customer experience

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™

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™

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.

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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.

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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™

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™

Empathy: Key Thoughts to Boost Your Success

Empathy is one of the people skills that can make or break your business success. Career and business success is all about relationships and empathy is key. It replaces the distance of diversity with bonds of connection.

Image is: Diverse business people.

Empathy builds bonds of success. Image by: Maryland_GovPics

Image by: Maryland_GovPics

Empathy: 3 Key Thoughts to Boost Your Business Success

You can develop your empathy and increase your success. Empathy gets you out of your own head and into others. It allows you to step outside of your own perspective and see where others are coming from. It builds trust. It builds bonds with customers. It boosts your negotiation skills.

Key Thought #1:

Empathy: Image is quote Empathy is the connection before the solution.

Empathy is the connection before the solution. ~Kate Nasser

Key Thought #2:

Image is quote: Empathize before you analyze.

Empathize before you analyze. ~Kate Nasser

Key Thought #3:

Image is quote: Empathy and integrity build and rebuild trust.

Empathy and integrity build and rebuild trust. ~Kate Nasser


Empathy is the universal connector to the new and unexplored. It unites people to create success together — leaders and teams, business owners and leaders, sales reps and customers. It is one of the most powerful business people skills.

Get Started Now!

9 Hidden Places to Find & Develop Your Empathy


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

Related Posts:
Empathy and Integrity: 5 Keys 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™

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.

 
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™

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™

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™

Great Customer Service Staff: Recruit These 15 Natural Traits

For years I have been able to spot job applicants who are naturally great at customer service. They excel at it. They have an ease, commitment, and skill that makes them great. They have a natural calling to serve others and they answer that call very well.

Recruit Naturally Great Customer Service Staff: Image is bright sun over ocean

Recruit Naturally Great Customer Service Staff. Image by Sea Turtle via Flickr.

Grateful for image by Sea Turtle via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Recruit Naturally Great Customer Service Staff

As more and more managers asked me how I picked naturally great customer service staff, I created this list of traits and behaviors. It was an interesting exercise to turn my people skills intuition into concrete traits you can unearth in interviews.

Here’s what the naturally great customer service staff do:

  1. Accept the absurdity of life without using sarcasm toward the customer.
  2. They easily adapt; their need for control is low.
  3. They listen with empathy.
  4. They brilliantly balance objectivity and caring.
  5. They initiate both caring and action. This is essential for dealing with upset customers.
  6. They know that they can’t change others — only their own perspectives and reactions. More importantly, they don’t want to change others.
  7. They love diversity. They are inspired and excited by it. They are non-judgmental.
  8. They exhibit a high sense of ownership and teamwork.
  9. They understand the big picture and show attention to detail; they follow-through.
  10. They see and hear far more than what the customer is saying and use it well.
  11. They continuously learn from interactions and quickly reapply this insight.
  12. They are self-confident not arrogant. They are comfortable with customers questioning their authority and influence appropriately.
  13. They have a thick skin and a warm heart. This makes them resilient and prevents them from burning out.
  14. They believe service and servitude are completely different. The first you choose; the second you don’t. They are proud to serve.
  15. They love to serve because of the giving — not to be liked or loved in return.

One caution: Be wary of job applicants who say they like customer service work because they like being appreciated. When the difficult customers are and the thank yous aren’t, these employees become frustrated and may do poorly. Customer service is about caring for others not about the customers caring for them.

Recruit and retain naturally great customer service staff by:

  • Understanding and believing that these people actually exist. Look in diverse pools of talent.
  • Using above list to hire friendly. Then train technically.
  • Giving them leeway in interacting with customers. Rigid scripts work against their natural talents.
  • Treating them with respect and trust. It sustains their natural talent.

You can easily trust and empower them to wow the customers. Since they are highly responsible and talented, the customer experiences the ultimate in care and action — in the moment, every time.

The consistently high quality service these great customer service staff deliver is your winning business advantage!

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

Related Posts:
Customer Service Inspiration: The Secret Keys to Great Attitude
5 Powerful Beliefs to Win Over Rude Angry Customers
11 Wining Beliefs for Superior Customer Service Experience
Customer Service People Skills: 10 Non-Defensive Responses

©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, share my experience, and welcome your wisdom.

Business Marketing: People Skills Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Every leader and business owner knows that business marketing and networking are essential to success. Whether face-to-face, on the phone, or on social media, our interaction with people matters. Are you making people skills mistakes that hurt your business marketing? Here are several you can easily avoid!

Business Marketing People Skills Blunders: Image is Withered flower blossoms.

Business Marketing: People Skills Blunders to Easily Avoid Image via MMStock.

Grateful for image from Jeffrey Betts, MMTStock

Avoid These People Skills Mistakes in Business Marketing

Interaction matters when you are doing business marketing and networking. How you behave, speak, and follow-up can make or break you.

Here are true stories of people skills mistakes in business marketing that you can easily avoid.

