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Latest "customer service" Posts

Business Blunder Phrase to Avoid: “I Can’t Do That”

Financial-MistakesI came across a great article in the June 2013 issue of T + D Magazine titled, “Ten Career Tanking Phrases to Avoid Using in the Workplace,” which is not available online to non-subscribers.

It reiterated many of the business blunders I’ve shared in this blog, starting with this oldie but NEVER goodie: “I can’t do that.”

Whether you are a customer service/sales rep responding to a customer’s request or complaint, or you hold any other type of job, this uncooperative-sounding phrase is a non-starter guaranteed to immediately aggravate the person you’re speaking to.

Basically, this is the same as saying, “no” but with the word “can’t” thrown in for good measure — making it sound like the situation is completely out of your hands. It comes across as a sneaky way of passing the buck.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in accountability, branding, Business Phone Calls, Business presentations, business professionalism, business writing, Coaching, Coaching direct reports, communicating, communication, communication skills, conference speaking, customer service, impromptu presentations, influence, influencing, influencing others, influencing without authority, job interview, leader, Leadership, Leadership presentation, leading, Leading Others, Presentation Skills, Presentation skills coaching, Presentation skills training, professional development, Public Speaking, self-marketing, speaking up at meetings, voice and diction, vulnerability in leadership.

Customer Service 101: Professionalism in Business Situations Matters

Girl_Making_Espresso-620The other day, I met with a business acquaintance at a local coffee shop with lovely outdoor seating. My colleague arrived early, and was already sitting outside with her latte when I got there.

After placing my order, I stood waiting while the barista argued with her manager about her upcoming schedule, which nights she was expected to close, why that didn’t work for her, and what she thought would work better. Another barista jumped in on the conversation, and they all stood there — including the manager — hashing it out while the line grew longer, my colleague waited outside alone, and my coffee remained unmade.

Unprofessional behavior on the part of the staff — or no big deal? What’s your opinion?

Is it even realistic to expect any standard of professionalism in a local coffee shop that hires college kids and probably pays minimum wage?

Posted by Marjorie Brody in business etiquette, business faux pas, customer service, Etiquette, Generation Y, Leadership, workplace manners, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.

Building Business Relationships with Key Influencers is Key to Success

Relationships are one of the keys to advancement and success within any industry. Building strong relationships with co-workers, employers, and industry leaders can provide the support and the opportunities you need to reach your career goals.

Are there industry leaders — people you really admire — that you’d love to connect and develop relationships with? If so, how do you develop these relationships? How do you make that first contact? Why would these uber-successful leaders want to have any kind of relationship with you? What do they need you for? How do you develop those coveted relationships with powerful decision makers and industry shapers?

Before you do anything else, do your homework.

Research the careers, interests, accomplishments, books, pet causes, etc., of those you wish to develop a relationship with.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in advocates, customer service, development, networking, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.

Cell Phone Etiquette for Salespeople: Remember, Professionalism Always Is Paramount

salesetiquetteWhat separates an outstanding salesperson from one who isn’t so good?

I’d have to say attention to detail, good customer service, a good bedside manner, and excellent business etiquette are some of the keys to success.

It really doesn’t matter what you’re selling — cars, real estate, insurance, etc. — following the rules of professionalism in every customer encounter is paramount.

Customers like to feel that you care, and provide personalized attention — when they are with a sales representative, they have his or her undivided attention. And they want to feel that way even if they don’t give you their undivided attention! Unfair, but that’s life.

So, what does that mean, business etiquette-wise, about whether it’s acceptable to take calls on your cell phone while with a client?

Posted by Marjorie Brody in business etiquette, business faux pas, Business Phone Calls, business professionalism, cell phone etiquette, customer service, Etiquette, Generation Y, Generational differences, workplace etiquette, workplace manners, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.

Business Phone Calls: Be Mindful of Your Vocal Velocity, Volume and Pitch (part 2 of 2)

womanonphoneIn my previous blog post I talked about the importance of one’s voice during business calls.

After all, there is precious little else for the other person to go on during a phone call, especially if he or she doesn’t know you very well or at all. And although we’d all agree that the cell phone is a brilliant, life-altering invention, many don’t yet offer the call quality of a land line.

So, if you’re making or taking business calls on a cell, which is becoming more and more common, your vocal mannerisms are something you really need to pay attention to.

Don’t kid yourself that you can break an old, ingrained habit you may have when speaking during important, make-or-break business conversations or presentations. It would truly be a shame, however, if a particular vocal bad habit is the one thing that was the deal breaker.

Posted by Marjorie Brody in Business Phone Calls, cell phone etiquette, customer service, development, Listening, pitch of your voice, voice and diction, Workplace, Career, Business, Communication, Professionalism.