This customer recorded his call into a cable company. I listened. What I heard made me say wow. Just wow.

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So this call was bad. Really bad. All the customer, Ryan Block, wanted was to cancel his Comcast service. Ryan shared 8 minutes of the call on Sound Cloud for all of the Internet world to hear. My favorite phrase from the call is, “Help me understand why you don’t want faster Internet?” I’m still laughing!

Listen to this nightmare of a customer service call and then be thankful that you train and monitor your employees. You do train and monitor your employees, right?

Ryan Block, the customer

Click to listen to phone call.

Consider using this phone call in your customer service training sessions. Here are some discussion questions around the call:

  1. How would you feel about the company if you were the customer on this call?
  2. How likely would you be to spread negative word of mouth advertising either person to person or through social media?
  3. Beyond the customer in the call, how far will the impact of this call likely reach?
  4. What specific things can we learn from this call (what not to do, etc.)?

Want Better Customer Service Over the Telephone?

On Demand Webinar – A video recording that you can download immediately and have forever.

How to Talk to Customers: Empathy, Tone and Making Personal Emotional Connections

The biggest problem with the customer experience in most companies is how employees talk to customers. All too often, employees come across as indifferent, cold, uncaring, rushed or rude. This employee “attitude problem” can be the tipping point that sends customers to the competition. This attitude problem is what drives customers to tweet and blog about a poor customer experience. The great news is, with the right training, monitoring and coaching, employees can learn how to soften tones, truly convey empathy, make customers feel taken care of and even make memorable personal emotional connections with customers.

In this extended training event, Myra shows your employees, step-by-step, how to talk to your customers. You’ve gotta read this outline!

View outline/download

Master Customer Service Course – in a 4-segment video!

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Give your employees skills to surprise and delight customers, deal with difficult customers with finesse and ease and to craft emails and chat interactions like a pro — even if they are struggling today, have bad attitudes or no previous training has worked!

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I promise, after taking my online video Master Customer Service Course, your employees will be inspired — and you will be thrilled with the new skills they demonstrate for conveying real empathy, making connections with customers, getting angry customers to back down and handling emails and chats far more professionally. I truly think you’ll be STOKED with the improvement in your customer experience after your employees take this training.

My Master Customer Service Course is CLEAR, CONCISE AND geared to give your team QUICK RESULTS that will keep your employees engaged and excited about their developing skills.

In my Master Customer Service Course, I teach your employees:

How to Talk to Customers (Video #1)

You can sample an excerpt from my “How to Talk to Customers” webinar below.

  • When you don’t feel empathetic, you sound insincere and indifferent. I walk your employees through 2 powerful exercises to help them convey real empathy in their words, tone and pauses.
  • The art of connecting with customers…make emotional connections with your customers through acknowledgement, being fully present and by mirroring the customer.
  • 7 ready-made phrases that convey sincere empathy (when combined with the right attitude and tone)
  • How to correct a mistaken or confused customer. This is fragile territory, but I will show you how to tread lightly, yet confidently. You will learn how to take yourself out of the middle of the issue and make the truth as easy to accept as a spoonful of honey.
  • Exactly how to handle a problem that is actually the customer’s fault. I explain why you can’t outright tell a customer he is wrong, even when he is, and I show you how to tactfully help the customer to see things the way you need them to.
  • There are some words you just can’t say to customers. I’ll show your people how to sterilize your communication so that they don’t evoke a negative response from the customer.
  • How to make customers feel smart/good even if they ask “silly” questions.
  • Needs are met!.…Proactively work to meet your customers’ expressed and un-expressed needs…I introduce two powerful analogies that will ensure your employees retain this strategy and that they have the inspiration to truly meet un-expressed customer needs.
  • Exactly how to make every caller feel taken care of…6 ideas from the Apple Genius Bar.
  • The customer service icon that customer service professionals are flipping for…what Gumby can teach you about empathy, tone and solving problems customers experience…This new approach to service delivery is fun to implement, sticks with your employees, and truly surprises and delights customers.

Master Customer Service Course Myra GoldenGumby is one of the most memorable examples from this video!

