By Jeff Toister | Sunday, July 05, 2015
Surveys are a great way to get valuable customer feedback. You can learn what your audience likes and doesn’t like, identify problems, and spot training opportunities. And these insights can help you quickly improve service quality.
But customer service surveys also have pitfalls. If you aren’t careful, these problems can skew your data and lead to poor decisions.
Here are three of the most common survey pitfalls — and how to prevent them.
By Jeff Toister | Monday, March 02, 2015
You are probably a customer on a daily basis.
It might be a coffee shop run, a trip to the grocery store, or a visit to the deli where you get lunch. Perhaps you call a 1-800 number or send a company an email.
Each experience you have as a customer is an opportunity to build your own customer service skills.
Working on your skills while you’re a customer can translate to better performance when you serve customers as an employee. That’s because many customer-service skills are based on fundamental principles of positive human interaction.
Here are five exercises you can try when you’re on the customer side of things:
By Jeff Toister | Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Employees have an opportunity to influence customer expectations with each interaction.
Many instinctively paint an overly rosy picture of the best-case scenario. They quote the fastest lead times, promise responsive service, or offer to sway their boss on a special request. It makes customers feel good in the moment—but they’re later disappointed when their high hopes go unfulfilled.
It seems counter-intuitive, but a better strategy is to give customers the worst-case scenario. It may wind up delighting them. Follow these customer service tips and see for yourself:
By Jeff Toister | Monday, December 08, 2014
It helps to know our customers’names.
Dale Carnegie once said, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest, most important sound in any language.”Calling a customer by name can help us develop rapport, make customers feel important, and create a stronger relationship.
But those relationships are a two-way street.
It’s not enough to learn and use a customer’s name. If we want to create a real relationship, customers must learn our names, too. Research shows a big correlation between customers knowing employees by name and high customer satisfaction ratings.
Here’s the research, why it works, and some customer service tips for sharing your name.
By Jeff Toister | Monday, October 20, 2014
Many of today’s jobs are built around multitasking.
Take call center representatives for example. According to ICMI, the average call center agent uses five software programs to serve customers. They spend their day constantly focusing and refocusing their attention from one screen to the next.
When we try to do too many things at once, productivity declines, quality suffers, and stress levels rise.
Did you know that chronic multitasking — at work or anywhere else — can lead to a disorder whose symptoms are nearly identical to attention deficit disorder or ADD?
Here’s how to keep this from happening to you—and how to recover if it already has:
By Jess Stratton | Monday, April 07, 2014
Last week on Monday Productivity Pointers, we explored writing a claim letter to report either a faulty product from, or poor experiences with a company.
This week we’re going to keep the momentum going—but instead of writing a letter, we’ll look at reasons why it may be quicker and more effective to use online chat for customer service issues, if the option is available.
By Jeff Toister | Thursday, March 27, 2014
Customer service professionals are expected to have a positive and friendly attitude at all times—but maintaining such an attitude isn’t always easy. Upset customers, challenging problems, or even fatigue can make it hard to keep smiling.
Attitude anchors are techniques you can use to help position your customer service attitude in a positive place, or even to repair a bad attitude when you’re feeling down. There are two kinds of attitude anchors: maintenance anchors and repair anchors.
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