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Customer Service 'No No's'
Nancy Friedman -- Telephone Doctor Nancy Friedman -- Telephone Doctor
St. Louis, MO
Friday, July 16, 2010

Customer Service ‘No No’s’
By Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

(St Louis, July 2010) Seems as though everyone tells you what to do in the customer service arena, but few tell you what NOT to do. So below are a few of the Telephone Doctor’s Customer Service No No’s. You’ll want to post these up in your office so all employees get to see them. Whether you’re greeting customers on the phone or in person, Nancy Friedman, author, speaker and president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training says these No No’s are only a few of what customers don’t like.

1. Your employees are having a bad day and their foul mood carries over in conversations with customers. (Everyone has bad days, but customer service employees need to keep theirs to themselves.)

2. Your employees hang up on angry customers. (Ironclad rule: We never hang up on a customer.)

3. Your company doesn’t return phone calls or voice mail messages despite listing your phone number on your website and/or in ads and directories. (Call customers back as soon as you can or have calls returned on your behalf.)

4. Your employees put callers on hold without asking them first, as a courtesy. (Ask customers politely if you can put them on hold; very few will complain or say “No way!”)

5. Your employees put callers on a speakerphone without asking them first if it is OK. (Again: Ask first, as a courtesy.)

6. Your employees eat, drink or chew gum while talking with customers on the phone or in person. (Remember – the telephone mouthpiece is like a microphone; noises can easily be picked up. Employees need to eat their meals away from the phone. And save that stick of gum for break time.)

7. You have call waiting on your business lines and your employees frequently interrupt existing calls to take new calls. (One interruption in a call might be excusable; beyond that, you are crossing the “rude” threshold. Do your best to be prepared with enough staff for peak calling times.)

8. Your employees refuse or forget to use the words “please,” “thank you” or “you’re welcome.” (Please use these words generously, thank you.)

9. Your employees hold side conversations with friends or each other while talking to customers or they make personal calls on cell phones while helping customers. A big time NO NO.

10. Your employees seem incapable of offering more than one word answers. (One word answers come across as rude and uncaring.)

11. Your employees do provide more than one word answers, but a lot of the words are grounded in company or industry jargon that many customers don’t understand. (i.e., don’t casually drop in abbreviations such as APIs, ISVs, SMTP or TCP/IP.)

12. Your employees request that customers call them back when the employees aren’t so busy. (Customers should never be told to call back. Request the customer’s number instead.)

13. Your employees rush through calls forcing customers off the phone or out the door at the earliest opportunity.

14. Your employees obnoxiously bellow, “What’s this in reference to?” effectively humbling customers and belittling their requests. (Screening techniques can be used with a little more warmth and finesse. If a caller has mistakenly come your way, do your best to point them in the right direction.)

15. Your employees freely admit to customers that they hate their jobs. (This simply makes the entire company look bad. And don’t think such a moment of candor or lapse in judgment won’t get back to the boss.)
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Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis, MO; author of 6 best selling books, including How To Get Your Customers Swearing BY You, Not AT You; and a featured speaker at conferences around the country. For more information call 314.291.1012 or log onto http://www.telephonedoctor.com/keynotes.php.
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Nancy Friedman
Title: Founder / Chairman
Group: Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training
Dateline: St. Louis, MO United States
Direct Phone: 314-291-1012
Cell Phone: 314-276-1012
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