How to Deal with Difficult Customers (Video 2)

  • The little-known simple strategy for laying a foundation and winning over difficult customers right from the start
  • 3 Comebacks for the customer who tries to manipulate you with intimidation or aggression
  • The psychology of consumer anger…what you need to know so that you don’t inadvertently set a customer off
  • 20 powerful phrases, word-for-word, to help you regain control of a tough situation with a difficult customer
  • The best way to politely get a rambler or storyteller to cut to the chase
  • How to keep yourself from becoming upset and unraveled when dealing with irate or unreasonable customers
  • The number one way to handle the customer who demands to speak to your manager
  • The four indispensable techniques for moving difficult customers out of the emotional right brain to the rational left-brain so they can calm down and listen to you
  • The number one thing you can do to regain control of a conversation with a difficult customer
  • How simply saying, “You’re right.” can stop a ranting customer cold. But you have to know how and when to use this tactic.

So you can deal with difficult customers with ease, effectiveness and confidence, and in such a way that regains goodwill, even if you never dreamed you could. 

Take a 15-minute test drive of this video right now.

 

 

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How to Write Business-Friendly Emails That Emotionally Connect with Customers (Video #3)

  • Build instant rapport with your customers by writing with a casual, contemporary tone
  • How to structure your email for greatest impact
  • Benchmarking the best of the best: Outstanding email examples from such service legends as Zappos.com, QVC, Amazon.com, BestBuy, and more
  • Why you need to communicate with short sentences and short paragraphs in email
  • How to write short, descriptive subject lines and why you should
  • Kid-glove techniques for responding to complaints over email when you can’t say “yes”
  • How to avoid negative words and phrases in email that can push your customer’s hot buttons
  • How to know when it’s time to break the email thread and just pick up the phone
  • The greatest major hurdle to completely answering every question customers pose in emails:  Once you’ve reached this special “tipping point,” your email response will suddenly hit a whole new level    
  • The 5 grammar gaffes that rob you of credibility - and how to avoid them
  • Proofing techniques expert editors use

I include example best practice emails from great companies like Zappos, Southwest Airlines and JcPenney…

Myra Golden Complaint Response Email

How to Deliver the Very Best Chat Customer Experience (Video #4)

Get the chat started off right with an upbeat tone and by establishing rapport

  • Skip a wordy greeting and offer help right away…because that’s what your customers want!
  • Is small talk appropriate over chat and if so, what is considered appropriate?
  • How to sound warm, conversational and friendly when you have to ask the customer several questions.

Best practices for the best chat customer experience

Best practices for the best chat customer experience

  • Treat the chat experience like a phone call….<60 second interaction, resolve the issue on that chat or make every effort to get the sale.
  • The 3 crucial components of conversation flow over chat.
  • How to find the right balance between free form and canned responses for the most personalized chat experience.

Proven ways to convey an “At your service” attitude

  • How “standing by” while the customer completes an order or application can make a tremendous impact on the customer’s satisfaction with the chat experience, while requiring very little effort on your Reps’ part.
  • The importance of keeping customers apprised while Reps are searching for information…and exactly how to keep customers updated. NEVER make
  • Take every step possible to reduce customer effort during the chat experience….be brief, clear and swift.
  • When the chat request is beyond the scope of the chat Rep: Verbiage that makes the customer feel taken care of and also makes the chat Rep sound knowledgeable and helpful.
  • The chat opening sets the tone, but the closing is what leaves the overall impression and supports the corporate brand. We’ll show you exactly how to close a chat session.

Your Master Customer Service Course includes these bonuses:

Bonus #1

Managing to Eliminate Unacceptable Employee Performance and Behavior: How to Handle Difficult Employees and Bad Attitudes with Ease – a 2-hour webinar recording – a $299 value!

Bonus #2

My book, Beyond WOW in ebook format

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The explosive ideas in this book will help you go beyond the WOW experience to build, repair, and grow customer relationships. – a $20 value!

Click to order Master Customer Service Video Course.

Your satisfaction is assured through our no-risk, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.

If for any reason, you or your employees are not thrilled with this video training experience, just contact my office within 30 days and we’ll refund your registration fee.

