Five Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases

Five Frustrating Voice Mail Phrases

Normally, I bet my audiences the cash that’s in their wallet that they have one or more of these phrases on their cell or office phone at that moment. I’ve never had to pay! When was the last time you checked your own voice mail message? It’s probably been a while. Well, now’s the time to double check it. Because I’m betting you have one or more of the frustrating phrases on your voice mail. I don’t. If you don’t, congratulations! Here they are: 1. Hi, I’m not here right now. DUH? Well, that’s a hot lot of news. What a boring, semi useless statement. Live a little. Let your callers know where you ARE – not where you’re not. Tell them, “I AM in the office all this week” OR “I’m in a sales meeting till 3 pm.” Let them know if you do or don’t check messages. Let them know when you will be back. No one is terribly interested where you’re NOT. They are interested in where you ARE. 2. Your call is very important to me. OMG. Seriously? A big time waster. The caller is thinking, “Well, if I’m so darn important, where the heck are you?” And

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Telephone Doctor’s Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote speaker, Customer Service Expert, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service  FACT: The best weapon for a small business against the BIG guys is Customer Service. It’s that simple.  We will pay more for better service! So if you’re a small business owner and if you’re looking for ways to improve, read on. Telephone Doctor, an international customer service training company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, believes in helping small businesses get better at communicating with their customers.  To get off on the right foot with your customers, whether you’re a large or small retailer, whether your customers come to you via the phone or in person, here are the Telephone Doctor’s Six Cardinal Rules of Customer Service.  Adapting these easy steps will make your day, and more importantly, make the customer’s day a better experience for you and your company.  Cardinal Rule # 1 – People Before Paperwork  When someone walks into your place of business, or calls you while you’re working on something, drop everything for that person. Remember, paper can wait, people should not. We’ve all been abused when we go shopping and been ignored and we know how that feels. Let’s not abuse our

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Franchise news from Nancy, 2 time IFA SPEAKER

Dear Franchise Friends, As a two time mini-session IFA speaker (2014 & 2015), we wish you a great 2016 conference. While I’m missing IFA this year – (Am speaking at a large national insurance conference at the same time) i’ll be thinking good things for you all. Planning for your 2016 conference? Please consider our program for your franchisees in 2016. We’ve helped many franchisees increase customer retention, relations and sales. On the phone and in person. Click here to see our unique programs to help franchisees increase sales & the customer service experience -A few IFA comments: You are amazing! Great IFA Show-IFA 2015. –Jerrod Sessler, Pres./CEO HomeTask, Author of Food Chain) Truly enjoyed your presentation – funny and impactful. Thanks again for the awesome job you did at IFA. –Matt Murphy , Pres. Ceo/ Griswold Home Care Nancy, I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and engagement at IFA. Your sincere and personal delivery of your message was truly inspirational! Thank you for your insights and I look forward to having you at one of our conventions! –Stuart A. Williams, CFE TIDE/Agile Click here for our demo packet. You’ll also receive a complimentary copy of my new book “Customer Service

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Are You Passive, Average or Proactive?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President,  Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training.  Take our 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

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Special Holiday Gift for Telephone Doctor Clients and friends.

Once again we are making a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project on behalf of all Telephone Doctor friends and clients at this holiday time. May you have the best holiday ever and may your phones ring long and loud with health and happiness! What’s a great gift for your customers? A Big Smile Job Knowledge Treat Them as a Welcome Guest No Wrapping * No Cost * No Fuss Can’t beat that, can you? Get those down pat and you’ll have a GREAT YEAR. Remember: We’re basic, common sense. Click HERE to get a DEMO PACKET and make your next meeting GREAT. Named by meeting planners as one of their “favorite speakers,” 2015. (Meeting & Conventions Magazine)

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Five Ways to Sabotage Your Business

By Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor There are, of course, many ways to sabotage your business. And, chances are, your staff is doing some of these now, without you even knowing it. And worse yet, you’ve probably even heard some of this yourself (ouch!). That’s the bad news. The good news is, through our many Telephone Doctor surveys we’re able to bring to you the top five sabotage practices and then show you how to neutralize the effects. So, get ready. You and your staff are about to be in a much better position to handle: The Five Top Ways to Sabotage Your Business Today: It’s Not Our Policy   This, unfortunately, is used more as an excuse than anything else. It’s a sure thing that the employee has not been shown how to explain a policy to someone. This phrase is used more as something to say when the employee doesn’t know what to say. The customer then calls that an “excuse.” When the customer hears “it’s not our policy,” they immediately respond (usually silently) with, “WHO CARES?” What a business needs to understand is no one but the management and staff cares about your policies. Do you really think the

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I No Longer . . .

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who like or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on

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What’s Your R – T – C Factor?

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training There are 3 valuable items customers want BEFORE the product or the service. They boil down to three basic wants comprising of what we call the R-T-C factor: Relationship, Trust and Consistency. 1.  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. Yet not taught in our schools.  2.  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 following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company’s guarantee statement, creating trust

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The Service Mentality

7 Characteristics of the Best of the Best in Customer Service  By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert, Speaker, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service  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. The TV, radio and the internet, are loaded with commercials for being very customer service minded.  Why then, do we hear so many horror stories about how people were treated? Telephone Doctor surveyed several companies to seek out the traits – the characteristics of those that have the service mentality. Clearly, not everyone does. The good news is you can learn the skills of the ‘best.’ No one has a monopoly on a great service mentality.  Here then, are the seven traits that were among the highest in the survey.  #1 Empathy This trait won hands down as the most important characteristic when serving customers. In so many cases you get APATHY, the exact opposite of EMPATHY. Simply put, empathy is putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if what happened

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Dear Driver

Dear Drivers: Today my daughter who is seven years old started to school as usual – she wore a dark blue dress, with a white color – she had on black shoes and wore blue gloves. Her cocker spaniel – whose name is Coot – sat on the front porch, and whined his canine belief in the folly of education, as she waved goodbye, and started off to the hall of learning. Tonight, we talked about school – she told me about the girl who sits in front of her – the girl with the yellow curls – and the boy across the aisle – who makes funny faces. She told me about her teacher – who has eyes in the back of her head – and about the trees in the school yard – and about the big girl – who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. We talked about a lot of things – tremendously vital, unimportant things – and then we studied spelling, reading, arithmetic – and then to bed. She’s back there now – back in the nursery – sound asleep with “Princess Elizabeth” (that’s a doll) cuddled in her right arm. You guys wouldn’t hurt her,

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What do Minuteman Press Int’l – The Regis Corporation – Novus Glass and Philly Pretzel have in common?