  1. Mistake: Treating People as a Target. I received an invitation to join someone’s LinkedIn network. I viewed their profile and said yes. When I accepted I sent a message asking a few questions to show interest in their work. They responded: I didn’t contact you at random. Would you like to take our training course and be certified in our special communication model? No I wouldn’t. My impression of them is negative. They have no time to learn about me nor tell me about themselves. They come across as foraging for sales and devoid of people skills. Ironically they are selling communication training. How absurd. Take time to build relationships and trust. It changes everything!

  2. Mistake: Focusing on yourself. A potential customer agreed to speak with a web designer she met online. She asked a couple of times to speak on the phone and he kept pushing the idea of SKYPE. She finally agreed to SKYPE and during the entire conversation he talked about his integrity, his vision, his preferences in designing. She ended the call and all contact with him. She told me: He is full of himself. Tip: Ego can kill many things including your business marketing. Focus on the customer!

  3. Mistake: Taking steps you really don’t mean. I received an email from another customer service consultant/speaker. He mentioned he would do speaking engagements that others don’t like. He gave a few examples. It was a very creative business marketing approach — or so I thought. I emailed him back that I might refer some customers to him. I suggested we speak on the phone or SKYPE. His reply: I’m really busy and anyway it was just a casual email. Huh? You are taking up people’s time with a casual email? Tip: When you ask for others’ attention in business marketing, don’t slam the door shut when they respond.

  4. Mistake: Using sexual references. I had attended a business marketing event and the speaker was very good. We spoke briefly at the event and his wife/partner did a follow-up mailing. We all agreed to meet over coffee to explore some business ideas. It turned out he just wanted my customer list. I declined. He then replied: I guess I’m too direct. I forget that women like foreplay and we men like to get right to the sex. My intuition about his character was right. Can you imagine if I had connected him with my customers? Being crude is not a good business marketing strategy. Tip: Avoid sexual references. They can offend. Language gives you many impressive ways to communicate your point. Choose great words that don’t offend.

  5. Mistake: Creeping people out by knowing too much about them. One of my customers told me a solar panel company rep called him at home. The rep knew my customer’s salary and net worth. He used this information to convince my customer that he could afford solar panels. My customer told me it was a shock to hear a stranger telling him so much about his own financial picture. He said no to the rep and the solar panels. Tip: Respect people’s privacy. Don’t collect and share data to manipulate them.

  6. Mistake: Not listening. A few years back I was looking for a graphics designer to create my speaker ONE sheet for business marketing. I called a well-known designer that many speaker groups had promoted. In our first (and only) phone call, she kept trying to sell me her book. Instead of listening to what I needed, she focused on her predetermined business goal. I couldn’t imagine working with her since she showed little interest in my needs. I went back to social media and found Kimb Manson Graphic Design. I called Kimb and we were soon discussing my needs. I knew immediately that I could work with her. Her people skills made the business marketing come to life. Her creative skills made the ONE sheet come to life. It is no surprise that she is ranked very high on Google in graphics design for speakers.

  7. Mistake: Sharing your baggage or dirty laundry. Every business has good times and bad. When marketing to customers, share the good times. Once you understand what they want and need, show them how your product, service, and expertise will make them successful as well. If you frequently talk about the bad times you had with other customers, they may wonder what you will say about them. Tip: With customers, speak positively not negatively and forward not back.





Proficient people skills in business marketing create a great first impression, build trust, and a wonderfully memorable experience. I would be pleased to share even more people skills tips at your business group or company event.

Remember, be customer focused, be professional, and be generous.

Your turn: What people skills lessons learned would you add to this list?

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

Related Posts:

13 Key People Skills for Business & Career Success
Social Media: Are You Using These People Skills
Modern People Skills Reminders for Social Media Greatness

©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.

 

 

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.

People Skills Success Radar: 9 Hidden Places to Find Your Empathy

It takes great people skills to succeed in business and it takes empathy to have great people skills. Have you discovered the full extent of your empathy? Without empathy — understanding and feeling what others are feeling — you fail to build trust and true connection.

People Skills Success Discover Your Empathy: Image is a humanoid w/ binoculars

People Skills Success Radar: Discover Your Empathy. Image licensed from Istock.com

Image licensed from Istock.com.

People Skills Success Radar: 9 Hidden Places to Find Your Empathy

Find your empathy to lead and engage employees, work with teammates, collaborate on projects, and succeed with customers. Give it even in the toughest moments. Your people skills success radar will help you find it.

Here is where empathy often hides:

  1. In what you are afraid to be. When people want to be seen as tough and strong, empathy hides to protect that image. Release and give your empathy. It shows that you are truly secure in who you are and confident enough to care for others. Inner strength is your billboard not fake toughness.

  2. In what you never received. Your empathy hides behind your unconscious scar of not receiving any. Find your empathy there and give it to others. It is the best way to get empathy and remove your scar.