What I’m saying is don’t decide now ifthe Master Customer Service Course is right for you.

Take this training experience – risk free.

If my Master Customer Service Course doesn’t help your employees convey empathy and friendliness, if I don’t guide them step by step through how to deal with difficult customers, if I don’t take them by the hand and teach them exactly how to structure emails for maximum emotional connection with your customers and show your people how to consistently create warm experiences over the phone, then we don’t deserve your registration fee and we’ll gladly give it back.

You have nothing to lose!

So, how much is this tremendous training experience going to cost your company? Well, the regular price for the Master Customer Service Video Course is $799. However, for a limited time, we are presenting this course for only $399. That’s 50% off – but not for long.

Plus, because this is the virtual video training version of the Master Customer Service Course, you can access the course immediately access the training….and you can download and save the course and have it forever.

Click to order Master Customer Service Video Course.

 

How to Improve the Student Experience by Flipping Your Classroom

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Training & Development

Paying attention to the student experience and constantly improving on it is just as important to teachers as the customer experience is to corporations. We must learn to engage students and teach them the way they prefer to learn. In this post I am sharing a creative teaching method called the Flipped Classroom.

Consider flipping your classroom

The traditional method of classroom lectures combined with doing homework alone around the kitchen table is no longer effective for today’s high-tech, high engagement students.

Students spend several hours a week with mobile devices in their hands, online, watching videos and interacting with social media. You can tap into your students’ preferences by bringing what they love to do into your instructional method.

Flip teaching allows students to learn new content the way they like to interact: by watching video lectures in the comfort of their home online on mobile devices, and then working problems (old-school homework) in the classroom in small groups.

Flip teaching, also known as a flipped classroom, allows instructors to be more interactive with students in the classroom. It also gives instructors the opportunity to offer needed guidance during problem solving on activities that were traditionally assigned as homework.

Flipping your classroom is to simply have students learn content at home online and then work on problems, case studies and discussion questions in the classroom.

Teachers, I hope you’ll consider flip teaching. When you flip your classroom, your students will retain more content and they’ll enjoy your class far more.

Related: 

5 Ways to Never Be Boring As a Keynote Speaker

How I Build a Keynote Presentation

What a Myra Golden Training is Like

Ways I Engage My Audiences

How to Get Customer Service Reps to Express Empathy

Are you a corporate trainer who is looking for customer service training to deliver to your team?

Liberty World Outreach Center Annual Women’s Brunch

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Liberty World Outreach Panel

Me, along with some amazing panelists from the Liberty World Outreach Event. I am second from the left. 

On Saturday morning I had the privilege of being a panelist at the Liberty World Outreach Women’s Leadership Brunch. I was there to share my experience as a woman in leadership, along with the other panelists, yet I learned so much from each of the speakers. I walked away inspired.

In this blog post, I am sharing a few of the questions asked during the panel discussion and my answers. I hope that my sharing of my panel experience inspires you. :-)

What has helped you to discover your purpose?

My fierce focus, since the 8th grade, has been to own my own business. It took me many years to discover what that business would be and should be, but I’ve always known entrepreneurship was my calling. It started with Junior Achievement when I was in the 8th grade. I joined Junior Achievement and had 4 amazing mentors who met with us once a week after school. We started a business. We chose a business name, selected a board and incorporated. As a team, we decided on a product to sell. We bought parts, assembled our products and we sold them. I loved every single aspect of starting and running a business. I knew then, in 8th grade, that I would own my own business.

And then there were the examples in my family that helped me discover I wanted to own my business. – An uncle who is a medical doctor and who never worked for anyone else. He started his own clinic. An aunt who started and ran a private elementary school. 

In what ways, if any, has your purpose evolved through the years?

In the beginning, for me it was about owning my own business. Making my own money, working for myself. My focus now is being an example, leading by example, and exhorting others to achieve that thing they are passionate about.

What are qualities of effective leadership?

Communication – the ability to share ideas in a highly persuasive way; to get people to believe in your ideas, support your ideas and be influenced by your ideas. Communication includes being able to effectively communicate one on one, in writing, in meetings and from the stage. Communication, I believe, sets mediocre people apart from successful people.

