Customer Service

Outstanding Patient Experience: When You Don’t Know How to Answer

As healthcare organizations become bigger and busier, more communication with patients is delegated throughout the organization. Even in individual medical offices, it is common for doctors to ask nurses and assistants to communicate test results and next steps to patients.

Then it happens. The patient asks questions that the nurses or assistants don’t know how to answer. What now?



Outstanding Patient Experience: Image is diverse healthcare professionals.

Outstanding Patient Experience. Image by Sean Locke.

Image by Sean Locke.


Outstanding Patient Experience: When You Don’t Know How to Answer



A Recent Patient Experience

    The rheumatologist had drawn blood to assess the new patient’s symptoms. When the blood work came back with high inflammation makers, the doctor asked a staff member to call the patient and tell her that her inflammation markers were very high. It was extremely important that the patient come to her follow-up appointment.

    The doctor’s assistant called the patient and told her that her inflammation markers were very high and it was essential that she not miss her next appointment. The patient felt very scared. She asked: “What are inflammation markers? What’s going to happen to me? How serious is this?”

    The assistant then replied: “I just told you. Your inflammation markers are very high. Just make sure you show up!” And then she hung up on the patient.





Horrible patient care! Horrible people skills! Can you imagine how the patient felt at that moment being treated so poorly?



People Skills for Outstanding Patient Experience: DOs & Don’ts

The Don’ts

  • Get defensive and curt with the patients as this doctor’s assistant did
  • Bluntly report findings without preparing to answer patients’ questions
  • Hang up the phone or leave the room
  • Order or patronize patients



The DOs

  • Prepare before calling the patient. “First, before even getting on the phone, think like the patient”, says Doug Della Pietra, Director, Customer Services & Volunteers, Rochester General Hospital. Anticipate the patient’s reaction and then “request additional information from the doctor about how to respond and what additional information to share or not share.”
  • Empathize throughout the interaction. Verbalizing your empathy is key. It’s not enough just to feel it. You must share it with the patients. “Breaking not-so-good news in medicine is a very sensitive issue and it entails an extra dose of empathy and compassion,” says Dr. Gia Sison, Physician, Healthcare Influencer, and Breast Cancer Survivor.
  • Communicate don’t transact. You are interacting with humans on the most sensitive issue they have — their health and survival. Barking out orders (e.g. show up for your next appointment) is rude and ineffective. Remember, you are not just transacting business. Your goal is to deliver outstanding patient experience as you impact human lives psychologically and physically.
  • Listen and be flexible. Communication is not one-way. It’s two way or no way. Instead of calling patients to report and then hang up, listen to their questions and be ready to offer alternatives. “Hearing the patient’s concern, the Medical Assistant could have offered to take a message to the doctor or asked the patient if they would prefer to come in sooner”, says Christina Steele, Medical Programs Training Manager, Dorsey Schools.


Being busy is no excuse for being insensitive and rude. If you choose to work in healthcare, you are choosing to be kind and compassionate for outstanding patient experience.

Doctors and practice owners/managers, prepare your staff before you delegate patient communication. Help them anticipate patient reactions and questions. Guide them on how to respond with clarity and care.

Moreover, give them people skills training on how to deliver outstanding patient experience. Contrary to popular thought, it’s not just common sense. It takes training just like any other skill. The payoff? It increases the chance that patients will follow your medical advice and be healthier in the end. I would be most pleased to deliver my in service people skills training to your healthcare teams for outstanding patient experience.



What do you expect when you are the patient?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Outstanding Patient Experience: The Slam Bam Mammogram?
12 Reasons Leaders (Doctors) Communicate Poorly

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Super Customer Experience: Don’t Imprison Customers. Build Loyalty!

As we work tirelessly to deliver super customer experience, I find and fix common everyday mistakes that drive customers away.

Recent experiences focus me today on ways we imprison customers which do everything but build loyalty. You might think imprisonment is too strong a word. Yet that is the word customers use.

Give customers a get out of jail free card — fix these mistakes!



Super Customer Experience: Loyalty not Imprisonment



Ways We Imprison Customers!

  1. Endless Loops. This is definitely #1 on the customers list. Beyond the endless unclear phone menus (voice response units – VRUs, IVRs), customers also feel imprisoned by agents, reps, and CSRs with poor people skills and little customer service expertise.

