Customer Service Blog

Customer Service Speaker Needed! Fast!

Snow falling in front of a building

As a customer service speaker, here’s a big tip:  Your service matters!  And it’s not just your customers who notice.  Here’s what I mean.

The Northeast got clobbered with snow.  In late March, one week away from spring…BAM! everything turned white.

Over 4,000 flights were cancelled before a snowflake even fell.  Panic set in as radios across the United States blared stories about people stranded in airports, with warnings to check flights before heading to the airport, and a story about an eyebrow-raising tale that crushed a major airline’s public relations.

Broadcasters reported that one major airline cancelled dozens of flights and the airline was not planning to give travelers refunds because the cancellations were “weather related”.  Broadcasters also pointed out that other airlines had also cancelled flights, but the other airlines were reimbursing their stranded passengers.

Listeners could just imagine the scene at airports:  Flights not flying.  Lines growing.  Customers uncertain.  Tempers flaring.  Imagine being a passenger and discovering that not only is your trip cancelled, you aren’t getting reimbursed for it!

Why would an airline DO that?

The reason companies hire customer service speakers is to learn to make choices that make current and future customers happy.  That airline that refused to help its grounded, frustrated customers would have done well to follow that thinking.  Customers talk.  Word spreads.  (People not traveling from coast-to-coast across the country who didn’t even know anyone effected heard the story on the morning news as they got dressed!)

I don’t know if the airline gave in to pressure from competitors and refunded ticket prices or if they steadfastly refused to give customers their money back.  Either way, as the storms hit and listeners tuned in, and that airline paid a big price.

A lost battle on the airwaves as well as in all those northeast airports could have been avoided had that airline hired and heeded the words of an effective customer service speaker.  Don’t let anything similar happen to you!  As a speaker, I’ll make sure your decision makers and employees hear how to give service that keep your customers loyal.  That’s what you want in a customer service speaker.  What’s more, that’s the service your customers expect and deserve to get.

By the way, to book Vicki Hitzges (that’s me), visit this website’s Contact page or call 214.536.1888.  A customer service speaker motivates your employees to keep your customers happy.  Book BEFORE your next storm hits!

Teamwork In the Workplace (Good Luck With That)

Teamwork in the Workplace Requires a Team Ready to Work 

Teamwork in the workplace is as desired by managers as Christmas to a youngster.  It’s a fine goal.  We accomplish far more working together than by ourselves.  In Africa, they say, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”  By yourself,  your own talents won’t take you where you want to go.

Teamwork in the workplace sounds easy.  After all, people gather together for a common goal – to create products, sell products  or to give customers service after a sale so they’ll continue to buy more.

Managers and employees meet.  Brainstorm ideas.  Then, together, make those ideas happen.  But, as we all know, the process isn’t seamless.  Teamwork in the workplace doesn’t just…happen.  It takes thought, a pervasive positive morale, a common desire to succeed, and a reward when the team excels.  If that’s all done, it’s often accompanied by fun and laughter.

I have some material that I think is popular because it helps managers and employees focus on how to get the right attitude to thrive.  The presentation, Here I Am—There You Are, is fairly short (about 30 minutes) although, it can be combined with an activity that emphasizes on-the-spot how to be a positive team player.

Here I Am—There You Are is a good, short luncheon talk or awards presentation and can be customized to celebrate the both the winners as well as those who tried to win.

To help your group practice teamwork in the workplace, here are some tips your mangers will find helpful.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #1

Get the right people in the right jobs.  Let people volunteer for positions to find where they feel comfortable contributing.  If that does not work well, team members may need to be trained or assigned new roles so your people do work they can and will do well.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #2

Some companies have had great success assigning their people to work on multiple teams at the same time.  They give prizes to the teams with the best performance at the end of a set time period.  Then, they change the teams.  That way, employees get used to working with and helping a variety of coworkers and their mindset becomes “Let’s work together” rather than just “Let’s try to win.”  You want the entire company’s teamwork and morale to be high.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #3

Set aside “down time.”  Let your group members get to know each other in casual, non-work related settings like company-sponsored pizza lunches, potlucks and dessert socials.  The more employees get to know each other, the easier they’ll naturally form friendships.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #4

Give awards to high achievers.  Also give awards to those who make high achiever’s jobs possible.  For example, if you have an ace sales professional, reward the service team and the sales pro’s assistant who works with customers while the sales pro is out selling.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #5

Team members shouldn’t go behind each other’s backs or over their manager’s head.  When there’s a conflict, work out a time the problem can be safely discussed between the two who disagree or between the worker and the manager in a way that the complaint gets heard and handled.  Agree on this process in advance.  The complainer may or may not like the end result, but he or she should feel their complaint was considered fairly.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #6

Encourage each team member to learn new skills that will help the team as a whole.  The better the parts, the better the whole.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #7

Don’t ignore “problem” employees.  If one team member isn’t pulling their weight or is sabotaging the team or project, address the issue fairly and firmly.  One bad actor can pull down an entire team.

Teamwork in the Workplace Tip #8

Make your workplace fun.  Some companies have executives or teams specifically assigned to plan activities to keep the company’s spirit lighthearted.  They may plan a “hat” day, an ice cream day  or even a formal dress UP day.  The fun should include everyone and everyone should join in the fun.

