it’s one person 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 it is. Enjoy and please share. http://www.nancyfriedman.com/2016/12/20/caller-id-can-dangerous/  

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Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Customer Service Expert, speaking at AUTO GLASS SHOW

Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Customer Service Expert, speaking at AUTO GLASS SHOW

Thursday, October 5, 2017 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Providing Superior Customer Service by Phone One of the country’s foremost experts on customer service by phone shares her methods for creating a superior customer telephone experience that helps turn more calls into booked jobs. You’ll learn how to handle price-shoppers, the indecisive, how to deal with insurance issues and how to turn calls into sales. Managers will learn how to manage the CSR function for success. This is Nancy’s second appearance at the Glass Show. http://www.nancyfriedman.com

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Well, It’s Not Cooperstown or Canton, But I’ll Take It With Thanks

Well, It’s Not Cooperstown or Canton, But I’ll Take It With Thanks

Nancy Friedman, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training; Keynote Customer Service Speaker   It’s difficult for me to post about ‘me.’ I’m normally sharing tips, techniques, skills and ideas. Recently I was asked why we hadn’t posted the recent honor of being selected a member of the St. Louis Small Business Hall of Fame (only 6 were selected) on LinkedIn and my other social media. It’s certainly not because I’m embarrassed or ashamed; just that I didn’t think folks were that interested in me. So I held off – until now. A close friend convinced me. He thought you should be aware. So this is written from the heart, and frankly, may not be a very focused blog. It is, however, a heartfelt one. I’ve spent a lifetime building a company whose mission is helping companies communicate better with their customers and coworkers. Simple. Not complicated. And 30 some odd years later we’re still here doing the same old, same old with lots of new and updated material. We hear over and over again: “Thank you Telephone Doctor! The techniques work.” As a member (and maybe even president) of the “keep it simple” club, our focus and dedication remains and will continue to remain, helping companies raise their customer service bar and

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7 Steps to Service Recovery – Above & Beyond the Irate Customer

7 Steps to Service Recovery – Above & Beyond the Irate Customer

By Nancy Friedman, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Speaker Almost anyone who’s been in a customer service position has had the opportunity of running into either an irate call, person or a situation that, shall we say, is not pleasant. And even though it may not even be our fault, we still need to know how to recover the situation. Here are the Telephone Doctor’s 7 Steps to Service Recovery that will help make your day a better one!  It IS your responsibility. If you have answered the phone on behalf of the company, you have indeed accepted 100% responsibility. At least that’s what the caller/customer believes. So, get off the “it’s not my fault” syndrome. And get on with the “what can I do for you?” position. “I’m sorry” & “I apologize” DOES work. Occasionally I hear from folks and they tell me they don’t feel they should say “I’m sorry” when it wasn’t their fault. Well, in the customer’s mind, it is your fault. Saying you’re sorry won’t fix the problem, but it does help to defuse it immediately. Try it. You’ll see. Sympathize immediately. When someone is angry or frustrated with your company or product, the one

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Short Training Video on Business Friendly Customer Service

Short Training Video on Business Friendly Customer Service

Every call is unique – don’t become desensitized! In most service situations, it’s very common to handle repetitive calls. The same issues over and over. We need to remember that to the customer, this is the first interaction they’ve had with your company today. Always remember that every call is unique. And needs to be treated that way.

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Word of the Day: WACTEO (WAC-TAY-O)

Word of the Day: WACTEO (WAC-TAY-O)

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker; Customer Service and Communication Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   In these days, folks are busy, stressed out and short of time. It can be easy to forget to thank folks. It shouldn’t be. However, sadly, it is. We can usually remember to thank our customers because “we’re supposed to.” We probably don’t have any trouble thanking our family members. However, there is a group of folks that are often left out of the “thank you” pile. And that would be our co-workers. The folks we spend most of the day with side-by-side. I’m dedicating this column to our inside customers. The folks that are thought of as our ‘home away from home’ family. Sure, we argue and disagree with co-workers just like our family. And that’s OK, because most of us have a family environment in our office. We understand that. It’s our office family. The word WACTEO comes from the sentence: We Are Customers to Each Other. Pronounced: WOC-TAY-O If every office, large and small, followed some of these guidelines, I’m thinking it would be a better place to work. Understand Your Role – Each employee should know the mission of

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Avoid these cellphone deadly sins