  3. In the fear of failure. When people are afraid they will fail, they sometimes focus too much on themselves. Their fear hides their empathy. Uncover your empathy to uncover people skills success in business.

  4. In the myth that empathy makes others weak. Feeling what others feel doesn’t make them weak. Connection lifts people up. Your empathy makes them stronger as you light another way to success.

  5. In a logical focus. People who find comfort in logic — and discomfort in feelings — bury their empathy underneath analysis. Dig it up. Empathize before you analyze. It doesn’t bury you in feelings. Empathy is the connection before the solution. It is the secret to people skills success.

  6. Behind a wall of mistrust. When people are stung by an emotional manipulator, they sometimes put up walls to future connection. They don’t want to empathize and be stung by anyone again. Don’t hide your pain behind the wall. Call the stingers what they are — stinkers! Then share your empathy with the rest of the wonderful caring people in your world. Otherwise, the stinkers hide your people skills success behind the wall forever.

  7. In the wrong definition of empathy. Empathy doesn’t mean you agree with others. It simply says: “You matter, we matter, this matters, let’s find a solution.” You can empathize with someone’s feelings and yet not agree with their reasoning, conclusion, or solution. Share your empathy first to help them see a different view.

  8. In a judgmental ego. “I told you so” and “Everything that happened to you is your own fault” scream out your weakness. Quite ironic since these statements attempt to focus on others’ weakness! Silence your judgmental ego w/ a more powerful force — empathy. Then watch the magical power of connection bring you success.

  9. In a vengeful spirit. If you live a get even life, your empathy and success have difficulty living there too. And few will want to be there with you. Employees, colleagues, teammates, and definitely customers will keep their distance. Replace vengeance with forgiveness and move forward. Your empathy — not vengeance — will bring you people skills success.

Work and live the most basic human truth, success comes through connection. Empathy brings the magical power of connection to life. Find and share your empathy for people skills success.

What would you add to the list above? Is there a #10?


Let’s explore empathy in workshops with your teams and boost teamwork and business success!

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

Related Post:
People Skills Philosophy 4 Keys to Agility & Success in Business
What Happens When Tough Leaders Show Empathy?

©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.

 

 

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.

Franchisees must follow franchise rules. In fact, some brands actually look for frenchisees who are comfortable following rules.

Yet customers don’t care about the rules. They want a great experience and rules don’t deliver it. Here’s the question. Do the franchise rules stop super customer experience? They don’t have to.

Franchisees: Image is Customer Service Checklist Excellent Good Poor

Franchisees: Rules Need Not Stop Super Customer Experience

Image licensed from Istock.com

Franchisees: Amaze Customers With These Top Tips

Despite the franchise rules, you can wow customers with a great customer experience.

  1. Inspire service workers to care. Start each shift with a service motto. Use one example each day of how the workers make a difference! Inspire workers to care before you teach them to smile.
  2. Give each customer your full attention. Customers are becoming more and more insulted by distracted workers. At check out counters, workers are chatting with friends while scanning customer purchases. They are texting and talking on the phone while customers wait for service. Attention is one of the easiest ways to show customers you care. It is the first impression you give and sets the tone for the interaction.
  3. Smile. You’ve read it before and I say it again. Customers have chosen to come to your business. A smile says welcome and thank you. It defuses their tension. Everyone has struggles. You can lighten their load and make a difference.
  4. Listen. Make sure you know what customers want. Restate what the customer asks for. Listen for special requests. One drive-through customer stressed they didn’t want any ketchup on their burger. As they drove away and reached into the bag, they found a burger with ketchup. They came back with the burger — very upset.
  5. Double check before you deliver. Had the worker checked the order before giving the burger to the customer, they would have prevented the bad experience.
  6. Blame no one. In a family style chain restaurant, the customer at the table next to mine told the server he brought the wrong order. He then blamed the customer. “That’s what you pointed to on the menu.” Had he restated the customer’s order before sending it into the kitchen, he would have prevented the problem.
  7. Let the customers have their say. When customers are upset, don’t interrupt them. Don’t say calm down. They don’t take orders. Customers aren’t in your army. If you let them speak, they will come up for air. Then show them some empathy and work to resolve the problem.
  8. Franchisees: Quote says Everybody has their own struggle. So be kind.

    Be kind. It creates a great customer experience.

    Image via quoteeveryday.com

Successful franchisees strive and know how to create an irresistible customer experience despite the rules. Their customers rave about the service to their friends and family.

As franchisees, they inspire great service attitudes. So hire friendly employees. Model great service and train service workers to deliver it. Appreciate their work and recognize their efforts.

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

Treat employees well. Be the model of how to treat customers! Remember always that business rules need not stop a super customer experience.

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

Let’s do a customer service workshop or webinar for your service workers. Together we can make a difference! Ph: 908.595.1515.

Related Post:
24 Customer Service Tips to Make It Easy for Customers
11 Surefire Beliefs for Superior Customer Experience

©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.

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.

 

 

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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