    The Story: A business owner needed to become a credit card merchant. The sales rep was clear, focused, and offered a great deal. The business owner signed up. The sales rep reported that the support team would send an email with account # and temporary password. Support would then call to finalize everything.

    Super Customer Experience: Loyalty Not Imprisonment! Image: iStock for Editorial Use.

    The business owner received a phone message from support saying “By now you have received your email with account # and password. Please call me, Mindy, at this phone number and extension.” The business owner left Mindy a message saying “We never received the email. Please let us know what to do now.”

    Mindy left a second, third, and fourth message saying the exact same thing as her first message! When the business owner finally spoke on the phone with Mindy, she continued to say “you should have received the email by now.”

    Imprisonment: The business owner finally said, “Time is money. Move me forward or I will cancel my account.”

    Customer service is forward not stagnant. To customers, stagnant feels like imprisonment.

    Release customers from scripted speeches, lack of expertise, and status quo prison! For a super customer experience, move them forward to the solution.

    Question: Where in your organization do customers get stuck in the status quo?


  2. Lack of teamwork. Multiple teams engaged in service with little or no teamwork leave customers trapped in a maze. Customers must jump between teams to get a solution or jump out of the maze and choose freedom. This is imprisonment. It doesn’t build customer loyalty.

    For super customer experience, deliver a single point of solution not multiple points of failure. Build teamwork with shared technology, mutual service level targets, and one service culture.

    Question: How many teams in your organization must work together to deliver a super customer experience? Do they all give it the same priority? If not, customers end up imprisoned in the maze.


  3. Tunnel vision. A less evident yet still common mistake, thinking only from the company or agent perspective. Super customer experience requires seeing things from the customer’s view. Else the customers feel ignored and overlooked — imprisoned in solitary confinement.

    Cultural tunnel vision in global service leaves customers in the dark.

    Rigid script reading and poor listening slam the door shut.

    Poorly designed Websites drive customers away — to well-designed easy-to-use sites.

    Shine the light of customer awareness throughout your organization to free customers from the imprisonment of your procedures and processes.

    Question: Where in your organization is tunnel vision blocking super customer experience? Expand the vision. Replace the tunnel with bridges to the customers and to your success.


Customers want information and solutions that meet their needs. Online, in person, or on the phone, they seek positive easy experiences to get what they want. Imprisonment is not positive nor easy. It makes them want to break out and run away from the stress to find success elsewhere.




Think bonding — not bondage.



Think about the customer not about you!



I look forward to working with you, leaders, and your teams to create super customer experience.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
24 Tips to Make Customer Experience Easy for Customers
Customer Experience: Paying the Bill Should Be Easy Not Confusing

©2012-2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Conquer Listening Barriers: Do You Get Stuck on Keywords?

Most everyone can list out common listening barriers. Surrounding noise, anger, and fatigue always make the list. You can conquer listening barriers like these with rest, settling the anger, and quieting the noise. There is one listening barrier that often operates without your awareness.



Getting stuck on keywords that you frequently hear.



Conquer Listening Barriers: Image is a head blindfolded w/ book attached.

Conquer Listening Barriers: Unstick from Keywords. Image by Cliff via Flickr.

Image by Cliff via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Conquer Listening Barriers: Unstick from Keywords

Think of words that immediately capture your attention. Do they also trap your listening because you’ve heard them so often?

Example:

As I teach technical support teams how to conquer listening barriers with customers, I give them this frequent customer request to assess:

The customer says, “I had trouble logging in all morning. Now I’m logged in and this isn’t working.” A few listen to whole description and aren’t blocked by the keywords ‘trouble logging in’. They work to understand what isn’t working.

Several get stuck on those keywords and mistakenly work on getting the customer logged in. Not surprisingly, the customer gets frustrated and upset.

—–

Conquer Listening Barriers of Keywords

  • List the keywords that most often trap your listening.
  • Question yourself when you hear those keywords to stop your assumptions.
  • Restate what you think you’ve heard. Other’s feedback helps conquer your listening barriers.



What keywords have blocked your listening?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:

Listening Beyond Our Boundaries
Listening Responsibility: 5 Reasons People Interrupt Us

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Super Customer Service People Skills: Prevent Regret!

Super customer service has little room for regret. What we say to customers and how we say it leave lasting impressions. We can wound them with scars that last forever or we can use caring people skills to avoid laying an egg.