Avoid these cellphone deadly sins

Reposted from http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/success/inc/tca-avoid-these-cellphone-deadly-sins-20170707-story.html by Cheryl Snapp Conner Inc Magazine Cellphone courtesy month is here, and not a moment too soon. We can thank Jacqueline Whitmore, a business etiquette expert from Palm Beach, Fla., for creating National Cell Phone Courtesy Month in 2002. People using one of the most intrusive devices in history should be courteous all year, of course. But cellphone abuses are rampant, according to customer service expert Nancy Friedman, who is known as the Telephone Doctor. So in honor of the month, Friedman has shared the most irritating cellphone offenses that need to be curbed. Public areas Taking calls in restaurants, during plays, seminars, business meetings, movies or in other public areas is a sure way to annoy others. Keep your ringer off. When the phone vibrates with a call you simply must answer, take your call to a private area or text a note that you’ll reply later. In business, if you absolutely must leave a meeting to take a call, do it skillfully. For example, my colleagues and I will never forget the former employee (emphasis on former) who walked out of a meeting with our chairman with no remark or apology to take a personal

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Are You a Phubber?

Are You a Phubber?

JULY IS NATIONAL CELL PHONE COURTESY MONTH. WHY NOT ALL YEAR LONG? WE SURE NEED IT. July is also the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. What a phenomenon! And yet we still know folks who are enjoying the solid, old flip phone. Go figure. Well whichever phone you use, there are manners involved. Most of us know them. But like everything else, refreshers and reminders never hurt. Is there anyone left who hasn’t witnessed two people having dinner and both deeply involved in their cell phone? As our picture headline suggests, ‘Phubbing’ is the act of snubbing people you are with and choosing the phone over them. And listen to this. When was the last time you checked your own cell phone voice mail? Are you married to the boring, non-effective message that came with the phone? Do you have any of the 5 Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases on your phone? Easy to fix that. Make it fun. Smile and create a simple, interesting message. There are many frustrations about cell phone manners; I hear ’em all. This list is only a few. Shoot us your frustrations if they’re not on this list. Airports: If you’re sitting next to strangers,

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“OK” is NOT “OK”

“OK” is NOT “OK”

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training For a few seasons I was hooked on American Idol. Not sure if that was good or bad. But I do know it was a whole lot of fun on a Tuesday night for a while. The three judges, Randy, Paula and Simon, were quite a team. They reminded me of the 3 Little Bears. If you’re not familiar with the program (and there are some who aren’t, including my husband!), please keep reading. I’m thinking what we’re talking about here will make sense to you. On the show, when one of the judges rips into the contestant with negative remarks on how poorly they’ve done and tells them they can’t even imagine how they got this far in the contest and beats them up pretty bad, the contestant usually just said, “OK.” And often times ‘thanked’ the judges. OK? It’s OK I stink? They are approving a negative. What’s wrong with that picture? You and I know they are crying on the inside – mortified and hurt. If your boss told you that you weren’t going to be paid this week, would you say, “OK?” I doubt

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KILLER WORDS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE & EVERYTHING ELSE

KILLER WORDS OF CUSTOMER SERVICE & EVERYTHING ELSE

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training This is one of our most popular and request to reprint articles and we felt it was time to share again. As ‘grandma’ use to say, “Anything worth doing well, is worth doing twice.” We call them conversation diverters. Just as ALWAYS and NEVER are. Customer and friends doubt you with those words. Killer words help make your customers and your potential customers 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. Here are 5 of the top-rated killer words. Remove them and watch the scene go smoother. There are more, of course. 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 needs to be The GOLD STANDARD: “you’re welcome,” “my pleasure,” “happy to help,” and a

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I’ve Never Seen a Hearse Pulling a U-Haul

I’ve Never Seen a Hearse Pulling a U-Haul

Right! You can’t take it with you. By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker; Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   I’m a small business owner. They call folks like us ‘entrepreneurs’ and I’m damned proud to be one. But no matter what they call us, we have a small business that we created, or was handed down to us, or we bought. It’s ours. And we get to do pretty much what we want with our business. There are pitfalls of course, but there are pitfalls in every business. So that doesn’t scare me at all. I’d rather make less money and run my own business than have more business and do what someone wants me to do that I don’t like to do. Does that make sense to you? So, I decided to make this article ‘semi-bulletproof’ if you will, for ‘that day.’ That day when we say, “It’s time.” Be it time to retire, time to slow down, time to sell, or just ‘time.’ Maybe just leave early. Take that trip of a lifetime. While succession planning is critical in all small business, it is also critical to be sure the folks who stand by our

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Why “I Understand How You Feel” isn’t a great empathy statement.