Teamwork takes work and it’s worth the work it takes.  As Helen Keller noted, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

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A Customer Service Speaker Gives You 11 Proven Ways To Increase Profits

As a customer service speaker, I study how to motivate… empower… boost morale… and keep employees working for your bottom line. Let me ask:

Have you struggled with unhappy or irate customers?

Most companies promise to deliver excellent customer service. Everywhere you see ads, you see photos of welcoming employees. You’ve undoubtedly read the slogan “service with a smile” along with the promise of friendly customer service.

But get this — only a few companies actually deliver excellent customer service. And even if you think your company is one of the “good” ones, chances are it’s probably not.

Want proof?

The management consulting firm, Bain and Company, says 80% of CEOs believe their companies provide excellent service, but only 8% of customers actually agree. Eight!

Think about that. Only 8% of customers are happy with the service they received. 92 percent leave angry or annoyed. That’s a HUGE difference!

And what about the 20% of CEOs who know their companies are not providing excellent service? If they even suspect their business’s service is second-rate, they’re right. It is!

Want to be certain your company really does give great service? Want to be sure your customers enjoy doing business with you? Here’s an idea….

Make Certain Your Customers Love You – Book Customer Service Speaker Vicki Hitzges

If you want a high energy, interactive, FUN customer service presentation give me a call. I’ll make sure your people enjoy the session and leave with specific takeaways that improve your service and thus increase your bottom line.

I’m not just faking that part about good customer service. I deliver. Your clients will appreciate your company’s fresh attitude and actions. You’ll enjoy the increase in morale and monetary results.

11 TOP TIPS FROM A CUSTOMER SERVICE SPEAKER

Below you’ll find 11 techniques your people can take now to please your clients. They’ll help you deliver the service you want to give and your customers want to receive.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #1 SMILE!

People respond to happy people. Even if you feel miserable, smile! To quote Zig Ziglar, “Better an insincere smile than a sincere jerk.”

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #2 SHAKE CLIENTS’ HANDS FIRMLY

It’s amazing how many people STILL give a limp handshake. ICK! No one likes that! Not even other limp hand shakers! Grasp an outstretched hand fully and firmly.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #3 STOP AND LISTEN

Always let the person you’re dealing with FEEL that they are vitally important. Ignore your phone, your work and your computer. Look in client’s eyes and listen as they speak.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #4 USE THE PERSON’S NAME

As Dale Carnegie observed, there is no sweeter sound in all the world than a person’s own name. Be sure and use it!

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #5 LET IRATE CUSTOMERS VENT

When a customer is angry, give your name, offer to help, and listen. For example, “I understand you’re upset. My name is _____. I want to help you. Please tell me what happened.” THEN….just be silent. After two minutes, IF you’re completely quiet, they’ll take a breath, feel MUCH calmer and you can deal with them.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #6 ASK, “WHY NOT DO THAT?!”

If a customer wants you to paint, lay carpet or do construction at night, why not do that? They’ll pay for it. If they want you to use their forms instead of yours, why not? You’ll make more money, get a happy, loyal customer and probably earn a long-term relationship that lasts for years and years and years.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #7 MAKE IT EASY TO BUY FROM YOU

Many companies sell on line. Customers can only see photos of the products. If a shopper calls wanting to know if a rug, for example, is red, orange or peach, the store’s rep should know OR be able to find out quickly and call back with the answer.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #8 ERR ON THE SIDE OF RESPECT

Call an older person “Mister” or “Ms” and their last name UNLESS that person says, “Just call me Joe.” I’ve seen 20-something employees refer to distinguished physicians as “Pete” when everyone else says, “Hello, Doctor Jones.” Doctor Jones earned his title. Be sure to use it.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #9 BE A PLACE THAT’S FRIENDLY & FUN

Years ago, when frozen yogurt was a big craze, my parents lived near five yogurt shops, but one store got almost all the traffic. That’s because the man who owned the shop lit up whenever any customer entered his shop. He had a way of making customers feel welcome, wanted and special. He was friendly, fun and…successful.

Excellent Customer Service Tip #10 DON’T MAKE CUSTOMERS WAIT

If you have two stores and one makes you wait while the other doesn’t, chances are you’ll go to the faster store.  A friend said, “My bank takes forever to answer calls.  The phone just rings and rings.  Then, I get transferred and it rings again.  I got so irritated, I switched banks today.”  Don’t lose your customers!  Help your clients right away.

Customer Service Speaker Top Tip #11 DON’T SAY “NO”— BE CREATIVE

People don’t like the word “no.” So, instead of saying, “No, we don’t have any” say, “We’ll get more in next week.” Instead of saying, “No, we don’t sell those” say “Let me show you something similar I think you’ll like.” Make being positive a game. Say “No” to saying no.

As a customer service speaker, I’ve found employees enjoy giving good service once they learn and commit to delivering it. External customers react positively and morale among internal customers skyrockets. Feel free to contact me to discuss challenges specific to your industry.

In the meantime, the 11 tips above will help your business zoom ahead. WATCH! Your group will deliver outstanding customer service.

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