Super Customer Service People Skills: Image is Blue Egg w/ Letter R

Super Customer Service People Skills: Reverse Regret

Image licensed from Istock.com

In tough moments with customers, how can we speak with great people skills instead of regretting and hoping for that elusive second chance? Responding with care instead of defensively reacting is much easier when we are thinking about the after effects.

Instead of regretting, envision what you would write in a letter of regret and say that instead of your emotional reaction. Super customer service requires people skills that deliver care even in the toughest moments!


Super Customer Service People Skills – Prevent Your Regret!

  • Find empathy by imagining regret.

    The stress relief you feel by snapping at a customer is short lived. It is quickly followed by regret for your outburst. Reverse the regret process and feel empathy from the beginning. In tough moments, adapt don’t attack.



  • Imagine the caring you not the ego-controlled you.

    Many regrets are born of the need to be right, the need to be better than, the need to be selfish. In other words, regrets are born of the ego.

    Imagine yourself being great in service not needing to be right.

    Those who deliver super customer service, revel in helping others to succeed and thus they succeed. Their desire to care overrides their ego. They are humble enough to learn from the customer and don’t feel humiliated by the customer. They don’t say things to customers that they will regret for they envision receiving that very same care.


  • Prevent regret.

    Treat customers well the first time else there may not be a second time. Defensive thoughts and communication lead to regret. Stay open. Show empathy. Explore the customer’s view. Empathy doesn’t mean you agree. It means you matter, we matter, this matters! Through empathy you find how to wow each customer with care.


The old saying, the customer’s always right, has led some to rebel and claim it isn’t true. From there, they justify confronting the customer and saying things to prove the customer wrong.

The debate about that adage is out-of-date and quite worthless. What we all need to remember is that we may not get a second chance from customers we’ve treated badly. Think about it: Why would anyone pay money to be treated with impatience, rudeness and disrespect?

Empathize, explore, and stay open to customers’ views. Live no regret about customers for there may be no second chance to get them back.



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
5 Ways to Stay Calm and Caring w/ Rude or Angry Customers
7 Ego Actions to Avoid for Great Leadership, Teamwork, & Customer Service
Super Customer Service: Be a Buoy

©2013-2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Rude angry customers don’t have to demotivate you and wear you down. Rude angry customers can actually be one of the best people skills learning experiences you will ever have.

How? It helps you to develop even more emotional intelligence. This will serve you well throughout your career and your life.   I have been teaching people skills, teamwork, and customer service for 25+ years. The right thoughts and mindset are crucial! It’s emotional intelligence in action.


Think these 5 things when working with rude angry customers for best results. It keeps you both calm and caring — a winning combination.


5 Powerful Beliefs to Win Over Rude Angry Customers

Practice these thoughts as a daily mantra and your outlook toward rude angry customers (and rude people in general) will change. Your people skills will blossom with these emotionally intelligent thoughts!

Rude Angry Customers: Image is flower with thorns.

Rude Angry Customers. Image by Yogendra174 via Flickr.

 


  1. Thorns don’t attack you; they protect them.
    Plants have thorns to protect them. So do people. When you hear a person’s thorns, recognize their fear and weakness. The thorns are not attacking you. They are protecting them. Do not attack them from your fear and you will not get pricked by their thorns.

  2. Easy doesn’t sharpen a thorn. One of the most common questions I receive is “If we are nice to rude angry customers, aren’t we teaching to be rude next time?” No! Your positive responses do not teach them to be thornier! Thorny customers are adults who make their own decisions.

  3. De-thorning them will hurt you! If a stranger tried to kick down your defense mechanisms (like your front door), how would you react? Fight back and defend? Well, the customers don’t have a family relationship or close friendships with you. To them you are a stranger. If you try to clip their thorns directly, they will defend and prick you back.

  4. Empathize w/ Their Emotion; Don’t Analyze Their Thorns! Trying to analyze a customer’s thorns in the few minutes you have to deliver service is not feasible or logical. It takes therapists years to analyze a client’s emotions. Yours is to deliver service, not to change the customer. Empathize emotion don’t analyze it.

  5. Positivity Beats Equality; Don’t be a Thorn! During a recent workshop a technical support rep asked me “Why do rude angry customers acting badly deserved to be treated well?”. I replied, “You treat rude angry customers (and all customers) well because it works. It gets you to the end goal.”

    Treating the customer badly will not get the customer to treat you well. More importantly, it will veer you off course from business success. Positivity beats equality as a winning strategy in customer service.



Be the sun, not the thorn. You can’t change people; you can change your beliefs and influence the outcome!



