Email Frustrations

Email Frustrations

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training Our surveys are taken at my speaking engagements. I ask the audience what businesses and/or customers want to know. A while back we asked an audience of 350+ what 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 that were frustrating, but these rose to the top. They are not bad; simply useless and unnecessary (i.e., not needed and ineffective). When these phrases are eliminated, emails usually read better; sound stronger. Here we go: * “Just a note to let you know…”or “Just wanted to say…” or “I’m just checking back to see where we are on…..” JUST is a weak, wimpy word. Not necessary. In fact, it is 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 necessary. Confirm the

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T-L-C for Emails

T-L-C for Emails

Listen up. We did an audience survey at one of my recent 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. And used by very supposedly, highly educated, smart folks. * Emails that are too long; too wordy. Emails that run several paragraphs that could be said in several sentences. * Subject lines that don’t match the body copy. There were others, but these three rose to the top. Then we talked about useless phrases used in emails. Ineffective words and phrases that could be left out. They’re 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: 1. “Just a note to let you know…” or “Just wanted 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

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5 Email Errors You May Be Making & Don’t Know It

5 Email Errors You May Be Making & Don’t Know It

By: Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. We can all get ‘nailed’ in a bad email. As they say, “It can happen to anyone.” But there are ways to alleviate that issue. Here are 5 areas to improve on and help get you better results. 1. Poor Grammar and Spelling This leads the pack of annoyances and shouts you didn’t proofread your email nor did you use spell check. Your and you’re along with their, there and they’re appear to be the most offensive and widespread. It’s also the ones we hear the most about. Granted, spell check is not your friend with some of these words if they are indeed spelled correctly. That’s why proofing your emails, double checking, is more critical than ever, especially if you’re trying to make a good impression. Want the easy way out? Use the old author trick. When in doubt – leave it out. (Example: I have trouble with “effect and affect.” So guess what? I don’t use them. Sad to say, when you use the wrong your/you’re or their/there/they’re, you appear (and I don’t like this word) stupid. Bad enough normal misspellings come into play. But the wrong use of words we

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Email Frustrations You May Be Making

Email Frustrations You May Be Making

By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Keynote Speaker, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training We now know email has surpassed voice mail in communications. Not answering emails is, of course, a big frustration. However, we’ve found a bunch of the public’s frustrations on email that’s easier to fix than finding a way to get them to return emails. One of the frustrations may be the reason why you didn’t get an answer. Are you guilty?????? Messages that are too long – As in voice mail, we know that the more succinct the message, the better it’s received. And now, where we can all get our emails not only on our office computers, but on our phones and our iPads, (and OMG now our watches), it’s critically important for our emails to be short, sweet and to the point. Long messages get zapped just as long voice mails used to. Suggestion: If/when there is a long email to send, mention that right in the subject line. This way the recipient A) knows it in advance and B) can save it for when he has time. And consider an attachment. Poor spelling and bad grammar – Inexcusable! And, the wrong use of words.

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Do you return all your emails & phone calls?

Do you return all your emails & phone calls?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training   A while back, folks used to ask me, “Nancy what do you think of people who don’t return their phone calls?” My answer was simple – “NOT VERY MUCH!” Not return a phone call? How rude can you get? “Well, you don’t understand Nancy, I get a lot of phone calls.” Oh, I understand. I really do. I understand a lot more than you realize. I get a lot of phone calls too. Thankfully. That’s normally a good thing. Yes, getting a lot of phone calls is normally a very good thing. And certainly all of us, ok, most of us, aren’t able to return all our calls immediately, but most of us can have them returned on our behalf. That we can do. Not returning a phone call is as wrong as going from lane to lane on the highway without using your turn signal. Just RUDE. How can you not return a phone call or not have it returned on your behalf? Sorry, just don’t understand that. (Yes, granted, there are a few exceptions.) Looking to get off a call list or not have that person call

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Is it a Problem or an Inconvenience?

