Word Of the Week #538: Feed Egos

November 27, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #538: Feed Egos 

Feed Egos: how you make your customers, guests, members, or clients feel important, valued and respected.

When was the last time a salesperson made you feel important? If I asked your staff or co-workers would they say you make them feel valued and respected? How often do you encounter a sales/customer service person who is rude, indifferent or incompetent?

This is #7 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service. In my book, The FUN-damental Secrets of Service, I wrote this about feeding egos, “People like to feel that they are important in the world; that they have value and that other people respect them. And I am going to share with you four ways to do just that.

  1. People like to feel good about spending their money. And my FUN-damental Service Secret #5 is “Make your customers feel a egogood about spending their money.” Spending money is a treat. It is a sign to yourself that you are a successful person, that you have achieved a certain level of status, that you have a certain amount of control over your life. Don’t make it a hassle for them to buy from you.
  2. People don’t want to have their intelligence insulted. That means when you talk to them you use words and terms they understand. A resourceful sales/customer service person asks us leading questions, lets us do a lot of the talking, and points out the advantages of a product in simple terms.
  3. People want to be skillfully guided in their purchases. Buying is fun, but it’s also stressful, especially when we are making important decisions. We’re concerned about buying an inferior brand, or about paying too much, or about getting poor follow-up service. We don’t want to appear ignorant or make a mistake. We look to professionals to supply is with the information and choices, and then help us make decisions.
  4. People don’t like to lose arguments. A customer is neither an enemy nor an interruption. They are the reason for your employment. YOU WILL NEVER WIN IF YOU ARGUE WITH A CUSTOMER. You may score a momentary victory, but then you risk losing them as a customer forever and bad word-of-mouth.

One of my favorite quotes is “WHEN YOU LEARN TO FEED PEOPLE’S EGOS, THEY WILL SEEK YOU OUT AND FORCE MONEY INTO YOUR HANDS.” And boy was that true when I was a server!

This week focus on feeding egos. Do you listen to your customers, guests, members, or clients and help guide them with their purchases? Do you take the hassle out their buying experience by not being rude, indifferent, or incompetent? When was the last time a sales/customer service person treated you with respect and valued your business? How did that make you feel?

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Word Of the Week #537: Melpya Syndrome

November 19, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #537: Melpya Syndrome 

Melpya Syndrome: what happens when you speak in a robotic way, very quickly, and create run on sentences.

Have you ever called a business or been addressed by a salesperson who talks so fast that you can’t understand what they are saying? How many times have you been waited on by a person who was “just going through the motions?” Have you ever been guilty of sounding like a “canned speech?”

This is #6 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service and I call it Change Your Tapes. It is very easy to fall into the “rut” of speaking on “auto pilot” where you repeat a lot of the same things day in and day out and have the tendency to do it “robotically.”

The first time it happened to me was in the south when a salesperson asked, “Melpya?” I had no idea what she said and not wanting to be rude I said, “I don’t care to be melped right now, but maybe later.” Well, I must say I heard Melpya more than once and it dawned on me that what they were saying was, “May I help you?” All four words were run together!a melpya

When you are in customer service and deal with people, a lot of the time you repeat the same information over and over. If that’s the case, you need to keep your message fresh! Change the way you say it from time to time so you don’t sound like you are on “auto pilot.”

My experience is that when you are on “auto pilot” you are not paying attention. Try this. The next time you go shopping and the sales clerk says, “Melpya?” Or “Can I help you?” Answer with, “No thank you, I’m just shoplifting today”. 8 out of 10 times their response is, “Well if you need any help, I’ll be right over here”. They are clearly not paying attention!

I have experienced servers who recite the salad dressings as if it is one long word, i.e., frenchthousandislanditalianbluecheese. I don’t feel any connection with them! Whether you are in person or answering the phone and people ask you to repeat what you said, then you are probably speaking to fast.

And this from a long time subscriber, “I recently stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, Washington, D.C. for a week and found their staff in the same robotic mode. Their service line is “My Pleasure!” I love this service mentality, however when you hear them saying it so many times, it begins to sound like you are hearing them say “Mplsure”, which is what you were talking about. It takes the enjoyment out of being pampered. The service staff were all robotic in their thank you and my pleasure comments. After a while, it loses its meaning and then the Ritz Carlton becomes just like all other hotels. I would rather hear sincerity in service, where you permit your employees to infuse their personalities with your Club or Hotel Service Culture, without taking away the professionalism. I do not believe service is something that you “cookie-cut” because when you do, you take away from genuine service, creating a service staff of robots. When I dine, or travel, I like to listen to the service staff, in particular when they go to the next table, after visiting my table. When I hear them saying the same thing, over and over, I just want to stand up and say, “Excuse me, can you just be yourself and get out of the robot mode, you are really beginning to bug me!” I would like to say that just once to see how it feels, ha, lol. Of course if I did this, I would be concerned with what they would do to my food before they served me from the kitchen.” — Don

This week focus on speaking more clearly and slowing down your pace. How obvious is it to you when a salesperson is being repetitive and robotic? How could you change your message so it sounds fresh and lively? Do you allow your staff to infuse their personalities at work?

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Word Of the Week #536: Names

November 12, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #536: Names 

Names – how you acknowledge, give recognition, and personalize contacts.

