Offering Reassurance

Rock, Paper... People

Copyright: 123RF

Copyright: 123RF

Take a quick look at your desk.  What do you see?

Lots of paperwork? I thought so.  

Chances are, your job involves a lot of both paperwork and phone work, and sometimes the ringing phone feels like an interruption. That feeling can lead to a greeting that sounds rushed or unhelpful, sending your call off to a rocky start.

This week, aim to catch yourself thinking: "Arghhh – the phone is ringing!" and say instead: "Yay, the phone is ringing!" or "I’m gonna rock this!"  Then your greeting will sound professional and friendly, ready to handle anything.

Smile, Breathe, Rock On. You got this!

Stuff Happens

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

If you’re in the business of providing customer service (and who isn’t?) then you know that things will go wrong.  Yes, please work on reducing the number of times things go wrong, but this note is about how to handle the conversation – in an email.

What your customer needs when they share their concern is to feel heard, valued and to know what’s up next.  

I had an interaction that did just that a while ago and thought I’d share.
Notice the difference between a robotic, “We’re sorry for the inconvenience” and this reply:

"Thanks for reaching out, and huge bummer to hear the sizing wasn't perfect for you. We can definitely exchange that Medium out for a Small.

I'm attaching a return label for you to print, pop on the box, and hand off to your local postal worker. Once we receive your lid* back in our warehouse, I'll ship you out a Small.

Have a great afternoon." 

*lid – it was a bike helmet.  These days I only dream of returning a medium for a small. :-)

How do you apologize and make it right in your emails to customers?

If you’d like help with ideas on how to personalize, humanize and empathize your emails drop me a note.

Sound available.

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

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 11.38.19 AM.png


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.

Question for you...

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 11.30.14 AM.png

How much Dunkin’ Donuts coffee does Ann drink a year?
     -  Do you know?
     -  Would you like try to figure it out or guess?

Your answer should be: “I don’t know” but most people are uncomfortable saying those words.   
We like to be smart, have answers, and be an expert.  This is helpful when we are solving problems, but not when we are listening.  When you are listening, it’s better to be curious and open.

At the beginning of your next call,  aim to be curious not right.

Try this simple chant as you greet your caller: “I wonder who it is? I wonder what they need?”

Give it a whirl and let me know how it works for you.  I’m curious and probably drinking a dunkin'.

Superman to the rescue

Pop Quiz:

Q: Why is your customer calling?

A: Because they need your help.

With that in mind, here are some words to use before you even understand the problem completely.

  • I’m glad you called
  • I can help
  • I will look into this
  • You called the right person
  • Let me help
  • We can resolve this

These reassuring expressions are what I like to call, Superman Phrases


Why? ...because they promise to help without a disclaimer. 

Imagine Superman saying ‘I’ll try to help – but that’s an awfully tall building!”  Or “did you read the policy?” 

 You definitely wouldn’t hear, “I’ll try”




Your customers want your expertise.  Take control of the call, offer them reassurance and let them know they are in good hands.