A Quiz for you


Here's a quiz for you.  Can you identify what this waitress in a diner is ordering?

A) "Burn one, take it through the garden, pin a rose on it!"
B) "Shingle with shimmy and shake, squeeze one."
C) "Keep off the grass!"

There is a shorthand type of ordering and addressing people that seems very appropriate and fun in that setting, but is confusing to the rest of us. This week, make sure you don't confuse your customers with your industry-specific terms.  Keep it simple!

Oh yeah, and here's what her customers ordered:
A) "Hamburger with Lettuce, Tomato, and Onion!"
B) "Buttered toast with jam and OJ."
C) "Hold the lettuce!"

Still not convinced that you use lingo? Watch this video.


"I don't know"


My dunkin' donut habit/math problem from last weeks' E-Couragement inspired some conversation, so let's continue.

The moral of the DD story was to be curious vs. being right.  When we think we are right, we don't listen very well, in fact, instead of listening, we're waiting to speak. 

When we're curious we focus fully on the caller's request.

But what do you do when you don't know?   Find out.
What do you say?  "I'd be happy to look into that and get back to you by 4 pm today."

Why does that work?
- you're expressing your desire to help
- you're letting them know that you will take action
- you are managing expectations by setting a specific timeframe

And in case you are wondering, it's 3 cups of strong, black coffee a day.  Thank goodness new research shows this to be a good habit!

Words Matter Too

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_ra2studio'>ra2studio / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Your body language impacts your tone of voice and that has a huge impact on your conversations.  But your words also have an impact on how your customers feel.

Turns out the words customers like the most are:

  • Delighted
  • Absolutely
  • Pleasure
  • Happy
  • Understand
  • Yes

Here’s a way to add some fun to your day and to make their day.

Make a list of these words and see how often you can use them with your customers.  Sort of a happy-word-bingo game!

Tip:   The goal isn’t to use them in one sentence, but if you can, please send me that sentence I’d love to see it!

It’s a 411 not a 911

That’s right, your email is important but not urgent.

If it’s urgent, pick up the phone!

So, now that you've slowed down a beat, check your email to make sure it delivers the exact message you intend, for the exact results you need. 

1. Clarify your objective

2. Consider the reader:

a. What other information might they need?

b. What communication style are they? 

Re-read your email, check for typos, and test for tone.  There, now you can press send.

Is email your primary source of communication with customers, clients and co-workers?  We've got a webinar to help.  Email us to be notified when we host our next public webinar or ask us about hosting a private session for your office.   Learn more about The Write Stuff.


Words Matter

We all know that your tone of voice speaks louder than your words, but words matter too.

Consider this study from Harvard Business Review

One CSR said, “You can’t transfer funds until you go through these steps to authorize the account.”

The other CSR phrased it differently, “let me walk you through these steps to authorize the account.”

Which do you think customers preferred? 

Yes, CSR #2. In fact, customers rated that call's quality 82% higher.

Why?  The words sound more helpful.

Consider your calls today.  Where can you choose more helpful language?

“You need to” can become “let me help you.”

“I can’t” can become “here’s what I can do.”

Share an expression you plan on re-writing today.