Tap into more of Kate’s playbook on delivering The Ultimate Customer Experience especially in difficult moments — click here.


From professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Grateful for image by Yogendra174 via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Related Posts:
Customer Service: 24 Tips to Make It Easy For Customers
Super Customer Experience: 5 Immediate No Cost Improvements

©2010-2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on delivering the ultimate customer service, leading change, employee engagement, and teamwork. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Customer Service People Skills Timing: Sharpen Yours!

Did you think this post would be about how to deliver faster service? How to sharpen your metrics? Surprise! It isn’t. It’s about sharpening your people skills timing in customer service. What goes into it?



Customer Service People Skills Timing: Image is clock w/ different angles for numbers.

Customer Service People Skills Timing: Image fr Glenn Dettwiler via Flickr.

Image by Glenn Dettwiler via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Customer Service People Skills Timing: Strengthen Yours

  • Listening. Listening is the most important customer service skill. Listen for what customers are saying and what they aren’t saying. Listen for their sense of urgency. Listen for what they care about overall. Listen for their personality type and adapt to it. Your people skills timing will improve and so will your customer service.

  • Empathizing. Stepping outside of your own perspective and into the customers view hones your customer service timing. If you remain distant and detached, your timing will always be different from that of the customers. Empathize. It doesn’t mean you agree. It means you matter, this matters, let’s resolve it.


  • Sensing Pace. Every customer has a pace. You can tell from how they speak or write. To that end, sharpen your customer service people skills timing by catching how fast or slow the customers speak. It doesn’t always mean they are angry or happy. Some are high spirited, some are urgent, some just speak quickly, some just speak slowly. Adapt your pace to theirs and see the bonds form. Your influence gets stronger; your customer service improves.

  • Changing Your Rhythm. Customers judge your care and customer service by how well you adapt. Script readers do not impress! They sound fake and inflexible. Change your rhythm to fit the customer and the situation. It’s not difficult. If you are willing to adapt, you can do it. This is the ultimate in customer service people skills timing.



They say in life that timing is everything. Well it’s definitely true in customer service.



Connect with the customer’s vibe and they will remember and return.



What memorable customer experiences have you had?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Checklist: Are You Driving Calm Customers Away?
Customer Experience Leaders: Remove the Never Ever Rules
11 Surefire Beliefs for Superior Customer Service Experience

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

People Skills Shock: Leaders, Do Your Teams Think Business Is Impersonal?

It was a sudden moment of silence in one of my customer experience workshops. Half-way into the program on customer expectations and customer care, one of the participants blurted out …



Why do we have to focus on how we treat people? It isn’t personal; it’s business.


The other participants just stared at her. The silence was deafening. Later they expressed their shock to me privately. They couldn’t believe it. Did she really say that? How could she not know that you interact with people in business?



People Skills Shock: Image is cartoon saying "No! I don't believe it."

People Skills Shock: Leaders, Do Teams Know the Value of People Skills? Image by Tom Simpson via Flickr.

Image by Tom Simpson via Flickr Creative Commons License.


People Skills Shock: Business Is Personal!

Leaders, what message are you communicating to your teams? Do you highlight how emotional intelligence and people skills sustain business relationships? Or does your leadership behavior tell the employees to depersonalize teamwork and service?



Here’s a self-assessment checklist. Do you …

  • Focus purely on tasks and end results or also discuss the importance of positive interactions?
  • Label some team members as too sensitive or help team members work through difficult interactions?
  • Engage in behind the scenes trash talk about some customers or inspire team members to see each customer as valuable?
  • Speak harshly to team members claiming it will make them work harderor model respectful honest communication?
  • Claim that courtesy slows down progressor use please, thank you, and other courtesies on a regular basis?
  • Depersonalize your interactions with employeesor engage them and celebrate their talents?



If you ever receive the “why do we have to care” people skills shock from one of your employees, here are some key replies:


  1. Businesses are comprised of people who make choices and decisions.
  2. Treat people with respect and care and you build trust. Trust increases opportunities and results.
  3. Teamwork is founded on respect and fueled through trust. The people skills shock of being treated badly can be a major obstacle to results.
  4. Human beings are naturally diverse. Emotional intelligence and civility bring people together and keep them coming back. Your need for care may be lower than others. Yet it’s important to treat people how they want to be treated — not how you want to be treated.


