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Tips for Great Customer Service

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Customer ServicesHave you heard people say that if not for customers, work will be a lot smoother? They ask questions for which the answers are so obvious. Or they can find the answers if they will just read the instructions that are provided with the product. They just have to call and ask all kinds of questions and sometimes you are not even the person who is supposed to handle such questions. Are you looking for good reasons that will help you feel better about this?First thing is if there are no customers, then there is no business. If there is no business then you do not have a job. It does not even matter if yours is not a customer-facing job. Customers are needed. The question now is how you can look at the situation differently so that providing good service to the customers is something that you can be happy doing.

Basic reason, of course, is that you get paid to do the job and providing good customerCustomer Services service is part and parcel of the job. It does help to remind yourself that the organization promptly pays you and it is only fair to deliver your responsibility.

Next reason is that good customer service is the best pre-sales effort for the next purchase by the customer. People go all the way out to run promotions and write great copy to entice customers to buy their products. Nothing though can beat good customer service. There are customers who will repeatedly buy from the same company because they are happy with the service provided.

Good customer service is not about falling over yourself providing everything the customer asks for, but it is providing the customer what they rightfully should get for having bought a product from your company.

There is also a completely personal angle that you can look at where service is concerned. Most people nowadays are conscious of their social responsibilities and like to donate or make contributions to worthy causes. Why not make good customer service as such a contribution? In this case, you also get paid for it. In the words of N. Eldon Tanner, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth”. The moment you can start thinking that service is something that you want to do, and then every customer request will be much easier to respond to.

Customer ServicesIs it going to be easy? Not all the time. There will be difficult situations but there will also be customers who will be very appreciative of the service that you provide. For those difficult situations, say to yourself that this is why you are paid a salary and just do it. The moment you stop fighting it, handling the situation gets less difficult.

Now, how do you handle difficult situations so that they do not upset you? The best way to handle this is to calmly listen to the customer. Many a time service representatives have a solution even before the problem has been described. Stop to listen first. Then ask clarification questions if necessary before providing the resolution.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. It will do well to remember these words. If you can listen with a sincere desire to help and be happy to help the customer, you will feel good providing service. Some people even enjoy it. In addition, your whole attitude and listening with care will come through and even the customer’s demeanor will change.

Good customer service is not about having a good customer service week once a year. It is about providing good service every day. As you start work daily, if you can accept that your purpose for being there is to respond to customer needs with concern and a desire to help, it will be a lot easier to get through work. You can even start enjoying it.

Remember at a minimum you are getting paid to respond to customer requests. You are also helping to drive more sales from customers because of the excellent service you help provide. Besides this, from a purely personal perspective, you get an opportunity to be of service even without getting out of your normal routine.

Start having a different outlook to providing good customer service. It will make a great difference to how you support your customers and importantly to how good you feel deep inside you.

Customer Services

Want to get rid of obsessive eating?

Monday, June 9th, 2008

Tremendous effort is needed to stop the unmanageable desire for food. Therefore, improve your fighting skills to overcome compulsive actions.

This fight is for freedom; refuse to fail. You can feel ardent emotions and choose not to give in. Order yourself, “I refuse to quit. I will not budge. I refuse to fail.” During the emotional turmoil caused by enticement, ask yourself, “What do I really want?” Eating to unwind is not what you want. What you really desire is to be at ease. You do not want to eat because you are annoyed. What you want is to resolve the issue. You do not want to eat simply because you are afraid. What you really want is the courage to face it. Eating because of boredom is not what you want what you really need is, a challenge that will stir some excitement within you.

Do not struggle with obsessive thoughts, but convert them into empowering thoughts and rewarding activities. Use mini-breaks to change your mood and put a halt to obsessive thinking. Do something you enjoy for a few minutes until the emotions ebb. Sing a song, get some fresh air, go for a stroll, or take up yoga. You will not only be battling addictive thoughts, but upgrading your life. Do not yield; each time you do, the comfort will create a desire to repeat it. Remind yourself that junk food is fake pleasure. If you do not nurture a craving, it will die. If you become anxious, slowly take a deep breath, hold it for a second, and slowly release, and relax.

Imagine the feeling of distaste until you are sickened: screeching wheels in a sudden stop, or a hair in your soup, Picture an image that suits you. Use negative association. Junk food is solid forms of cholesterol and fat. Build your own negative tags for the foods you are moving away from. Play this mental procedure to end; look at the whole picture. Don’t focus solely on the pleasure, but rather be conscious of all the adverse effects.

