Customer Care

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.



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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 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.



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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™

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.


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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 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.


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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™

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.



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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 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.

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: 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™

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.

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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™

Empathy and Integrity: A Must to Rebuild Customer Trust

Customers make a leap of faith when they first buy from a company. The trust they initially offer is a request for a respectful human bond.

When they are dissatisfied, do you respond with empathy and integrity? A broken trust can spread throughout social media and damage your business and your brand. Empathy and integrity can prevent that. It RSVPs the customers with the respect they want and deserve. Here’s why it works and how to do it simply and consistently.

Empathy and integrity: Sign saying they rebuild trust.

Empathy and Integrity: Keys to Rebuild Trust w/ Customers


Empathy and integrity rebuild customer trust because it stops the customer from feeling like a fool. They don’t have to doubt their choice nor their future decisions. They can trust their own judgment, trust you, and stay with you and your brand.

Empathy and Integrity: 5 Keys to Rebuild Customer Trust

  1. Empathize before you analyze. Once you hear that the customer is dissatisfied, give empathy to manage the emotion. Then move on to analyzing how to solve it. Analyzing before empathizing is one of the most common and worst mistakes you can make. While you are analyzing, the customer’s mistrust is building. They are wondering if you will care about them or will they feel like a fool for selecting your company?
  2. Transform with listening don’t defend with details. After you have offered empathy, wow the customer with more great listening. You will uncover the expectations you missed and how to please them now. If instead you defend your actions with details, the customers will think you are telling them you are right and they are wrong. Details seem like a defense of your ego. Which do you care more about — your ego or them?
  3. Apologize with no ifs or buts. Two words that destroy a heartfelt apology and trust are IF and BUT. “We are sorry IF we fell short.” The customers have already told you that you fell short. The word IF waffles with a gross lack of integrity. Why would they trust you now? “We are sorry but …” also cancels out the apology. No empathy, no integrity, no trust. It’s just that simple.
  4. Fix the problem and prevent the repeats. Follow through with the littlest details and communicate throughout the organization to prevent a repeat failure. When you fall short with a customer, they see a crack in your company’s effectiveness and they lose trust. If you prevent new or bigger cracks, you re-secure the trust.
  5. Show urgency. The longer you take to respond to customers, the faster their trust erodes. Even if it’s going to take time to fix the problem, respond early and keep the customer informed. Delays and lack of communication are the vacuums that suck customer trust away permanently.

It doesn’t take a huge mistake to dissolve customer trust. Regardless of the issue, view it as the customer. Empathize before you analyze, deliver what you promise, and rebuild trust with unparalleled integrity. It speaks volumes to the customer and to those they speak to!

As a customer, what would you add to the list above?


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

Related Posts
11 Surefire Beliefs to Win Over Customers
24 Tips to Make Sales & Service Easy for the Customers
What Destroys a Perfect Apology
Empathy and Integrity to Respond to Angry Customers

©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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Customer Experience Beliefs: 11 to Win Over Customers

If we want our customers to have a superior customer experience, we need to examine our customer experience beliefs. What we think affects what we do. This is true in every aspect of business. With customers, it’s even more important.

Customer Experience Beliefs: Image is the neon sign "belief".

11 Winning Customer Experience Beliefs. Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by: Steve Rhodes via Flicker Creative Commons License.

11 Surefire Customer Experience Beliefs

  1. Customers cannot observe our intentions. Treat them well.
  2. The customer’s voice echoes forever. Of course they talk about us. What they say is actually up to us.
  3. Persist when you sense potential; shift and innovate when you see futility. Never let frustration with a customer stop you from giving great care and finding a solution!
  4. Make customer experience easy! Count the number of hoops you ask customers to jump through & you’ll find the places they may jump ship! Leave the hoops for basketball.
  5. Courtesy and civility do not undo our authenticity. They allow the customers to easily embrace it. Authenticity is not an excuse for being blunt or rude to customers. A smile can change everything.
  6. A customer’s trust is an invitation for a human bond. Our actions RSVP the truth about our integrity and foretell the customer’s next choice.
  7. There is a difference between service and servitude. The first you choose; the second you don’t. What choice will you make to deliver superior customer experience?
  8. A sincere apology is the quickest way to repave the road of customer trust. Waffling, defending, and delay leaves a trail of mistrust.
  9. Our future is behind every customer. The customer is the heart of our success. Their pulse is our vital sign. It beats for our future. Maintain heart health!
  10. When we hold resentment in our hearts, we deliver far below our capabilities. Learn objective caring to prevent taking customers’ criticisms personally.
  11. Choose to trust until there’s proof to mistrust. Check all your processes, procedures, and touch points. Do they communicate trust or mistrust of the customer? Then ask yourselves, if you were the customers, would you feel welcome?