Prevent your team from having a lone employee lob a people skills shock statement at everyone else. Help them learn each other’s personality type and how to adapt. Inspire and model the importance of people skills in leadership, management, teamwork, and customer experience. You will create a powerful culture of productive interactions and stellar service.



How specifically have people skills helped you lead?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts
Courtesy Checklist: 10 Superior Ways to Succeed
18 Things Respected Well-Liked Leaders Consistently Do
10 Steps to Emotionally Intelligent Teamwork w/ Emotionally Unintelligent Teammates
Teamwork Persona, Are You Someone Others Want to Work With?

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.



QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Customer Experience Leaders: Are rigid rules ruling (and ruining) your customers’ experiences?

If your answer is a quick “no”, I ask you: “Have you asked your customers?
If your answer is “not sure”, I ask you: “Have you asked your customers?
If your answer is a list of reasons why the rules are important, they are most likely ruining your customers’ experiences!

Customer Experience Leaders: Image is "STOP".

Customer Experience Leaders: Remove the Never Evers Image via Istock.com





Find and remove all the “never evers” that are not required by law or science!

Customer experience leaders, there are more never ever rules in your organization than you think. They quietly develop, take hold, and ruin customer experience — until you find and remove them.


The never evers – everything you don’t let customers do — lurk within your organization. They take root in the need for security. They develop as protection mechanisms. They thrive in blame cultures. They kill customer experience.








Great customer experience leaders remove these never evers!

  • The — it’s always been that way — never ever rules.
  • The leader’s never evers that serve their own personality, goals, preferences.
  • The team’s never evers that develop from a leader’s criticism or rebuke. Team members begin protecting themselves vs. serving the customers. Blame creates these individual protective never evers that sink customer experience.
  • The reactionary never evers that develop from a difficult interaction with a customer.
  • The silo never evers that evolve as different teams build walls between each other.
  • The deduced never ever rules that grow on the grape vine from poor or confusing communication from leadership.
  • The — we don’t trust our employees — never ever rules. These un-empowered agents and reps must say no to customer requests only to have the leaders say yes. For customer experience, it’s too little too late!


Customer Experience Leaders: Prevent the Return of Never Ever Rules

Never ever rules block superior customer experience. They almost always serve your company not the customer. They feed your failure and your competition’s success.

Replace the Never Ever Rules!

  1. Excavate all never ever rules.
  2. Identify the purpose of procedures and rules.
  3. Create a can-do culture of possibilities with what ifs, dialogue, listening and critical thinking.
  4. Replace silos with trust bonds built on a bigger purpose and honest communication with and among teams.
  5. Breed accountability not blame.



Take a lesson from companies like Zappos, Ritz-Carlton, Amazon, Nordstroms, and lesser known ones that have adopted a truly can-do customer experience culture!


Make sure that the sign your employees envision is “GO” not “STOP!”


What never ever rules have you found and removed in your organization and how did it help customer experience?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Customer Experience: 24 Tips to Make it Easy for Customers
Are You Driving Calm Customers Away? Checklist to help you!

Image licensed from Istock.com.

©2013-2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Customer Service Transparency: Trust Without the Fine Print

What customer service finger print do you want to leave behind after each customer interaction? Does your list include any of these?

  • Shadiness, doubt, mistrust
  • Selfishness, one-sided, controlling
  • Slick, fast-talking, slimy

If your customer service approach includes fine print, your brand’s finger print certainly could be!



Customer Service Transparency: Image is finger under magnifying glass.

Customer Service Transparency: Remove Fine Print. Image by Angela Prosper via Flickr.

Image by Angela Prosper via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Customer Service Transparency: Just How Valuable Is It?

Consider weight loss company Roca Labs who purportedly uses fine print agreements to stop customers from sharing negative reviews. CBS News reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now suing Roca labs.

All of this begs the question: Why hide things in fine print from customers? Why would any company not declare its brand’s terms openly and clearly? Is it because they fear customers won’t agree to the terms if they understand them? The answer to that speaks volumes about the lack of customer service transparency of those companies.

Fine print has no place in sales or customer service. Show integrity and make your terms and expectations clear. Remove the shadow of the fine print and build trust.



Let customer service transparency be your brand’s finger print. It impresses with integrity. It builds trust and that is priceless!



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Reverse Customer Experience: Retain Calm Customers!

When customer experience is going sour, do your calm customers have to raise their voice to get action? Do they think they must show anger to reverse customer experience from bad to good?

