JJ's (May/June 2010) Tips in this issue:

1. Customer Care 2010
2. JJ’s Favorite Quotes
3. Tele-Coaching, Mentoring, Training

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.

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SITUATION QUESTION:
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During these uncertain times, is your company or department letting its fear of the unknown turn customers away? How does your existing customer service compare with the service you have given to customers in the past? Are your complaints up and sales down?

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SOLUTIONS:
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Here are some tips for business on keeping your cool with customers in 2010. Company fears can turn customers away and reduce sales. Good customer care is more important NOW than ever!

How many times in this last year have you noticed that people have been hard to deal with in business? Whether we're the customer or the business, we're finding people are stressed, tense and sometimes irate with us.

Where's the hospitality? Where's the caring attitude? Where's the sincerity?

Where did it all go? It started with one thing, then another, then another. A tremendous fear of the unknown put its grip on us and when we operate with fear, we never function at our best. We do and say things that push people the opposite direction than we intended.

HOW FEAR SHOWS UP

Twice in one week, two people told me about their car maintenance problems that had never happened to them in past years. One was a small specialty car repair shop and the other a repair facility of a major dealership.

Julie had been taking her car to the small shop for years. This time, the owner seemed annoyed, bothered and almost rude in dealing with her. He did mention that he was short handed as he had laid off some of his help because the downturn. She said, "I understand that he's having a hard time now but, when he recommended replacing all my engine belts and getting a tune up now, I began to doubt his integrity. The belts looked fine and the car was running smoothly. I felt he was trying to sell me some things I didn't
need. His fear and uncertainty has caused his behavior to change.

He's on the verge of losing me and I'm a long-time customer too. Suddenly, I don't trust him anymore."

Ironically, the same week Mike visited his large dealership repair shop and was confronted with a similar situation, only more people were involved. He said, "After my SUV was in the shop for three days, I called to see if it was ready. To my surprise they told me I needed other repairs that would cost an additional $650. The reps didn't seem to know what I had originally taken the SUV in for and were telling me about other things that were wrong with it. It was as if one hand didn't know what the other hand was doing there. Finally after many phone calls, a week later the original problem was satisfactorily fixed without additional charges.”

Both Julie and Mike were upset but said they would give the businesses another chance to win back their trust. They also had become more aware of other places they might take their cars.

Sometimes businesses get a second chance to right the wrong and sometimes they don't. Get in the customer's shoes, be sincere and caring, and do it right the first time.

Last Tuesday morning I was a patient having my yearly mammogram x-rays taken at a nearby hospital. The technician turned an unpleasant and dreaded experience into a very pleasant one. I've been having these x-rays done for years and this was a first!

Laura was bright and cheerful even though she had been asked to put me into her already busy schedule. When a couple of things went wrong, she quickly corrected them without negativity and proceeded to make me comfortable and relaxed. I knew she cared and was determined to make me feel like a queen by her taking full responsibility for my experience. Remember, nobody cares how much you know about anything, until they know how much you care about them.

Before I left the x-ray room, I said, "Laura, you have the best bedside manner of any of the x-ray technicians!" She gave me a big smile and said "thank you" as she headed out to help the next patient.

Laura probably had just as many fears and problems as the people in the other businesses but she wasn't letting them change her attitude or behavior with her patients.

When we see good service, we should say something to the giver of it as people need and deserve our praise. Remember, behavior that is rewarded will be repeated.

Laura has probably found ways to keep her stress and fears in control with better balance. Her family's support, weekend diversion activities, changes of scenery and lots of laughter help her create more balance through these uncertain times. When we're out with nature, hanging with family and friends, solutions to unsolved problems appear out of nowhere to light our way.

We can help each other accomplish balance and control with the little things we do. An advanced sales consultant friend, Jim Pancero, sent me an email the other day that contained several hilariously funny signs businesses have displayed. Every one of them contained a humorous mixed message. I sat at my
computer and laughed and laughed when I read them. It felt so good, so therapeutic that I forwarded them to my two daughters and some friends.

The next morning my daughter, Stacy, called, and she was laughing so hard at the signs that she wanted to share her laughter with me. She said it was just what she needed in her busy, stressful week of more new
uncertainties that had come her way.

Stacy and I agreed that we have been taking ourselves too seriously, and it was time to stop and count our blessings. We knew doing this would give us more balance and a fresh start on dealing with life's ups and downs. Then we resolved to set a good example in the way we help our irate customers, and to keep ourselves from becoming one too.

Smile and the whole world seems to smile with us, frown and the whole world seems to frown with us. Test it for a day. What we dwell on and show to the outside world is what we get in return. Extraordinarily, caring service to each other and our customers is needed more now than ever before in our lifetime. It's our competitive edge for business now and in the good times to come for all of us.

Make a difference in someone's life TODAY because they were with YOU! It will make a big difference to your company and to your quality of life too.


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JJ's FAVORITE QUOTES:
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“Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do.”
- Norman Vincent Peale

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”
- E. M. Forster

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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! 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, 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

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Copyright and Reprints:
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Reprint permission is granted when the following credit appears:

JJ Lauderbaugh, CMC, JJ Lauderbaugh & Associates, 2010. 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