Are your customer experience beliefs serving or sabotaging superior customer experience? Leaders, do you know what your teams think? Sit with them and ask “What are our customer experience beliefs?” You may be pleasantly surprised or jolted by the silence. In either case, this review is a no cost high return step to superior customer experience!

What winning customer experience beliefs would you add to this list?

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

Related Post:
5 Powerful Beliefs to Win Over Rude or Angry Customers
Irresistible Customer Experience: What Every Customer Wants

©2012-2014 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, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Caring Words: No Cost & High Return in Business

Caring Words Cost Nothing: Image is a poster with those words.

Caring Words Cost Nothing. Image by Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™



Don’t mistake caring words in business as weak, risky, or beating around the bush. Caring words cost nothing and create infinite possibilities. Their power comes in what they do and don’t do.

Caring words & caring tone of voice …

  • Build trust.
  • Develop relationships between strangers.
  • Open closed minds with empathy & trust.
  • Strengthen relationships to ride through storms together.

Caring words & caring tone of voice don’t …

  • Insert scars into important business agendas.
  • Trigger defensiveness that slows down success.
  • Foment resentment that overshadows the true business purpose.
  • Create walls that obstruct & maybe doom future opportunities.

Caring words & caring tone of voice are emotional intelligence in action.

  • They are based on respect for all humans even in disagreement.
  • They require a positive self-image that doesn’t preach to others.
  • They call for a courageous choice of giving before you receive anything.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; deeply loving someone gives you courage.” ~Lao Tzu via Goodreads Quotes

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~Mother Teresa via Goodreads Quotes

Leaders, use caring words and tone to inspire, engage, and buoy employees! Hire employees with the emotional intelligence and desire to care for others. Teamwork and collaboration ascend to new heights. Customer experience soars to loyalty.

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

Related Posts:
People Skills Missteps: Not So Friendly, Friendly Advice
3 Steps to Overcome Bias in Business
Emotionally Intelligent Teamwork: 10 Ways to Work w/ Immature Teammates

©2014 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.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Superior Customer Service: Think Care Not Guilt

I hear some customer service reps, agents, and analysts — even leaders — say that you shouldn’t say “We’re sorry” to customers because it means “we’re guilty.” There is even one consultant who has written a book with this same idea. The problem is, it is simply not true. It’s a myth and a costly mistake to make.

Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. It means we care. In fact if we are thinking about who’s guilty, we aren’t even in the zone of delivering superior customer service and customer experience.

Don’t picture this …


Superior Customer Service: Image is words Mea Culpa

Superior Customer Service: Sorry Doesn’t Mean Guilty Image via Istock.com

Picture this …


Superior Customer Service: Image is Balloons w/ Sorry Words Celebrating!

Superior Customer Service: Sorry Means We Care!

Grateful for both images from Istockphoto.com.

Superior Customer Service: Think Care, Not Guilt!

Superior customer service is never about guilt. It’s about responsibility, desire, and passion to serve and to care.

  • Sorry doesn’t mean guilty. When we offer condolences at a funeral, it doesn’t mean we are guilty. Sorry is one of the many ways to express empathy. We’re sorry for your _________ doesn’t mean we’re guilty of it.
  • When customers are upset with us, we are responsible (not guilty) for the less than satisfying experience they had. Let’s not back away or defend ourselves. Let’s make it an incredibly great moment that customers will remember. Studies show that outstanding service recovery skills often create some of the most loyal customers! Many customers believe that some mistake is bound to happen and they are wowed by great empathy and service recovery skills.
  • Thinking that sorry means guilty says we are thinking of ourselves instead of the customer. We have misinterpreted the customer’s outburst as an accusation against us. It isn’t. Customers want care and resolution. Give them an unadulterated full out “we’re sorry”. Give them full commitment to resolve the issue and loads of care.
  • Customers can get upset for many reasons. Don’t analyze whether they are valid reasons. Don’t analyze who’s at fault. Don’t act neutral. All of these are wasted time and effort. Go all the way and show them true empathy. Empathize emotions; don’t analyze them.
  • Humility is not humiliation. Humility allows us to put the customers emotional needs ahead of ours. We are the professionals. This is not humiliation — the driving emotion behind the guilty/sorry debate. The debate is useless. It sidetracks us from the main goal of delivering superior customer service, memorable customer experience, and retaining the customers.
  • Live with accountability not blame. We are responsible for delivering superior customer service experience. This is a far cry from being guilty when we miss the mark.

