Service Starters

Service Starters brings you brief summaries of important tools, tips, and techniques from Customer Communicator newsletter.

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Try Using Reverse Paraphrasing

May 20, 2021
"Reverse paraphrasing" is a technique reps can use to make sure they’ve been understood. Instead of paraphrasing what the customer has said, ask the customer to paraphrase something you have said. Nance Guilmartin, author of The Power of Pause, recommends using this technique when you are passing along important information or instructions, or if you…Continue reading


Create a Not-to-Do List

May 7, 2021
Sometimes, the best way to meet customer expectations is by NOT doing certain things. Here are some ideas for creating a personal not-to-do list. A list like this is a useful tool and refresher for starting each day. DO NOT get distracted when talking to customers. DO NOT interrupt before the customer has completed their…Continue reading


Create Your Own Success File

April 22, 2021
When your job involves serving customers, you listen to problems and deal with negative situations every day. And, it’s human nature to remember the bad things — lost orders, delayed shipments, incomplete paperwork, and angry customers. To overcome the inevitable slump you may experience from time to time, create a folder (physical or electronic) labeled…Continue reading


How to Deal with A Bully

April 8, 2021
Unfortunately, there are the customers who try to dominate a service call from the start. They want to control the situation and intimidate the rep into giving them what they want. They can be rude and manipulative — and they assume that the only way to produce results is by threatening. What can you do?…Continue reading


Try the Can-Can Instead of Saying “No”

March 26, 2021
No one wants to hear the word "No." And with service consultant Richard Gallagher’s can-can approach you can say "no" without ever uttering that dreaded word. Here’s how it works: The can-can is a two part response in which you acknowledge what you can acknowledge and offer what you can offer. For instance, if you were working in a retail setting…Continue reading


Listen for Unspoken Needs

March 11, 2021
Have you ever done everything a customer asked - yet they don’t seem satisfied? Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. The cause, say service consultants Karen Leland and Keith Bailey, is that customers don’t tell you everything they need. "Customers do ask for what they want, but they have basic needs that they don’t ask for.…Continue reading


4 Seconds to Service Success

February 25, 2021
It was once widely accepted that a customer’s opinion of a service provider was formed in the first four minutes of their interaction. "Not true," says Lillian Glass, Ph.D., author of Attracting Terrific People. "Forget the first four minutes — now it’s the first four seconds." How can you use those first few seconds to make…Continue reading


Keep the QTIP Principle in Mind

January 29, 2021
Have you ever been provoked into letting your emotions loose on a customer? Getting defensive may be an automatic, human reaction to a caller who pushes your buttons, but it’s not a professional one. "As soon as you start taking it personally, you’ll mishandle the situation," says customer service trainer Joan Fox. "You can say…Continue reading