Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 22:40:41 on 2017/09/19 Permalink
    Tags:   

    Customer Service Reps Don’t Always Deserve a Bad Rap 

    I think people who make service calls get a bad rap. Some, more than others. Yet, if you really stop to think about it, I bet you’d be hard pressed to count the bad ones on one hand. That includes Xfinity, everyone’s favorite whipping company.

    Just this week, we had numerous service repair people to our home. The dryer was replaced. The air conditioner needed a tune up. A couple of people came out to give us an estimate on a water heater and Xfinity was in the neighborhood checking out an issue. They couldn’t have been nicer or more professional.

    Yet, according to a recent survey by Health magazine, customer service rep jobs are among the most stressful in America, on par with 911 operators. How can that be?

    I would think there are two factors. There is the rep you talk to by phone and the one that shows up at your door. On the phone, it’s easier to be a jerk. After being switched to various departments, being asked to repeat and re-enter the same information multiple times, being put on hold only to be disconnected, then having to call back and start the process all over again, angry frustrated customers can’t help but lose their call. Furthermore, it’s easier to blast someone you can’t see or interact with.

    In person, most of us are a bit more polite to the smiling visitor with an outstretched hand that you invite into your home. We can show these people what the problem is and we watch them, sometimes for hours, working hard to make things right for us again. Furthermore, phone representatives are taught to put up with our rude condescending behavior. If we resort to cursing them out, the worst that will happen is they’ll hang up. When we threaten someone face-to-face, we may risk a physical confrontation.

    Personally, I would not want the stress of being a customer service representative. Most, whether by phone or in person are genuinely trying to help you. Like any other profession, some are better than others. In today’s highly competitive environment, these people are getting squeezed from multiple sides. Managers are pushing them to take more calls, cut call times and sell more services. They also put reps through sensitivity training so they learn how to handle irate customers, even when these customers are completely out of line.

    We’ve conducted some of those trainings for construction workers, tree engineers and utility companies. Most people tell us they genuinely want to help solve people’s problems. Yet, the stories they share are chilling.

    Electric company workers are required to trim trees away from power lines to keep customers safe. One worker told us a customer threatened him with a knife because he didn’t want his tree touched. Utility workers frequently tell tales of angry dogs coming after them. Water department workers have similar stories even when they are working tirelessly to repair main breaks and restore water service. There have even been reports of customer service reps who have killed themselves due to the stresses of the job.

    As a result, companies are trying to help these employees. Nordstrom has created quiet rooms for people to meditate. Call centers have hired on-call psychiatrists. Other companies bring in massage therapists and conduct stress relief workshops. Our sensitivity training programs are focused on communication; how to communicate with angry customers, techniques to diffuse conflicts, body language and better listening skills. You can’t change someone’s obnoxious behavior, but you can change your response to that behavior.

    Regardless of the interaction, over time, people forget the specifics of what happened, but they never forget how the service representative made them feel. Just last month, I flew coast-to-coast on American Airlines. From less leg room to missed connections, to seat snafus, people are quick and often justified when complaining about today’s air travel experiences. Many of these stories even make news headlines. I fly a lot and have also had some of these experiences.

    Yet, on my flights, there are more good experiences than bad. One of the flight attendants on that American flight was exceptional: funny, personable and warm. I filled out a form on the airline’s website to recognize her for outstanding customer service. Most of us and I include myself, are far more likely to complain than compliment.

    So, whether you are the customer or the representative, here are a few tips that work for both sides.

    1. Word Choice. The words you use matter. Instead of “we can’t do that”, try “unfortunately, that is not a service we offer, however here is what we can do for you”. Now the message is positive and it’s about them, not you.
    2. 2. Take Responsibility. Customers want you to tell them how you will fix their problems. They don’t care about yours. Instead of “our vendor had an issue which prevented us from getting your service restored quickly’, try “let me see what I can do for you” or “here is what we are doing to resolve this as quickly as possible.”
    3. Shut Up and Listen. My first book was titled Shut Up and Say Something. In this case, the opposite is true. If someone is angry, let them vent without interrupting. When they are finished, instead of responding with a robotic pre-scripted answer, ask pointed questions that help them further explain the problem so you come across as someone who truly wants to help them fix it. If you’re the complaining customer, come up for air so the rep can ask questions and help you solve your problem.

    Thanks in part to technology making it easier to reach people, today’s consumers have high expectations and short fuses when it comes to customer service. While no one has a right to treat anyone disrespectfully, when someone has a bad experience, posts to social media can tarnish your reputation faster than ever before.