When you manage yourself, you feel that something was denied, and feel deprived. Battle that emotion with the truth that you have what it takes to be happy. Challenge the emotion of loss.

Always remember the bad qualities of the food you hate. Do not eat them. Steer away from triggers like fast food outlets and donut stores. Avoid hanging around unnecessarily in the kitchen or at the lunch table when temptation lurks. Your meals must be planned. Snack on fruits and vegetables.

The toughest days are the first few. If you are out of it and feel weak, it will be difficult to control your thoughts. Managing direction requires work, and feeling toxic makes an reckless self-destructive feeling. It will vanish once the blood clears of toxins. Do the best you can amidst these periods to remain steadfast.

Isolation - Father of all evil

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
by Ann

“Work place bullying and mobbing” is a little known phenomenon in some countries but is well known and attended to on many levels in several other countries, primarily The United Kingdom. Although most people in the United States are unfamiliar with the terms “work place bullying and mobbing” many of work places are fully entrenched in a culture that permits,and even encourages these behaviors. Workplace bullying is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment in the form of verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, humiliation, and work sabotage that undermines legitimate business and services. This not only affects the targeted worker, but also prevents the employer from conducting business as usual. Employers have no legal recourse to address the bully perpetrator employee either”.

Work place bullies use many tactics to emotionally abuse their targets. Isolation being a bully’sBullying Most Harmful Weapon of all. Targets are often chosen by their bullies because of their better than average work performance. Bullies often feel threatened by good performers, because it increases their own feelings of inadequacy and shame. While mentally healthy people applaud and enjoy working and learning from those who excel, bullies can’t stand to see someone other then themselves shine.

Those whose good performance wins the attention of a bully, suddenly finds their successes minimized. Their once valued opinion is no longer asked. Their responsibility for unimportant matters often increases, while their authority is taken from them, often replaced by a bully’s friend. Targets are no longer asked to participate in planning meetings, special projects, or even social events. Important information is no longer communicated to them, as they are intentionally “taken out of the loop”, causing embarrassment and/or some kind of failure due to their lack of what coworkers perceive to be common knowledge. The bully begins a campaign of nitpicking, criticism, and personal insults usually done behind closed doors and in subtle ways. The bully often targets one person at a time, making it hard for coworkers to believe the abuse is real as reported by the target. Often, only the target and the bully themselves, know the true nature of the bully.

The target begins to react emotionally to these abusive changes, which they don’t understand, because there is no real reason other than the bully’s whim, even amusement at the targets distress. Targets often become obsessed by the bully searching for the reason for the abuse, that doesn’t exist. The bully points out the targets emotional distress to coworkers, often feigning concern, along with rumors, gossip and half or twisted truths about the target, in order to manipulate others into questioning the target’s competency and mental health..

Most colleagues believe the bully, not understanding that the target is displaying symptoms of an emotional injury, perpetrated by the bully, rather than mental illness as often alleged by the bully. Coworkers then unwittingly participate in the bullying, which is called mobbing. The few coworkers, who may know the truth, usually won’t stick up for the target, to avoid becoming a target themselves.

Isolation is the most emotionally painful experience a mentally healthy person can endure. That is why isolation is a primary tactic used to punish or torture. It is the bully’s most harmful weapon. I remember a Nun teaching in grade school that no one knows what Hell is like. We can only be sure of one thing. If you go to Hell, you will be ALONE.

The pervasiveness of work place bullying and mobbing in the United States is made evident by our common knowledge of the term “going postal” the most devastating affect of work place bullying of all. Adult suicides being the second most devastating affect. It is an important public health message that all working Americans learn about work place bullying and mobbing to literally save lives. It’s my mission to educate others about this menace in our work places, the largest hidden expense in business today. Let’s recognize it, name it, and end work place bullying and mobbing together.

Bullying

Know people better by body language

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
by Ann

Body language is non-verbal communication, but is used along with verbal communication. Body language expresses our emotions, expresses our attitudes, demonstrates our personality traits and supports out verbal communications. Everyone uses body language whenever we communicate to each other.Many non-verbal behaviors, or body language, vary across cultures, such as the thumbs up to signify “way to go” or “good job”. However, the six primary emotions, happiness, surprise, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust are common amongst all cultures. These six are instinctual and are not body language we are taught, but come from within us naturally. When we talk about body language coming from within us we mean it comes from the subconscious level. And because it comes from the subconscious it tells a great deal about the person we. Let’s look to fear for an example.Fear is a natural human emotion and serves a purpose related to our safety and security. But let us imagine a person who has witnessed a serious auto mobile accident, but rather than running to the aid of the injured; they run franticly in the opposite direction. This frantic running away is body language that certainly concludes some kind of fear. Specifically what that fears might be we cannot know without talking to the person. But it is obvious that the fear has nothing to do with immediate safety. Through this example you should be able to see how we can read another’s personality through the lens of his body language.