Reverse Customer Experience: Image is Iceberg Reflecting Deeper Trouble

Reverse Customer Experience: Don’t Drive Calm Customers Away Image by Drew Avery via Flickr.

Image by: Drew Avery via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Reverse Customer Experience: Don’t Drive Calm Customers Away

Consistently great customer experience requires may things. One often overlooked skill — hearing the urgency before the yell — is key. You can reverse customer experience midstream if you realize that not all dissatisfied customers yell.

Ask yourself, do your customers have to yell to:

  • Shake you out of your malaise? Calm customers often face lack of action or the dreaded defensive dribble of reasons why the experience is bad. Reverse customer experience from unimpressive to wow. Hear the urgency before the yell.
  • Hear some empathy from you? Empathy is that special connection with what a customer is experiencing. Can you hear their experience before they get upset? If not, you may lose calm customers to those businesses who give empathy before the yell.
  • Get you to explore alternate solutions? When the customer experience is bad do you stay safely in procedures — until the customers yell or tweet their anger?


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

1.5 min video message to reverse customer experience from bad to good.


The Story

I recently left a web hosting company because there was no response to trouble when I reported it without yelling. The rep actually said to me “There’s nothing we can do.” When I tweeted what he said to me, the response from the company via Twitter was immediate! They said, “we are working on fixing the trouble right now.” I had already faced the same trouble with little response over several months. Each time there was no attempt to reverse customer experience from bad to good — until I tweeted my displeasure. This is a sign of a company who doesn’t understand outstanding customer experience. They don’t live it or deliver it.

The Message

You can more easily reverse customer experience from bad to good IF you detect the trouble early. See beneath the tip of the iceberg. Don’t wait for customers to get angry. Hear their displeasure and their urgency even before the emotion and the yell.

When has a business failed to hear your urgency & displeasure? Share your story!


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
24 Tips to Make the Experience Easy for the Customer!
Does Knowledge & Experience Dull Our Empathy for Customers
Free Your Mind to Deliver Great Customer Service Experience

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Customer Experience: How to Improve It Quickly

Customer Experience Quick Improvements: Image is light shaped curve.

Customer Experience Quick Improvements. Image by Sam Delong.

Image by Sam DeLong via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Customer Experience: 6 Ways to Improve It Quickly

  1. Improve your welcome. That first impression sets the tone for the customer experience. As a brand, pick one word that defines how you want to come across to customers. Then have every employee the customer with a welcome that matches that image. The image is memorable so make it great.
  2. Listen for what the customers are not saying. You are already listening to what they are saying. To improve customer experience quickly, hear what they are not saying. It wows the customers and gives them the extra connection they love so much.

  3. Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

  4. Think ‘yes’ and ‘how to’ vs. ‘that’s not the way we do it here.’ Customers don’t come to you to follow your process. They come to experience what they want!
  5. Ask how are we doing instead of how did we do! Every moment of customer interaction is a moment to learn and improve. Take the customer’s pulse sooner. Their vital sign is your vital sign.
  6. SHOW customers you care. They cannot observe your intentions. The experience is in the doing. It comes alive with your actions — not in what you are trying to do.
  7. Be very open to feedback. Any time you feel frustrated or annoyed with customer complaints, ask yourself: Would you rather they complain or leave without telling you why? Complaints are a sign of continued interest — the lifeblood of any business.

As a customer, what customer experience improvements do you want to see?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Customer Experience: 24 Tips to Make It Easy & Valuable
Irresistible Customer Experience: What Every Customer Wants
Irresistible Customer Experience: DOs & Don’ts Part II

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 
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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Experience Dull Empathy or Strengthen It?

Former customer service agents and tech support reps often have empathy for current customer service and technical support teams. They remember the pressure and are considerate. It begs the question: Why do many customer service and tech support agents lack empathy for customers? Do they forget what it feels like to be a customer?

Likewise, does a leader’s current experience dull empathy toward their teams? Have they forgotten what it’s like not to be in charge?

Should knowledge and experience make it easier to give empathy?

Or Does Knowledge & Experience Dull Empathy?

 

Experience Dull Empathy: Image is T-shirt saying You're Stupid.

Experience Dull Empathy?

Image via Amazon.com

Does Knowledge & Experience Dull Empathy?

Knowledge and experience can blind customer service agents and tech support reps to customers’ …

  • Emotions when needing help
  • Fear of not knowing
  • Frustration of being delayed in lengthy procedures
  • Impatience with being routed and transferred
  • Anger at being trapped in the maze of customer support
  • Vulnerability of having to trust others with their success

Likewise, power, knowledge, and experience can blind leaders to employees’

  • Challenges of understanding leader’s vision
  • Struggles of accomplishing goals without authority
  • Personality type differences
  • Quest to acquire knowledge and experience to perform well
  • Pressure of dealing with under-performing teammates
  • Implementing solutions with limited time and resources

Experience and knowledge deliver confidence and a sense of control — the very things that reduce fear, stress, and obstacles.   Unfortunately for some leaders and for some customer service agents, their knowledge and experience dull empathy. Add the pressures of leadership and the stress of customer service work to the picture, and it makes them even less empathetic toward those they lead and serve.

Consider: When you are under incredible pressure do you care less about other things that normally bug you?  You just want to get rid of the big pressure and you overlook everything else? But what if those other things are still very stressful to those you lead and serve? Can you find it in you to empathize with them? Or does your knowledge and ability to fix the trouble bring you to label them as emotional or stupid? In these moments, your knowledge and experience dull empathy.

The best customer service reps overcome the dulling effects of knowledge, experience and pressure by:

  1. Being aware of how they feel outside of work when they are customers
  2. Remembering to focus on one customer at a time. This focus delivers empathy
  3. Realizing that their job is to deliver a wonderful experience while solving the problem. It isn’t just to solve the problem
  4. Embracing the true role of service and support — to make life easier for the customer and get them productive again

Respected well-liked leaders deliver empathy by asking themselves: What does it feel like to be this employee right now? Although knowledge and experience dull empathy in other leaders, they live by the motto …

Don’t let your knowledge and experience dull empathy. Channel your experience into empathy that spurs success in those you lead and serve!

Your turn: What else blocks empathy & how can you overcome the block?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Leaders, Are You Helpfully Objective or Actually Indifferent?
Empathy & Integrity: 5 Keys to Rebuild Customer Trust
18 Things Respected Well-Liked Leaders Consistently Do

©2012-2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Irresistible Customer Experience Loyalty – Do’s & Don’ts Part II

In part one of delivering irresistible customer experience, we focused on what every customer wants. The next step, irresistible customer experience loyalty comes with consistency in being irresistible! And yes, it is doable. Apple, Ritz Carleton, Nordstroms, Zappos, all deliver it through relationships!

Irresistible Customer Experience Loyalty: Image is a Magnet drawing things inward.

Irresistible Customer Experience Loyalty: Do’s & Don’s Part II


Do’s and Don’ts of Irresistible Customer Experience Loyalty – Part II

An irresistible customer experience:

  • Is pleasurable.
  • Makes customers feel wanted.
  • Gives customers something they really want.
  • Surprises customers with something positive that they didn’t even know we wanted.
  • Gets better and better each time.
  • Reawakens pleasant feelings they had before.
  • Prevents or relieves difficulty or pain.
  • Elevates customers in some way and puts them in a positive light.

DOs/Don’ts:

  1. Greet customers w/ zeal and focus. Don’t use robotic greetings that seem disinterested.
  2. Show individual interest in them. Don’t queue them up like transactions.
  3. Design online and mobile interaction from the customer perspective. Get their feedback and make changes! Give your employees access to the same views to easily assist customers who call. Don’t let the silos in your company sour the customer experience.
  4. Embrace negative feedback w/ empathy and resolutions. Don’t defend with explanations and excuses. Tell the customer why the experience doesn’t make it better and repels them.
  5. Trust each customer until you have data that says otherwise. Don’t use procedures that treat every customer as a potential criminal. Irresistible customer experience loyalty comes from a trusting relationship!!
  6. Train your employees on how to build relationships & empower them to do it. Don’t reserve this training for just the sales folks. No matter what employee your customer interacts with, that interaction must draw the customer in again and again. It must virtually say “we want you not just your money.”
  7. Be flexible and adaptive. This doesn’t mean offering 100 different options. It means adjusting what you do offer to make the experience irresistible to customers. Don’t allow your metrics to become the culture. Metric-focused organizations slide into a rigid approach in service to the metrics. Serve the customer not the metric. Serve the customer and you’ll meet the metric.

Let’s do a workshop to train, empower, and inspire your employees very soon.