    That said, word of mouth still goes a long way. Just today, I phoned a hotel chain, annoyed that I had submitted receipts and done exactly what the customer service representative told me to do, to receive a refund for a problematic stay at one of their properties. Despite repeated emails, I never heard back or received confirmation that my request was being processed.

    So, I called. When I was rerouted to the second department who said they’d have to transfer me to someone else, the representative sensed my annoyance and frustration. She apologized, asked me questions and listened. Then she stayed on the line and resolved the problem even though it wasn’t her responsibility. She surprised me by awarding me bonus points toward my next stay.

    While I’m not posting to social media, I was so pleased that I told my mother and my son and my husband and some friends. I will book a room at this hotel chain again and thanks to word of mouth, so will they.

    If you want your company to truly stand out, make sure exceptional customer service is center stage.

     
  • feedwordpress 21:52:44 on 2017/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: , ,   

    TED: When Cars Become Alive (my 3 min speech) 

    In the above short video (or access directly), I make the case that your future car will be like a living creature, able to predict what we want, and even start to reproduce.

    I had a mere three minutes to present and deliver a single concept on the largest physical TED stage in Frankfurt Germany in conjunction with BMW at the world’s largest auto show. Over 180 people submitted ideas, and 6 folks were invited by the TED team to bring that idea to the stage. Of course, I was delighted to be selected. We had many planning calls, and a seasoned TED speaker was assigned to mentor me. I rehearsed about 50 times, and we did multiple dress rehearsals to get it right. Weeks of preparing for just a few minutes on stage –I gave it my all.

    My topic? What happens when powerful AI connects to self driving cars, what kind of world would it be?

    First, these self driving cars will connect to our online Calenders, giving them ability to automatically escort us around. Then they’ll connect to our smart fridges, getting the milk and eggs before they run out. Then they’ll connect to our social networks, analyzing what type of mood we’re in, setting the experience of the ride. Then they’ll connect to our search engines, and can take us to places we didn’t even know we’d love. It thinks, anticipates, and acts before we know we need something.

    At that magical point, these cars become alive, but it won’t stop there. These cars will act like humans. They’ll generate revenues just as human workers do, by offering rides to individuals and ferrying parcels around town. Then, they’ll self-charge, just as we eat our meals and drink our energy drinks. After that, they’ll use their savings to upgrade their tires, upholstery, and even have installed a new VR entertainment system. At this next magical point, it knows to purchase another car, to increase its fleet, it reproduces just as humans do.

    In this radical future, these distributed managed vehicles will become like a living species, able to self-sustain, grow, and reproduce. Of course this sounds far-fetched but we’re seeing similar behaviors with Blockchain: decentralized, unknown creator, and it’s growing at a scalable rate.

    So what type of future does this mean for society? I address this in the speech, but I am optimistic that we can create a meaningful society for us all, but we need to start planning now –the impacts to society are not an afterthought we can clean up later, these technologies are going to grow at exponential rates.

     
  • feedwordpress 17:56:26 on 2017/09/19 Permalink
    Tags:   

    Assistants . . . Looking for an Amazing Gift Idea? 

    Gift_baskets

    Are you planning a corporate event at a beach resort? Or maybe just looking for a unique gift for your favorite client or special employee? As an assistant who has to occasionally (or often) search for client or holiday gifts, I know how hard it is to find a unique gift. It seems like the same old “stuff” pops up.

    Well, I was fortunate to have Martha Liberti reach out to me a few months ago and tell me about her beautiful, customized Beach Bag Gifts. Seaglass—Beach Bag Gifts offers a designer beach bag stuffed (and I mean stuffed) with beach essentials (towels, beach blanket, water bottles and sun lotions) and wrapped with a handmade bow and real starfish! The finished product is a very classy way to say “Thank You.” Or “We greatly appreciate your business.”

    The Beach Bag Gifts sets are very carefully packaged. I can personally attest to that as Martha donated 3 for giveaways at our Annual Conference for Administrative Excellence this October. I was amazed how everything was perfectly intact. And the bags are even more gorgeous in person.

    Quick background on Martha: Martha was born and raised in the northeast. She had an early career in the medical field. Then married a wonderful man Gaetano, had 3 children and became a stay-at-home mom. In 2014, they moved to Florida in search of a better quality of life. Inspired by the beautiful beaches and exotic sunsets, Martha followed her passion of gift making and giving and a new business was born.