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Here’s an experiment you can try at home to see just how much information people give about themselves through body language. While someone is talking to you observe the body language they use as they talk. After a few moments of observation, close your eyes while continually listening to the other person. You won’t be able to see their hand gestures, facial expressions, or other bodily movements. Notice how much information is not available to you because your eyes are closed. It is very difficult to read and understand someone without seeing the body language that accompanies their verbal communication.

One sure-fire way to learn how to read someone’s body language is to observe and get to know your own. Remember, we all have six common kinds of instinctual body language. Of course they vary in degree of expression, but we all have them. There are also non-verbal communications that are common among certain cultures, societies and families. Because of this fact two different people can have very similar behaviors that are expressed through similar kinds of body language. By knowing your own body language you can read similar ones in others, and therefore give you insight into another person’s personality and who they are.

Now that you recognize some of your own body language you can begin to read people with more accuracy. When in conversation with someone you can identify such things like mixed messages. Mixed messages are identified when a person says one thing, but their body language says something else. Good example is when someone lies to you. They tell you, “I didn’t do it!”, but the tone of voice, the looking away, and the slight nervousness lets you know that something is not quite right in what they are telling you. This conflict between verbal language and body language could signal deception. Mixed messages are most certainly related to insincerity and point to that person as having something to hide.

As you learn your own body language try to relate those behaviors to your subconscious thinking. Try to regulate or over analyze your subconscious thought though. The only goal here is to match those thoughts with the body language you use to express those thoughts. This not about judging yourself, but it’s about learning to read your body language so you can read the body language of others. You can use this information to improve your understanding of the many different interactions you will become involved with.

It’s the way that you say matters….

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
by Sue

This principle is true of almost every situation but if you manage people it is vital that you learn the underlying principles of this if you want to create a team of people who respect you as their manager. Modeling good behaviour is also an immense way of teaching your team to be mindful of their behaviour too.I hear you say “that’s obvious!” Yet so often huge difficulties are created because people say things in a way, or at a time, which makes others feel worthless or indignant. Really powerful messages lose their impact because the recipient focuses on the bad delivery rather than on the real issue.

You can say really difficult things and still maintain a positive relationship with your staff. When your team understands that you have their best interests at heart and everyone is keen to develop and grow constructive feedback is welcomed by all. The culture you create within your team, department or organization will make an important difference to the way people will respond to your feedback.

Think about the way people have said difficult things to you. What approach was helpful? What made you feel bad? As a Manager you have the opportunity to make a positive difference to each individual in your team and through them to everyone they deal with.

There are a few simple principles. If these are followed it can save an enormous amount of difficulty for you and for the person on the receiving end.

1) Create a good rapport with the individuals in your team. When you need to give hard messages you will find the time taken to create good rapport and trust really pays huge dividends.

2) Always treat people with respect. Whatever they have done, or failed to do, treating them as if they are idiots will get you nowhere in the long run.

3) Consider why you are so angry, irritated, let down. The intensity of our own

emotion is often more about us than it is about the particular incident we are dealing with. If you have a difficult message to deliver, remember to focus on the

learning you want to come out of it rather than how bad it has made you look.

4) Never fight fire with fire. If you are angry or upset it is much better to walk away and deal with it once you are in full control of yourself.

5) Public humiliation is never appropriate however tempting it may be. You make an enemy for life,Public humiliation you are seen as a bully and your reputation will be damaged far more than you realize.

6) Plan what you want to say and why. Things said on the hoof often leave you with even greater problems for later. The more significant the issue the greater the need to plan.

7) Select an appropriate place and time – balling someone out in the corridor is inappropriate.

8) Consider the tone of voice you use. Shouting, being dictatorial, nagging all have a negative impact on the listener. Negative voices often bring up past issues and carry a punch with is disproportionate to the current event.

9) Challenge the unwanted behaviour rather than the person themselves.

10) Never burn your bridges – it is a long walk round. Always look for a way forward. Involve the other person in creating a win- win solution wherever possible.

Office environment



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