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
25 Worst Customer Experiences to Avoid Making the Same Mistakes w/ Your Customers
Customer Experience Superstars: Their Celebratory Give & Take!
11 Surefire Beliefs for Superior Customer Experience

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

QuickSpot-grahpicV2

Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Customer Service: Defensive Answers Always Backfire

Customer Service Defensiveness: Image is the word STOP.

Customer Service: Stop the Defensiveness. Image by: Lucas Cobb.

Image by Lucas Cobb via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Picture It! A customer tells you or your teammate didn’t get back in touch with them, has been unresponsive, missed a deadline, gave them an incorrect answer, was rude and non-empathetic, or a host of other negative information.

What Many Team Members Hear. You are a failure. You are no good. In an attempt to recover their sense of self-confidence and feel good, they then tell the customer why the customer service was bad. Being defensive like this is pure folly. It makes you seem self-absorbed, insecure, and mediocre.


What the Customer is Really Saying. Help me and rebuild my trust in your brand. The truly memorable response includes empathy for the inconvenience, attention to fixing it now, and in some cases, compensation for the inconvenience and trouble. Once you have solved the issue in question, you might provide information on how this error will be prevented in the future if it was a serious error. This impresses the customer. This brings them back to your brand for more memorable experiences.

The folly of being defensive in business is that it reduces trust, makes working with you difficult rather than easy, and demeans your professional image. Avoid this defensive dribble.

You will regain customer’s trust when you take ownership of your mistakes, offer a sincere apology for the trouble, and fix the errors. It sends out the cheer of integrity, the warmth of caring, and loads of professional competence. It is worth celebrating. It is truly memorable. It will echo in customers’ minds for quite some time. It delivers progress to your business and sets you apart.

What else makes for truly memorable customer service? What do you expect as a customer?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
The One Word That Destroys the Perfect Apology
Empathy & Integrity: 5 Ways to Rebuild Customer Trust

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Difficult Customer Moments: Free Your Mind!

With more than twenty years of teaching how to handle difficult customer moments, I can attest to one eternal truth:

Both the obstacle and the pathway to handing difficult moments with customers are in the mind — our minds, not theirs.

Difficult Customer Moments: Image is sign that says free your mind now!

Free Your Mind to Deliver Superior Service in Difficult Customer Moments Image by: EnvironmentBlog

Image by: Environmentblog via Creative Commons License

In Difficult Customer Moments: Free Our Minds!

First and most importantly, let’s free our minds of the disdainful phrase — difficult customer — and replace it with the empowering phrase, difficult moment. This changes our outlook from one of resentment and disregard to empowered action. We don’t resent customers and who they are. We work to remedy the difficulty.

Secondly replace our desperate lament “Why Me”, with the mind freeing phrase “What If”.


What If …

  1. The customer has goals we don’t understand yet?
  2. The customer’s personality is different from ours?
  3. There’s an urgency we are not aware of?
  4. The customer has insight beyond ours?
  5. There are cultural differences causing stress?
  6. The customer simply feels confused and worried?
  7. The customer is pressed for time?
  8. Trust is still lacking?

And What If …

  1. We listen carefully to hear what the customer is saying and not saying?
  2. We adapt to the customer’s personality type to build the bond?
  3. We explore to detect the urgent pressure?
  4. We hear the need instead of an attack to learn the bigger picture?
  5. We let the customer set the cultural bent?
  6. We clear confusion to relieve the worry?
  7. We empathize and then get to resolving the issue?
  8. We do everything we can to rebuild trust?

The phrase “What if” lights up the creative parts of our brain freeing us from the emotional trap of defensiveness. When we free our minds of labels and blame, we see and hear invaluable information, alternate views, and previously undetected possibilities.

Open-mindedness transforms the difficult customer moment from heavy burden to superior customer service. Our adaptability and new thinking show the customer our professional care and that echoes throughout the customer’s community.

Action Summary
In difficult customer moments, silently ask yourself these what ifs. This mind freeing approach will:

  • Keep you calm and caring.
  • Stop you from telling the customer “calm down.” (Don’t ever say this!)
  • Tool you with great questions to ask the customer.
  • Improve your listening.
  • Fuel you with ideas on how to resolve the problem.
  • Lift your spirit and sustain your morale.
  • Wow the customer with care and great service recovery.

When have you received great care as a customer when you were upset?


From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
5 Powerful Beliefs & Actions to Win Over Rude or Angry Customers
24 Customer Service Tips to Make it Easy for Customers

©2012-2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

 

 

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Engage in people skills learning!

Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience.

I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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