Remember, if customers are complaining to us, they’re still interested in our business. We have a chance to show we care. A chance to wow. Don’t blow this chance by withholding empathy. Give a caring “we’re sorry”. It’s not a shameful “we’re guilty.”

Apologize to customers if they had a less than stellar experience. It is a chance for us to reaffirm commitment with true empathy. It’s a chance to show just how much we care about them. It’s a chance to improve our business and wow the customers even more.


Short 2 minute video with inspirational message for leaders and teams to deliver superior customer experience!

Replace guilt with care. Guilt doesn’t belong in superior customer service. Care does. Create a customer-centric culture that brings them back for more.

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

Related Post:
Leadership: Breed Accountability Not Blame
24 Customer Service Tips That Make Loyalty Easy
Superior Customer Service: 5 Ways to Stay Calm AND Caring w/ Upset Customers

©2013-2014 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.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

The Rewards of Courtesy is our people skills chat topic this Sunday.

WHEN/WHERE: Join us Sunday Sept. 14, 2014 on Twitter at 10AM EDT. Hashtag: #peopleskills

Time converter:
Please click the time converter link above to convert 10am EDT to your local time.


The Rewards of Courtesy

September is National Courtesy Month and in honor of it, we will explore the rewards of courtesy. So often courtesy is either taken for granted or thought of as soft and less important. So we will gather to explore courtesy and its deeper value.

The Rewards of Courtesy. Image is People skills logo

The Rewards of Courtesy. Image by KimbManson for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.


Image designed by: Kimb Manson Graphics Design for Kate Nasser. All rights reserved.

What Are the True Rewards of Courtesy?

From customer service, to teamwork, leadership, and global business, courtesy delivers far more than we often acknowledge. It’s more than a smile to make someone feel good.

Courtesy Awards: Image is a heart with the banner saying "courteous".

People Skills Community Courtesy Awards! Image designed by Vizwerx for People Skills Community.

When we picture business interactions without courtesy, the image and outcomes change dramatically.

JOIN us in this chat as we discuss the rewards of courtesy and its true value in work and life.

Some questions to get us thinking in advance:

  • Are courtesy and authenticity at odds? Pls. explain.
  • What can courtesy do that lack of courtesy can’t?
  • Is courtesy in the eye of the beholder? Or are there some common elements of value to all?
  • Do leaders have to choose between strength/effectiveness and courtesy?
  • When in your work or life have you been most grateful for courtesy?
  • In the age of social media, is courtesy passé? Or must we recommit to it?
  • How does courtesy affect people? Results?
  • How are courtesy and emotional intelligence related? Or are they at odds?
  • How is courtesy different around the globe?
  • In your opinion, what are the greatest rewards of courtesy?

These are just some questions to get us thinking. Actual questions will post live during the chat.

So bring your personal perspective, your experience, a beverage, and join the community on Sunday Sept 14, 2014, 10am EDT in People Skills Chat on Twitter (hashtag: #peopleskills). Share your creative views and experience in our people skills chat about the rewards of courtesy.

I also invite you to continue this chat by joining the Google+ People Skills Community, The Facebook Group People Skills That Really Matter and the LinkedIn Group People Skills Succeed to be a part of all the people skills discussions everyday 24×7. Get your people skills community member badge here.

Shout Out of Gratitude

My gratitude to all who participate and grow the people skills global community on Twitter (#peopleskills), Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook. We welcome your suggestions for topics, offers to co-host, and most especially your diverse insights.

Continued thanks to generous chat moderators Chantal Bechervaise, Dave Moore, Hoda Maalouf, Tracy Shroyer and Tom Rhodes for their time and contributions.





Hope you will all join our People Skills Chat on Twitter (#peopleskills) this Sunday Sept. 14, 2014, 10am EDT/7am PDT to share your insights, perspective, and experience on the rewards of courtesy.

Everyone is welcome! We have only one rule in People Skills Global Chat: Respect for all even when we disagree.




TIP: If you have never been in a Twitter chat, you may find it helpful to log on to Tweetchat.com, or Twubs.com and enter hashtag #peopleskills. Sign in to your Twitter account. The venue will insert the hashtag on each of your tweets and you will see all the tweets on one screen. Other tools available are Tchat.io, Hootsuite and TweetDeck.

I am the founder and host of the chat and will be happy to answer any questions you have in advance: Email me.

Connect with you this Sun. Sept. 14, 2014, 10am EDT in our People Skills Global Twitter Chat about the rewards of courtesy.

Until then, as always, I wish you bonds of happiness and success!

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

©2014 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.

 

 

PS-EnergyBar-LogoJoin me through these social channels

Engage in people skills learning! Let’s turn interaction obstacles into business success in leadership, teamwork, and customer service experience. I invite your questions, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

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