Using Your ‘Phone Voice’

WIth so much of the world turning to the internet and social networks for pretty much everything to do with customer service, its important to realize that how you act on the phone towards your customers still matters. I call this your ‘phone voice’. Its the personality you take on when on the phone with customers.   Too many employees are curt, uninterested or just rude when it comes to talking with customers on the phone. They think that the loss of their time while on the phone is not worth what the customer sees, or they just have no concept of what a customer thinks of when they call in. This is terrible branding, and I’m sure we’ve all experienced it.   On a positive note, I called in to a local take-out restaurant a few days ago to order dinner. The man...

Greatness when no one is watching.

A few days ago was recycling day on our street. We put the recycling out at night for a 7am pickup. Needless to say most people are not up and out before the pickup. Every few recycling days over the past couple years (at least every few that i’ve noticed), a man comes down the street with a shopping cart picking out the glass bottles (wine and beer) from the recycling. I’ve never really paid attention to him, figuring he needs the money he’ll get from turning them in and he’s really dedicated. But the last recycling morning was after a major storm. So that morning as I was getting ready for work, I heard him coming down the street, and just looked out the window in curiosity. (Side note: shopping carts coming down a street is really not a stealth move. They are...

Panhandlers and Compassion

Last week I was waiting behind a large white van at a stoplight at a busy intersection in London. On the median between lanes stood a man with a sign that read “Out of work, hungry, please help”. The man in the van called to get his attention and handed him what I saw to be a $20 bill. You’d at first expect the man with the sign to give a quick “thank you” then move back to the center of the median. But the reaction recieved wasn’t just one of thanks. The man carefully took the bill in awe, brought it to his lips and kissed it, kept looking at the giver’s face with tearing eyes and was beyond words. The gratitude in his face was unmistakeable. The man in the van kept talking to him, well into the green light. What he...

Roundtable vs Board Room

In the past it was common in larger companies to have what was called ‘Board Room’ talks, where discussions were lead by one person at the ‘head’ of the table, which was normally the CEO or manager, who’s decision was what the company went with. Companies now are finding that a ‘Roundtable’ format is more conducive to new ideas, better futures and a general feeling of togetherness in the office. There is no one person who is right all the time. Anyone could have the best answer to a question. Anyone could be the one to really see the future direction best for the company. There is now less pyramid structure when it comes to discussions, and more of a circle feeling. A good CEO knows that instead of commanding, he or she must instead create a circle of smart people around them and through that...

Sears’ Confusion Sales Tactics

Today we went to a local sears store to pick up some bed sheets that we saw in their weekend flyer. Now I think I’m fairly bright and I think I’m pretty observant, but I’ve never been so fed up with in-store advertising as today. The online flyer said Twin Sheets 14.99, Double and Queen also on sale. We get to the store and many different shelves of sheets are on sale for only this weekend. The one shelf of sheets listed in the flyer are all of course missing ‘original’ price tags, so comparing the sale price to the original is impossible. The big sign says 14.99. Underneath in small letters says the ‘Double and Queen also on sale’, so you at first assume without reading the fine print that the whole shelf is $14.99. We then learn at the register that queen...