When was the last time you were addressed by your name when you were a customer? How did it make you feel? How many of your customers, guests, or members do you know by name?

This is #5 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service and one that I think is very important if your goal is to create a loyal following. Have you ever said, “I am terrible when it comes to remembering people’s names?” If you think that, then you probably are! Make a conscious choice this week to care enough to remember someone’s name.

One of the things I do is play a game and associate the person’s name with a rhyme, or an image, or a famous person. Example: If I meet someone named Marilyn, I would name associate Marilyn Monroe. And for Amy, I think of the song by Pure Prairie League.

Another very helpful tip I learned is to repeat the person’s name when you are introduced. Example: So nice to meet you Carol and welcome to … When I travel I also try to help others remember my name by saying, “I am Susan from San Diego” and they will usually tell me where they’re from and that helps me remember them as well.a names

I found this article “Do You Know Your Customers’ Names?” by Brian Cantor who writes, “Isolated experiences matter. One bad date can put the kibosh on a relationship. One bad interview can ruin one’s chances of getting a job. For major companies, a customer’s one bad experience with one employee at one single location can destroy his opinion of the entire organization.

That reality puts immense pressure on those tasked with driving the customer experience. Customers, inherently inclined to overvalue their individual experiences, will not necessarily be comforted by the knowledge that the company’s service is usually great. They will not necessarily care that most employees are not like that one who was rude and dismissive.

Customers are loyal to those organizations who they believe are acting in their best interest. Quality service and innovative ideas can be indicative of a commitment to improving the customer experience, but recognizing a customer by name confirms the importance the organization places on that customer.

And while one bad employee encounter can ruin a customer’s experience; one good one who cares, takes the time to acknowledge the customer by name, and create a personal relationship can turn it around.

This week focus on remembering names. Are you truly committed to creating loyal customers, guests, members or clients? How difficult would it be for you to repeat the person’s name when you are introduced? Have you ever played the name association game? Does everyone in your organization care about giving customers the best possible experience?

I LOVE feedback! Join my Facebook community on my FUN-damentals Fan Page.

Word Of the Week #535: Smile

November 5, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #535: Smile 

Smile – a change of facial expression involving a brightening of the eyes and an upward curving of the corners of the mouth.

When was the last time someone smiled at you? Does it happen daily? Weekly? How did it make you feel? How often do you smile?

This is #4 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service. Did you know that there are 80 muscles in the face capable of making 7000 expressions? And it only takes one to show enjoyment, while most of the other emotions require the actions of three to five muscles.


In Loving Memory of Dixie Who Had a Great Smile!

A smile is the easiest expression to recognize and can be seen further away (300 feet) and with a briefer exposure than other emotional expression. Did you also know that it’s almost impossible not to reciprocate a smile? People do so even if the smile they reciprocate is one shown in a photograph!

And like I wrote last week, for those of you who spend any time on the phone, put a smile on your face and the tone of your voice will instantly change.

And this quote comes from long time friend and consultant Bill Marvin, the Restaurant Doctor, “If you want a crew that smiles (and you definitely want a crew that smiles), you have to hire smiling people. The rest you can train … but I have never found a way to teach people how to smile. And treat your team the way you want them to treat your guests. The better they feel about themselves, the more they will smile. The more they smile, the better your guests will feel. The better your guests feel, the more they will patronize you … and the more that happens, the better YOU will feel!”

This week focus on smiling. Do you feel that instant connection and sense of recognition when you are the recipient of the smile? How does a smile make your customers, members, clients, and guests feel? Notice a different response from them? What kind of an example are you setting?

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Word Of the Week #534: Tone of Voice

October 30, 2014 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #534: Tone of Voice 

Tone of Voice – style or manner of approach in speaking.

Did you know that when you speak over the phone with a smile it completely changes your tone of voice? Are you conscious of how loud or how softly you speak? Does your tone of voice change when you get excited or want to make a point?

This is #3 of my 7 Simple Steps of Service. Did you know that 38% of your message is relayed by your voice? That includes your tone, rate of speech, accent, inflection, pacing, projection, and so on.

The words you choose to speak are important, but they are just part of your message. And like I wrote last week, only 7%! Your customers, members, guests, clients (and even loved ones) will always go for the visual signals and tone of voice over the actual words spoken. Remember, you are the message!a voice

Did you also know that your tone of voice and pitch will raise and your voice will tighten if you are not telling the truth when asked a question?

For those of you who spend a lot of time on the phone, your tone of voice becomes your eye contact! Stop and think about how fast you are speaking and how sincere your tone of voice is coming across.

And this response hit home for me too! “Boy is this WOW aimed right at me! My daughter and granddaughter are always jumping on my case about my tone of voice. We get in more “discussions” because of how they perceive my tone of voice. When talking with clients or prospective clients, though, I make it a point to smile when I’m talking, and make sure that I am projecting a pleasant tone.” — Terry

This week focus on your tone of voice. Do you tend to talk fast or slow? How would you rate your inflection? Are you projecting a pleasant tone of voice? Have you ever tried smiling when speaking over the phone?

I LOVE feedback! Join my Facebook community on my FUN-damentals Fan Page.

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