    I hope you will be as inspired by Martha’s beautiful work and check out what she has to offer at www.seaglass-bbg.com

    beach_bags

    The post Assistants . . . Looking for an Amazing Gift Idea? appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:06:55 on 2017/09/12 Permalink
    Tags: , Impacting Others, , , Making A Difference, , Something to Offer, ,   

    Why Everyone Should See Themselves as A Leader 

    The other day I was talking with a friend about leadership and I was saying that everyone is a leader, and he replied with a question, “What about people who don’t think of themselves as a leader?”

    It was an interesting question- because for me- anyone who wants to make a difference and ends up making an impact with someone – somewhere.

    Is a leader.

    I’ve seen great leadership across the spectrum: in CEOs and entry-level employees, politicians and middle schoolers, clergy and people living on the street.

    Many people believe that leadership comes only with a formal role or position. But as a leadership coach, I believe we’re all leaders.

    Leadership doesn’t have to mean acquiring power or trying to change the world. It can be as simple as the daily acts we carry out living our lives—helping a neighbor, listening to a friend, standing up for a principle that’s important.

    The difference between being a leader or not is being the person who claims it. Here are four ways you can begin claiming your own leadership tod

    Believe you have something to offer. Leadership starts with how you see yourself—in particular, with the belief that you have something to offer to the world. That doesn’t mean you have to take on trying to change the world, but it means that as an individual you know you have something to offer, that you can reach other individuals and have a positive influence.

    Dedicate yourself to making a difference. You have been given a life unlike any other. No one else is who you are, and your life will never be lived by anyone else, but the significance and direction of that life are largely up to you.  Whether you’re young or old, you can make a difference for the good. Speaking a kind word, volunteering time, fundraising or donating for nonprofit organizations supporting things you feel strongly about—the ways to make a difference are limitless. Remember that each of us was born with a purpose.

    Be sensitive to issues impacting others. If you aren’t already tuned in to your own sensitivity to others, the natural empathy we all have within us, start listening—not just superficially, but in a way that takes in people’s circumstances and state of being. Anyone can be a powerful leader if they’re prepared to hear and understand the emotions, fears, and hopes that underlie the words and actions of other people. When you do, you create the connections that are at the heart of great leadership.

    Make the move. At the end of the day, only action produces results. Building relationships, developing others and making decisions are all important, but it is the actions that you take that will build your reputation as a great leader. Successful leaders have the courage to take action while other hesitate. Don’t just notice, don’t just discuss: get up and do something. If your actions inspire others to do the same—to dream more, learn more, and above all do more—you are a leader.

    Lead from within: You are a leader if you make others better as a result of your presence. And when you do, you’ll continue to influence them long after you are gone.

     


    Learn more about leadership in my National Bestseller book:
    The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now

     



    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Why Everyone Should See Themselves as A Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 20:36:29 on 2017/09/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    A Collage of Success Tips 

    Success_Live

    I just got back from a great 2 day event called Success Live. Maybe you saw my Facebook post… or not. This event was hosted by Success magazine. I have been reading Success magazine for years and find every issue is packed with valuable information and tons of inspiration! Well, the live event was the same.

    I feel today is an especially important Monday to share these inspirational insights with you as we honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001 and think of the people affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma this past weekend. In the midst of tragedy, we must never lose hope. If you are reading this Monday Motivator you must be ok so look for ways to uplift others. One way we uplift others is by elevating ourselves. I hope these people inspire you as much as they inspired me.

    From the ever-enthusiastic Brendon Burchard:

    • You must live each day with intention.
    • Refuse to settle. Raise your ambitions.
    • You must invest in your growth.
    • Jump in and face your fears.

    Pastor John Gray was hilariously serious:

    • You have to find your truth.
    • Success is about what we give away.
    • Will my name carry weight after I am gone?
    • Am I doing what I was created to do?

    Keith Ferrazzi said we have to have 3 people who have our back. The way we know someone has our back is they do all 4 of the following:

    • Care.
    • Work hard to make you successful.
    • Tell you the truth.
    • Let you know when you are not being accountable.

    The phenomenal Les Brown, who I have followed for years, always inspires:

    • Only surround yourself with people who are: positive, purposeful, contributors, and productive.
    • The imagination is a preview of what is to come.
    • Tell yourself, “No matter how bad it is, I am going to make it.”
    • Let go of toxic people or you will be dragged.
    • It’s not where you start, it’s where you are going.

    Simon T. Bailey:

    • There will never be a perfect time to become the person you want to be.
    • Rejection can be the greatest gift.
    • What you don’t deal with, will eventually deal with you.
    • Relationships are more important than money. They are the currency of the future.

    Please feel free to share these words in hopes of inspiring others. We need a good dose of hope and optimism.

    conference_for_administrative_professionals

    The post A Collage of Success Tips appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel