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Copyright: <a href=''>julief514 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

You are busy, but you shouldn’t sound busy.

If you slow down and don’t interrupt your caller, they will feel heard, cared for and like you better.

Wow, that’s quite a promise, you say?

But it’s true.  When you fully listen to your caller and act as if they are the most important person in your world (right now), they can feel it.

Choose to speak at a slower pace to indicate you have time for them.  Need help?  Say this tongue twister, “Around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran.”  That’s the pace, and nice job with the enunciation!

Choose not to interrupt.  Snap a rubber band on your wrist as a reminder to let them finish their sentence… completely.  Resist the urge to help them along. Just listen.

You know that feeling you get when you help someone?  When they say ‘thank you’ and you know you earned it?  Ya, that feels good and these techniques will help you experience that more often.



If you've ever wanted to get yourself Ward Certified™, now is the time.  Click here to learn more.

Triple Nod

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Do you deal with customers and clients in person?

If so, get to know the triple nod.

  • No nodding = bored or disinterested
  • Too much nodding = impatient or overly agreeable
  • The Goldilocks of nodding - just right - is three, slow and deliberate nods.  That signals your customer to keep going by showing that you are listening.

BTW:  Works on internal customers too.

Now serving number 53...

Nobody wants to feel like a number, but are you giving that impression without knowing it?

What's the first thing you say to your caller after they share their name or their concern?

  • Account number, please?
  • Address?
  • Are you a current customer? 

Often, we get so caught up in all the details we need to gather, that the call ends up sounding impersonal.

Today, aim to respond first with their name and/or an offer to assist.

CSR: Good Morning, Awesome Co, this is Ann

Customer:  Hi Ann, this is Tanya and I've got a problem with my bill.

CSR:  I'm glad you called Tanya, what seems to be the problem? 

Then listen closely for that sigh of relief that happens as they realize they are dealing with a caring professional. 

News from Abroad

Greetings from the land of great service!  The people in Thailand and Hong Kong have been super attentive, friendly, helpful and patient.  They exemplify the expression, “at your service”!

  • If you ask for directions, they walk you to your destination.
  • When they indicate a path, they don’t point, they gesture with an open palm.
  • You will always be acknowledged with a smile and a slight bow.

You are probably thinking, “but Ann I deliver service over the phone how does this apply to me?” or “Ann, what did you bring me back from your trip?”

Great service is making the customer feel like you’ve got their best interests at heart.  It’s about patience.   How can you do this over the phone? 

Slow down. 

Don’t interrupt. 

…even though your phones are busy.

Tip: After the customer explains their request, count 1-2 then respond. 

Those seconds will stop you from talking over the caller and gives the feeling of patience and caring.  

Go ahead and smile and nod your head too!   They can’t see it, but they can hear it!

A tip and a lesson

From his book, ‘Bargain Fever’ author Mark Ellwood shares the four magic words that promise to score you a discount. 

What are they?

Are there discounts today?”

Turns out that most retail stores will respond with some sort of % off your purchase if you simply ask. 

That’s definitely worth a try!


That was the tip – here’s the lesson.


We are programed to bargain.  Our brains get a buzz when we get a deal and this helps explain why so many of your calls include a question about price.

People want a deal.

Rather than being caught off guard by the question or offended by it think about what can you offer to feed their brain and help them feel like they won?

-       Free shipping

-       Extended return policy

-       Putting them on a VIP list

-       Offering a text or call when your team or their order is on the way

-       A follow up call to check in

-       Tips on using your product better

-       Articles or information

This could make a great brainstorm (…er sorry, I just found out the new politically correct expression is thought-shower), discussion at your next team meeting. 

The power of the pause

Which of the following are good reasons to pause before you respond?

1. To give you a chance to gather your thoughts

2. To give you time to you choose a better mindset

3. To stop you from interrupting

4. To ensure you understand the underlying concern

5. ‘Cause you get paid by the hour, might as well take your time

If you answered yes to all (except #5) you are correct!   

Taking time to pause can help save time in the long run as you will understand the customers’ needs better and diffuse angry callers.  There is real power in that pause!

Next time a customer (or colleague) is complaining or venting, take a deep breath and choose to respond rather than react.   

Say what?

You are flying a plane from New York (LGA) to Los Angeles (LAX).  In New York 125 people board the plane.  In Chicago (ORD) 45 people get off the plane and 38 new passengers get on.  Plane stops again in Pheonix (PHX) 47 people get off and 36 get on.  Plane lands in LAX.  

How old is the pilot?

Wait for it....

What did you think I was going to ask?  

Customer Service is about listening to the customer, answering their questions and solving their problems.  If you don't really know what they want, you might answer the wrong question.  

Our next webinar will focus on listening skills.  If you can join us, click here.


If you still don't know how old the pilot is, email me and I'll help you.