By Nancy Friedman, Customer Service Expert; Keynote Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


Worth the read.

A while back my insurance agent called me to come show his small office how to be better in customer service.

Seems as though they were losing business, getting complaints and not doing as well as he felt they should. Even I had had a spotty experience with them and I told him so.

So, when he finally called and asked me to come over, I did. I don’t think he had 15 on staff and of all ages. I presented a short, easy version of a NANCY program to get the ball rolling. Sharing things with them that were common sense.

Say please, thank you, you’re welcome.

Put that smile in your voice.

Don’t argue with the customers.

Don’t tell the customer you don’t know.

Don’t ‘sigh’ when they ask you a question just because you have heard it before.

Don’t tell the customer “we can’t do that.”

And a few other important tips.

The president of the insurance agency was impressed and called me over before I left. “Thank you,” he said gratefully, “we really learned some new things.”

I came home and told Dick, my husband, what the president of the insurance agency said. “Really learned some new things? Things, Dick, that you and I do every day, like breathing in and breathing out? I don’t understand.”

And without missing a beat, Dick said, “Don’t ever be surprised, Nancy, no one has ever shown them.”

And therein lies why we have customer service issues my friends. We cannot fix what we do not know. If your folks don’t know HOW to service a client in that best practices’ manner, how can you expect them to do it?

We don’t hire bad people. We hire ‘untrained’ people. Untrained in customer service, communications and sales.

Yes, it’s instinct in some; however, not in most. So, training becomes the high priority. How can you put someone on the phones without explaining how you want them to answer it properly? They’ve never been shown.

How can you ask staff in retail to make the experience special when they have never done it before? They’ve never been shown.

How can you ask call center staff to handle irate customers when they don’t know how? They’ve never been shown.

How can you ask the waitstaff to do a great job, if they’ve never been shown?

This is why there are customer service problems today. They’ve never been shown.

There is a direct correlation between the top level, high customer service scoring companies and training.

There is the same direct correlation between those that fail us and provide no training.

Do you get the picture yet?

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Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers.

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