Is there a woman in leadership who has inspired you?

Oprah was one of my first and most profound examples of women in leadership. I was impressed and literally captivated by her communication ability, influence, charisma and her courage to be herself. In the mid 80s, it was unusual to see a black woman on TV as a daytime talk show host. Oprah was the only one. And she was on national networks. It was even more unusual to see a plus size woman in that role. I deeply admired Oprah’s confidence, authenticity and accomplishments.

As a leader in position of authority, what responsibility do you have to others?

I sense I have 2 primary responsibilities. To be an example of what’s possible. And to push others to fulfill their God-given potential. I work to be an example of what’s possible by always pushing myself and sharing my “gifts” with those I am called to serve. I push others by eagerly mentoring women when they come to me.

Related: 

My Keynote Speaking Topics

How I Build a Keynote Presentation

What a Myra Golden Training is Like

Ways I Engage My Audiences

Never Be Boring: 5 Ways to Never Be Boring as a Keynote Speaker

Are you a corporate trainer who is looking for customer service training to deliver to your team?

Journal entry: How “The Fault In Our Stars” Will Help Me Create More Value for a Client

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The Fault In Our Stars

Journal Entry -

Lauren and I saw “The Fault In Our Stars” Wednesday night. She heard of the book through a movie trailer. Lauren insisted that we immediately get the book so she could read it before she saw the movie. She read the book through tears and anticipation in just one week. I love watching her read with aggression. When her hands hold a book she likes, reading becomes as necessary and natural as breathing.

Since she finished the book while we were on vacation, we decided to catch the movie right here in Orlando. The movie was great. No, great is the wrong word. The plot was brilliantly conceptualized. I “felt” the characters. I experienced true empathy for the pain, fight and reality of terminally ill cancer patients.

I cried and cried. I fought hard, at first, to hold back my tears. I suppose I didn’t want to ruin my makeup. Or, did I not want Lauren to see me feel hard emotion? Pretty quickly, though, I gave in to the emotion and let myself just be. All I wanted to “be” was sad and empathic. So I let go and cried some more. Intensely I cried. I’m certain it was an ugly cry. The movie was sad, enlightening, engaging, empathy-invoking.

I can’t find “the” right word to describe this movie. Lauren would find my struggle for the right word amusing, as I am always pressing her to be more specific and detailed in her communication.

Most impacting to me was how fully the terminally ill children in the movie lived. They laughed, hurt, loved, and struggled, just like me. Just like my children. They didn’t wallow in self-pity, unlike a lot of healthy people. They inspired me and gave me hope.

I know I saw “The Fault In Our Stars” at just the right time. Last week I took on Make-A-Wish Foundation as a client. This movie helps me understand on a deeper level just how profoundly impacting Wish Granters are to terminally ill children. No doubt, I will create even greater value for my client because of the glimpse into the lives of terminally ill children this movie gave me. Thank you Father, for the gift of this movie.

–June 27, 2014

Surprise and Delight Your Customers with Technology – Here’s How Chili’s delighted my family with tablets

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Chili’s has always been one of our family’s favorite dinner spots. Last night we went to a different Chili’s for dinner. We noticed immediately that each table had a tablet placed on the center. That was different.

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The table tablets featured the entire restaurant menu, games, trivia, USA Today and sports. We thought that was so cool!

IMG_1484We ordered our food from the menu. Kept up with the NBA playoff game on the tablet (and the overhead television), played trivia and we even paid our bill right on the tablet.

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The addition of a simple tablet at each table enhanced our dining experience. In fact, the tablet encouraged everyone to not use their smartphones (a problem we always have when we dine out). The tablet engaged the entire family, especially the trivia games.

Technology used in surprising ways never fails to impress customers. Remember how excited we were when the Apple store first started checking customers out on iPhones?

I challenge you to brainstorm creative ways to implement technology in your business to enhance the customer experience. When you do, you’ll surprise and delight your customers just like Chili’s did for us. :-)

 

7 Warning Signs of Employee Burnout

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When your customers are on the brink of defection, often there are several warning signs to suggest they are leaving you. For example, in banking if a customer’s average daily balance drops significantly, their automatic drafts and direct deposits are terminated, it’s very possible the customer is tying up loose ends and leaving you for a competing bank. Employees on the brink of burnout or defection also give you warning signs before they leave. Here are some signs that may suggest an employee is on the brink of burnout or defection or that department morale is low and your staff is at risk of burnout.

  1. Delays in customer response. Is it taking longer and longer to get back to waiting customers with a response? This could suggest a lack of motivation or apathy.
  2. Increase in tardiness and absenteeism. Has attendance become more of a challenge for an employee recently? This could be a symptom of dropped motivation, burnout or apathy.
  3. Attitude toward customers. Do you notice a negative attitude, apathy or flat out rude behavior toward customers?
  4. Substandard performance. Do you find that some employees are bored with their work, no longer pull their fair share, have a tough time starting projects?
  5. Increase in average talk times. Believe it or not, this might suggest that employees are spending more time with pleasant customers in order to avoid that next call from a potentially difficult customer. This avoidance behavior is a red flag for burnout.
  6. Decline in motivation. If you find that it’s harder and harder to motivate staff or that they seem to lack self-motivation, this could be alerting you to burnout.
  7. Increased file closing turnaround time. Has productivity dropped to unacceptable levels while case volume is relatively unchanged?

The presence of the above risk factors do not necessarily mean your employees are experiencing burnout or on their way out, but they do give you an opportunity to proactively take steps before problems occur.

***Motivated Your Burnout Employees with This Motivating Event***

Becoming a Customer Service Rockstar – How to Stand Out and Move Ahead

May 14th, 1:00 – 2:30pm ET

Based on Myra’s critically acclaimed “Beyond WOW” workshop, this program delivers 20 concrete ways for your employees to make emotional connections with your customers. From the memorable “Be Gumby” technique to the “Man in the desert” analogy to words and behaviors to avoid to ideas from Disney, Starbucks, Zappos and Apple, your employees will walk away from this training with realistic ideas for improving the customer experience and the inspiration to truly commit to WOWing your customers at every touch point.

View outline/Register

Be Welcoming to Your Customers So They Don’t Have to Talk About You On Yelp

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My family and I are enjoying a spring break get-away in Memphis. We came to visit the National Civil Rights Museum, the Slave Tavern and Beale Street. Yesterday my kids were in the mood for pizza and using my iPhone, I quickly found a cool-sounding pizza parlor online. The description said the parlor featured movies, books and famous pizza. We quickly pulled up the address on my husband’s iPhone and headed out for pizza. So quick in fact, that I didn’t take the time to read reviews, something I nearly always do.

We entered the pizza place in the middle of lunch time, yet no one was there. No customers, I mean. An employee emerged from the back and said, “Can I help Ya’ll?” Her body language was almost hostile. Her tone was defensive. I felt like we had accidentally barged in on a small family funeral. I said, “Are you open?” I felt I had to ask that because she came across like we were intruding and again, no customers were present. “Yeah, we’re open.” she said. Immediately, I wanted to leave because I didn’t like her attitude. We all felt so very unwelcome. In fact, I turned to my husband and suggested that we walk until we found something better. But my husband ushered us to a table. The lady that still stood near the kitchen didn’t walk us to a table. My husband did.

By now, I am uptight. Several minutes passed before the lady from the kitchen area came to our table. She said, “Would ya’ll want drinks or anything?” Seriously, would we want drinks or anything? I said, “Of course, we want drinks.” Yes, I had major attitude and my kids and husband feared I was about to embarrass them. “Well, what do ya’ll want?” Again, seriously?

The entire service experience was awful. I also noticed there were no books or movies as listed in the description. We paid $75 for below average food and shockingly bad service. As I sat there fuming, my husband began to read reviews on Yelp. The reviews were every bit as bad as the service we were experiencing. How could I have not read the reviews before choosing this place.

Two Lessons From My Experience

So, I have 2 lessons here. One, always read reviews on Yelp or a site you trust before choosing a restaurant you’re trying for the first time. Two, and this is really my point, be welcoming to customers.