By Nancy Friedman, Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service There is a huge difference between a problem and an inconvenience. You know it, I know it and your customers know it. Listen to what HAPPENED TO ME the other day. We ordered a new copy machine at Telephone Doctor. Gentleman brings the machine into the office. As he’s installing the machine, one of the ladies sees the screen has a rather large crack on it and tells the installer. The young man who wheeled in the machine came looking for me to tell me and proudly exclaims, “Mrs. Friedman, we have a problem.” Because I am a problem solver I asked, “What is it?” “Well,” he says, “the screen on the copier machine is cracked.” I say, “Can it be fixed?” He says, “yes ma’am.” “Well, then,” I tell him, “we don’t have a problem, we have a minor inconvenience.” He thought about that and then smiled. “When can it be fixed?” I ask. “Oh, today for sure,” he says. Then I assured him, “We don’t even have an inconvenience.” Why even use the word ‘problem?’ Why alert the customer to that? If you really need to let them know something

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eCommerce Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert and President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Unless you live under a rock, you know we are well into the era of the internet, online and social media. The demands of customers for superior service have intensified. No argument there. Remember: It’s all about the “experience.” To understand the impact, look at customer communication in two categories: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous – meaning that both people communicating need to be on the same device at the same time such as phone, face-to-face, chat, and the like. You ask and you get results immediately. No waiting. Asynchronous, of course, is one-way communication such as fax, voice mail, email and good old snail mail. (Remember that?) When we think of regular customer service, we generally think of face-to-face and telephone interactions. But today suffice to say, there are way more ways to communicate with our customers and the online is a powerful part of that communication. More and more organizations are exploring new opportunities in electronic eCommerce. They sense that they can reach segments of their audiences more quickly and effectively online. With this in mind, there is a greater need than ever before

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11+ Theatre Skills for Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert and President of Telephone Doctor Customer Service   What type of theatre experience have you ever had? Why do I ask you that question? Because if you have ever been on stage in a play, part of a band, chorus, dance group, stage manager, grip, sound, prompter, make up, lighting, director, or any form of theatre where the audience and other co-workers are depending on you, then you probably already know the answer to why I ask. And you probably have a great background for customer service! I have a professional theatre background and it has helped my career thrive immensely in the customer service arena. Now, it doesn’t mean if you don’t have a theatre background you won’t be good in customer service, it just means you’ll understand the mentality of customer service faster, and perhaps better. Theatre 101, as I call it, is a perfect pre-curser to being in customer service. It prepares you in the best way for all these topics and many more. I fibbed, there are more than 11 skills. That’s a good thing though. Here they are. * Interacting with others * Being on time *

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5 Killer Words to Drive Your Customers Away

By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor  There are really more, we know that. But what we have found after a survey from our clients is these five killer words always seem to rise to the top. They are conversation diverters. Just as ALWAYS and NEVER are conversation diverters, these five killer words will 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. Remove these 5 Killer Words from your sales and presentations and watch the scene go smoother.  “It’s not our policy.” – Ouch! Okay, okay, most every company has policies and it’s something we need to deal with on a daily basis I’m sure. What we realized was it’s not necessarily the policy that’s frustrating, it’s blurting out first and foremost, “It’s not our policy” or in some cases it’s “their” policy.The policy needs to be rephrased so that it starts off in a more positive way. We like to say “rejecting gently.” And rephrasing policies are a good way

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Eight Tips For Effective Email Communication

PDF Version By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor A recent report estimated that over 300 billion emails are sent each day! Spam messages are jamming in-boxes across the globe and the average business person now gets over 100 emails a day. While no one denies the obvious productivity gains we’ve realized from the efficiencies of email communication, many people find themselves drowning in all these messages. Here are eight tips that will make your email communications more effective. 1. Practice being clear and concise with your message. You’ll save time and your reader will appreciate it. Consider using bulleted points to clearly express your thoughts. Everyone has a different style of how they intake information. Email communication works best if you clearly outline the points you’re trying to get across in an easy to understand format. Investing extra time while authoring an email pays big dividends by giving your reader a clear understanding of your message. Remember, if your email is written with the purpose to educate, inform or persuade, then making sure to get your point across is even more critical. With the sheer volume of email messages most business people receive, there’s an inverse relationship between the volume

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