These successful franchisors have joined the ranks of happy “Nancy clients” by bringing her humorous, beneficial, and educational keynote to their annual franchise conferences. Here’s a challenge question for your franchisees. (You are welcome to share.) What is the biggest frustration of your customers? Answer: Not being friendly enough. Solution: Smile! Yup, a smile helps build that personal “friendly” your customers need and expect but are always shocked to experience. Callers and customers are too often viewed as an annoyance or interruption when in fact they pay the bills. Every employee can show they care with a smile on their face and in their voice. If you’re interested in learning more about how a NANCY program will work for your next meeting, please call me for a complimentary information speaker packet or click here and simply type ‘Please Send Packet.’ You’ll be glad you did! All the best,Nancy www.NancyFriedman.com Proud Member of IFA2-time IFA annual speaker A recent comment from a recent Franchisor: “The way Nancy built an honest rapport with her audience of Minuteman Press franchise owners at the World Expo 2015 in Las Vegas was simply an art form in and of itself. I marveled at the way she was able to

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Solutions for Franchisees

By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Speaker, Customer Service Expert, President Telephone Doctor Customer Service  Common scenario: Franchisees phone rings with a potential customer. The caller is put on hold (often curtly). Or it rings too long. The caller waits five seconds, hangs up. No sale. No second chance. Uncommon solution: The Customer Service Expert: Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor. Rapport building; retention and engagement a specialty. HOW? I shoot down bad habits and punch holes – using humor – in the mistakes we all make in customer service and sales. Offering the positive alternatives to be used immediately and forever. Results? ROI, increased customer service, more sales. A 2015 IFA annual conference attendee said: “WOW! Exceptional does not even begin to cover how magnificent (Nancy’s) presentation was. Funny, engaging, insightful, helpful, and downright phenomenal! Nancy’s session was worth the trip & conference alone!” Nancy is president and founder of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. She is a widely recognized speaker in the franchise industry who brings tips, skills and techniques to help the multi-unit entrepreneur gain the ultimate customer experience. The author of 8 books, she is an expert in sales, customer service and communications. A few of her franchise clients

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Welcome Mat

In a society where poor customer service is rampant, a well-trained company staff can shine if everyone adopts and commits to some simple service approaches. The result can mean not only keeping your customers happy, but also keeping them period! What is the biggest and most costly customer service mistake in business today? My answer is simple – “We’re just not friendly enough.” Customers should be treated as welcome guests when they call your office. Instead, they’re often treated like an interruption or, even worse, an annoyance. More than 90 percent of all customer service starts with a telephone call. That said, customer service mistakes happen anytime and in many ways. Customers can communicate with your company through any one of the six touch points of communication and any one of these touch points can damage a relationship, often permanently. Email Voice Mail Snail Mail Phone Fax Face-to-Face (We left off texting on purpose. Let’s leave that out for now. More on that later.) Two of these communication tools are what is known as “synchronous;” the other four are “asynchronous.” Synchronous is instant communication, when two or more people are able to communicate immediately between each other, i.e., the telephone

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Back To Basics

Good Old Common Sense Tips By Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor  My entire career has been focused on developing ways to help companies communicate better with their customers.  Great customer service is sought by most everyone. Businesses go out of their way to give good customer service. Some make it; some don’t.  Customers go out of their way looking for companies that give great customer service. Some find it; some don’t.  We have tried so very hard to explain to both sides – the customer and the business, 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 out there.  People love to vent. One of our books, Customer Service Nightmares, is proof of that. They love to report on how badly they’ve been handled.  I cannot count the number of articles out there on customer service. Some are good, some not; some have new ideas; some speak the old tried and true. And that’s where Telephone Doctor customer service training comes into play; plain old customer service.  We call it ‘Back to Basics.’ You can imagine we have hundreds, if not thousands of ideas, tips, skills and

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6 Cardinal Rules of Customer Service

By Nancy Friedman Telephone Doctor  There are a lot of ‘rules’ in customer service, but few more important than the six we’ve listed here. Each makes a valid statement and will increase the satisfaction of your clients.  Cardinal Rule #1 – Personal Responsibility/Accountability: Don’t Pass the Buck  In a recent survey, we found that “responsibility/accountability” is the number one characteristic employers want from their employees.  Oh, there are lots of characteristics they’d like; however, the one that rose to the top consistently was responsibility/accountability.  One of the most important attributes a team player can have is personal responsibility – personal accountability. Those that have it refuse to accuse, blame and complain.  Those that do accuse, blame and complain break one of the most important cardinal rules. “Who” statements accuse and blame. “Who took my stapler?” A more positive manner might be: “I seem to have misplaced my stapler; has anyone seen it?”  Remember to take full responsibility with the customer. The customer doesn’t like to hear accusing, blaming and complaining statements. They know when you’re passing the buck!  Cardinal Rule #2 – People Before Paperwork  When someone walks into your place of business or calls you while you’re working on

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