By Nancy Friedman. Customer Service Keynote Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. If I could, I would eliminate this phrase from customer service. There is simply no way on G-Ds green earth one person can understand the feelings of others. We can sympathize, but as an empathy statement. Watch this: You can say: “Gee, I’ve never had that experience.” You can say: “That has got to be very frustrating.” You can say: “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling.” You can say: “I’ve had that experience and agree, it’s frustrating.” But you cannot/should not say: “I understand how you feel.” TRUE STORY At my dads funeral, a friend came up to me and said, “Oh I’m so sorry Nancy, I know how you feel.” I said, “Myrna, your dad is sitting right over there . . . how can you know how I feel?” And even if she had lost her dad, each of our feelings are so different. It’s just not a great statement when trying to say, “I’ve been there too.” Use the positive alternatives shown in our video blog.

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How To Avoid Emotional Leakage – Getting Mad at Peter and Taking it Out on Paul

How To Avoid Emotional Leakage – Getting Mad at Peter and Taking it Out on Paul

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training We’ve all seen it happen. A coworker comes into work storming angry; mouth turned down in a frown; walks through the office without saying hello to anyone; sits down at his desk and starts barking orders to his coworkers; doesn’t come out of his office; and when his phone rings he picks it up and bellows out: “Yea?” Sad, isn’t it? Something must have happened before he got to work and he carried it right inside the building. Telephone Doctor calls this “Emotional Leakage” and we cure it all the time. Hey, it’s no fun to get up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning. And it’s sure not fun to get a flat tire on the way to work or to argue with someone before breakfast. It’s unfortunate that some people can’t shake it off and move on about their business. Emotional leakage is getting mad at Peter and taking it out on Paul. Not right, not fair, not fun. Taking a negative emotion out on someone who wasn’t involved? How RUDE can you get? If emotionally leaking on coworkers certainly isn’t fair,

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Passive? Average? Pro-Active? Which are YOU?

Passive? Average? Pro-Active? Which are YOU?

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   Take this little test and find out. Read the scenarios below and ask yourself…which type am I? # 1. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): “Tell you what, I’ve decided not to take the Blue Widget.” Answer from a PASSIVE person: “OK, thanks. Have a nice day.” Customer feels nothing. Usually disappointed. # 2. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): “Tell you what, I’ve decided not to take the Blue Widget.” Answer from an AVERAGE person: “You sure?” Customer feels slighted. Probably could have used a little help. # 3. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): “Tell you what, I’ve decided not to take the Blue Widget.” Answer from a PROACTIVE person: “Wow! Sorry to hear that. Are you aware there’s a Widget maker that goes with it at a discounted price? You’ll have several uses for it. Why not try it? You’ll love it.” Customer feels great. Didn’t realize there was an accessory to go with it and buys the Widget and the Widget maker. See the difference? Now, which one are you? FACT: There is absolutely nothing wrong with

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5 Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases that are on Your Phone. Bet they are!

5 Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases that are on Your Phone. Bet they are!

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   When was the last time you checked your own voice mail on your cell phone? Or on your office or home desk phone? My guess? It’s been a while. Check out our 60 second video blog and see if you can move out some of those frustrating phrases. Your callers will appreciate it. 5 Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases 60 SEC VIDEO it. Share and enjoy.

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Theater 101 for Customer Service and Communication Skills

Theater 101 for Customer Service and Communication Skills

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   So You Wanna Be A Star? READ ON… If you’ve never been in a play, band, chorus, dance group or any other form of theater where the audience is dependent on you and you on them, then you may be in for a shock if you’re new in customer service. And even if you’ve been doing customer service for a while, you might pick up a tip or two. If you have been in any of the groups listed above, you know what I mean. As a professional actress, theater helped prepare me to be a subject matter expert and keynote speaker on customer service. I’m not saying you won’t be good in customer service without a little theater background, but I am saying it’s a bit easier when you have had the experience of some sort of theater background. And not just as an actor. Every part of any play or group activity has elements of customer service. And it will help make your job much easier. It’s clear – the star is the customer, we are in a supporting role, and the stage is your company. Let’s

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