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First impressions set the tone for the customer’s experience. When you start out warm, friendly and welcoming, everything else will go very well, no matter what may happen later in the interaction. When your first impression is cold, defensive or in any way unwelcoming, everything will be perceived by your customer as negative, no matter how good things may truly be.

Starbucks employees are trained to “be welcoming” and that is why you are verbally greeted the moment you walk into a Starbucks store. QuickTrip, a super successful convenience store chain headquartered in Tulsa, greets every single customer upon entering the store. Every single customer gets a friendly and welcoming greeting when entering. Being welcoming means greeting customers immediately, putting a smile on your face, squarely facing customers and warmly welcoming customers into your place of business.

Being welcoming is not hard to do. It’s exactly what we all do when we open our front doors and welcome guests into our home. Be welcoming so that you get your customer experience off to the best possible start. Be welcoming so you don’t make your customers wish they hadn’t chosen you.

Now, I’m off to Yelp to post my review….

 

Post-It Note Praise: Tip for Motivating Employees

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When I managed a small call center in Tulsa, I was always looking for creative ways to motivate my employees. One evening I was working late and I picked up Bob Nelson’s 1001 Ways to Reward Employees book from my bookshelf. One of the tips in the book was called Post-It Note Therapy. The concept was simple. Write a note of praise on a Post-It Note for each of your employees and stick the note on their computer monitors. So, I did it. I sat down and wrote out praise for each of my employees and I left the notes on their monitors. Then I went home.

The next morning I had an out of office meeting and I didn’t make it into the call center until early in the afternoon. The second I stepped into the call center, I felt an energetic vibe that startled me. There was movement, smiles and warmth and mostly an amazing energy. What was the deal? After taking in the scene for a few seconds, I went to my office. I opened my door to find my computer monitor covered with Post-it Notes! Every one of my employees had written me a note of praise! I nearly cried as I read the heartfelt praise. I had forgotten about my Post-it Note Therapy from the night before. I went out into the call center and saw Post-It Notes everywhere! My employees really got into this therapy. They praised each other and even praised people in neighboring departments.

If you’re looking for a genuine, yet super easy, way to praise your employees while upping the energy in your work team, consider Bob Nelson’s Post-In Note Therapy. The investment of time is small and the rewards are potentially huge.

How to Ruin the Salon Customer Experience with Tasteless First Impressions

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Salon

Before coming into my office this morning, I went to a nail salon for a pedicure. I have a weeklong business trip in Orlando next week, so I get to kick off my boots and slide into sandals. Nice, I know. Hence, the urgent need for a pretty pedicure. I had an interesting service experience at the salon and I want to talk to you about it.

It was early when I entered the salon. I was clearly the first customer of the day. The only employee I spotted was sitting in a massage chair and she was watching a movie on her iPad. How do I know she was watching a movie? I heard the action music. It was that loud. She didn’t seem to notice me. If she did, her movie was more intriguing than the first customer of the day.

“What do you need?” The voice coming from my lower right startled me. It was another employee, sitting in the lobby with earphones from her iPhone in her ears. I told her I needed a pedicure and she told me to “Pick a color and sit over there.” She gestured for me to sit next to the lady who was watching a flick on her iPad. 

I ended up getting a pretty amazing foot massage and gorgeous French pedicure. My goal was a pedicure, so all was good I suppose, in spite of the odd first impression. But, I couldn’t get over how the second customer of the day was treated. 

The lady who entered after I did received the same un-welcoming greeting from the employee adorned in earphones as I did. But that wasn’t the shocking part. This employee wasn’t listening to music on her earphones, which would have been bad enough. She was on the phone in a conversation. The entire time she serviced the customer who came in for a manicure, she was on the phone! I literally mean she was on the phone through her earphones the entire time she did her customer’s nails. Wow. Just wow.

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The service left me speechless. So much so, that I won’t even share my thoughts about this experience. Because, again, I am speechless. But, I’d like to hear your thoughts. What went wrong here? How should the salon owner address these service practices?

 

 

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