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Monthly Mash and the Right Demeanor

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Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.

Volume 18: April 2013

Thoughts on the Customer: Does Your Team Project the Right Demeanor?

On a flight this past weekend, the pilot came over the speaker system and told the passengers, “Please return to your seat and fasten your seat belts.” We had just encountered minor turbulence, but the pilot’s voice was excitable, as if we were about to fly into The Perfect Storm. It could have been stress or frustration, but he sounded almost panicked. It was a bit disconcerting.

Monthly Mash | The Right DemeanorAll pilots generally sound the same. Put on your best Morgan Freeman voiceover voice and read, “Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we might have a patch of rougher air for a few minutes. If you could return to our seat and fasten your seat belts, we should be past it in just a few moments.”

The reason most pilots sound like Barry White on Xanax is because that is the appropriate voice for the situation. The one sentence pilot I had this past weekend was not projecting the right demeanor.

Customers judge our tone and energy as much as they do what we say. Help your teams learn to find the right voice for each situation.

And also, give your customers an extra bag of peanuts if they ask for them.

The Month in Customer Service Blogging

A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.

  • Good Employees Make Mistakes. Great Leaders Allow Them To – Reduce the frequency and severity of mistakes made by your customer service reps with these superb tips via Forbes.
  • 15 Tips for Successfully Handling Customer Complaints – Every customer facing professional should read this to get reacquainted with how to handle complaints.
  • 4 Best Practices for Better Government Customer Service Delivery – Four reasons why interacting with Government agencies is getting better!
  • Tips to Improve Customer Service at Restaurants – Simple customer service tips for restaurants and their servers that are easy (and free) to implement.

Someone Was Listening

Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.

This month, we were really excited to launch our new video series, Inside Customer Service. The series focuses on the insights and experiences of business professionals who have customer service experience. We hoped to get a mix of stories and experiences from their professional lives as well as their personal lives.

In each interview, we ask the same three questions:

  1. What is the most outrageous customer service situation you have ever been involved in?
  2. What phrase or idea would you ban from customer service if you could?
  3. If you could give one piece of customer service advice to companies today, what would it be?

If you didn’t already watch the videos, check out what Laura Click of Blue Kite Marketing and Sean McGinnis of 312 Digital had to say in our first episodes of Inside Customer Service!

About the Author Adam Toporek

By Adam Toporek. Adam Toporek is an internationally recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader. He is the author of Be Your Customer's Hero: Real-World Tips & Techniques for the Service Front Lines (2015), as well as the founder of the popular Customers That Stick® blog and co-host of the Crack the Customer Code podcast.

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