JJ's (May '08) Tips in this issue:

1. Customer Service & Why Men & Women Have Difficulty Communicating
2. Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring

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Use the following tips as training tools.

Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.

SITUATION QUESTION:

The owner of a small technology company called to ask about customer service training for his customer service group of women. He asked, " How do you get women with all those different personalities to understand how you want them to talk to customers?

SOLUTIONS:

The owner of the company was really asking two questions. The second one was, how do men successfully manage and communicate with women?

He described one of the women as too friendly because she called customers "honey" and "darling" over the phone. She had been asked to refrain from using those endearments with customers, but she continued anyway. Other reps told customers they had done something wrong and were at fault for
their problem.

He was concerned that they didn't know how to talk to customers. He said he had heard them take customer complaints personally, and use a huffy, accusing attitude with them. Their generally-bad attitude and tone did not convey the friendly, caring company he thought he had established.

His company is in a people and service business as most companies are. A company's reputation is only as good as the last interaction with the person representing the company. Usually the call center and sales reps create that reputation by the way they communicate with the customers. Their attitudes and the way they make customers feel will actually make a difference in the bottom line of the company. Every interaction is either pre-selling for on-going and future business, or turning the customer away to the
competition.

Small companies and startups usually don't invest in customer service and management training until they discover their customers are not happy with their service, and employees are not functioning at the level that is needed to continue their growth and profits.

Customer service training would help everyone in the company talk the same service language, treat the customers with more respect, and have fun in the process. When the reps are having fun, the customers have fun getting their situation resolved.

When employees have NOT been given formal and acceptable guidelines on how to give extraordinary customer care in their environment, they naturally rely on their own personalities and whatever professional training and experiences they have or have not had. Their personal moods and ways of
dealing with people will usually create a lot of inconsistency and poor customer service. Usually customer service reps then stay personal (calling customers honey and darling), instead of being personable and friendly with customers.

This small company owner had appointed another woman to oversee his all-women customer service group. She was from another department and had not been given training on how to effectively manage and supervise them. When confronted with a problem, she told them to "work it out yourselves,"
without any guidance or help to learn from the experience.

IMMEDIATE SOLUTION:

Customer service training for everyone in the company, and management coaching for those who manage others was suggested.

Communicating with the opposite gender would be included in the customized training in their case. It is important for the owner to know that men communicate differently than women, and many wonder if they will ever learn to better understand and communicate with each other.

There are reasons why men and women don't always communicate well together. More and more experts say these situations are not the result of harassment, discrimination or even socialization. They simply reflect the fact that men and women communicate differently.

It's a complex topic as described by John Gray, Ph.D., in all of his Mars and Venus books, and Joe Tanenbaum's Male & Female Realities--Understanding the Opposite Sex. Two other authors on the subject are Barbara Annis who wrote, Same Words, Different Language--Why Men and Women Misunderstand Each Other at Work and What to Do about It, and Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., who
wrote Talking from 9 to 5--How Women's and Men's Conversational Styles Affect Who Gets Heard, Who Gets Credit, and What Gets Done at Work.

All the authors tell us to accept the differences and just blame it on the brain. Oversimplified, our brains differ in structure, chemistry, size and activity. The result is that women see the world in a multisensory way and men view it in a linear way. It's in the wiring!

In general, both genders are often misunderstood by the other. The more we learn about our brains and differences in communicating, the more we find both are equally valid and valuable in the workplace. When we understand, communicate and collaborate comfortably with our co-workers, regardless
of their gender, we are able to do the same with customers of different gender and culture.

If you would like more tips on how to recognize and deal with the differences, send me an email and I will write about it in my June newsletter. JJ@JJLauderbaugh.com

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JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
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"Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful."
-- Norman Vincent Peale

"Your attitude determines your altitude!"
-- Denis Waitley

"A great attitude does much more than turn on the light in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before we changed."
-- Earl Nightingale


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Tele-COACHING & Tele-MENTORING
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DO YOU WANT TO IMPROVE in an area? Service? Sales?

* Motivation and growth of your people?
* Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
* Leading and Coaching your staff?

TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.

Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 445-1590

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EVALUATION OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT:
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Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)

http://www.jjlauderbaugh.com/about.html

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ABOUT JJ:
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JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC
408 445-1590 or 800 500-9656, 1716 Husted Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CMC) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound calling.

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at

http://www.JJLauderbaugh.com

Copyright and Reprints:

Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears:

JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC, JJ Lauderbaugh & Associates, 2008. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, email jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.
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You can make a difference! Send your questions and comments as they are always welcome.

Thanks,

JJ