What are you doing to help your reps improve their written communication skills? — In today’s service world, written communication skills can be just as — or more — important than oral communication skills. Here are resources you can use to help your reps boost those skills.
- Handout: An article from the Customer Service Group archives that looks at business-writing blunders that reps should avoid.
- Advice for managers from Marsha Collier, author of The Ultimate Online Customer Service Guide, on how to manage reps’ online communications with customers.
Make sure your reps are practicing positive vocal skills — A customer service rep’s voice can provide a clear message to customers about how willing they are to help. Here are some resources managers can use to make sure that message is a positive one:
- Handout: Additional advice from Renée Evenson on “choosing the right words for every occasion.”
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives on how to screen new hires for vocal skills.
Make sure reps don’t make things worse when delivering bad news to customers — The wrong words, the wrong attitude, too much information, and too little information can all contribute to making a difficult situation worse. These resources can help.
Will your staff be ready and equipped to deal with 2017’s emerging trends?— 2017 will be full of changes. Here are additional suggestions from this month’s contributors on how to make sure that your staff is prepared.
Managers can help to combat stress in the workplace — Job and workplace stress is a major obstacle to productivity. But you can help keep it under control with these resources.
- An exercise from Genella Macintyre’s book, Five Steps to Reducing Stress. Share it with your staff.
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives. Share it with your staff.
Are your reps providing positively outrageous service? — For more ideas on providing positively outrageous service and building a personal brand, check out the following resources:
- An article describing T. Scott Gross’s personal experience in providing outrageous service.
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives in which Gross advises reps on how to build their personal brands.
How successful are your reps at managing their time? — Here are some additional resources for time management:
- An excerpt from Jackie Gaines’s book, Wait a Hot Minute!.
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives on how reps can manage time by improving their listening skills.
Reinforce reps’ efforts to use positive language with customers — The following resources will help your reps keep things positive with customers.
- A blog post by JoAnna Brandi on “The Problem with ‘No Problem.’”
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives with further advice from JoAnna Brandi on “thinking — and acting — positively.”
Help your reps deal effectively with workplace change — The following resources will help your staff through periods of change:
- A Barbara Burke blog post on dealing with toxic talk.
- An article featuring Barbara Burke’s advice on how to deal with workplace change. Share it with your staff.
Ongoing training and reinforcement keep listening skills sharp — Use the following resources to help reps hone their listening skills.
- A table of phrases that reps can use when paraphrasing.
- An article from the Customer Service Group archives that provides an active listening self-test.