Just Eat the Chocolate

Me finally making a business out of teaching people about customer service is like when you want chocolate, but you want to eat healthy, so you eat a bunch of stuff that you aren’t really satisfied with, then you end of eating the chocolate. I have come up with a bunch of  business ideas over the years. I’ve made plan after plan after plan. I have even participated in a few MLM’s. Heck, I majored in Business and specialized in Entrepreneurship with the plan to open a night club with live music. I have pretty much driven my family crazy with making grand statements about my next business venture. I’m sure at this point if I said too much before having a lot of action, they would just roll their eyes and think “not again”. 

When I look back, it wasn’t the idea of running the nightclub, making desserts, or selling card making supplies that got me excited. It was all of the ways I could make someone happy with those businesses. Trust me I wasn’t thinking about accounting processes or inventory tracking systems. I was thinking about the smiles on the little kids faces as I was making caramel apples in the window and then handing  out free samples. Ultimately, it’s about serving the customer part that lights the fire.

So it all goes back to my first job at a movie theater. I knew I was good and serving customers. I also saw other staff that could use some tips. I had drafted a customer service handbook to help, but ended up getting a professional job and not doing anything with it. So here I am. After all these years, I’m finally eating the chocolate and sharing it with you.

What’s your chocolate? Share it in the comments section.

Overpromise, under deliver, right? No? Whoops!

One of the key points in customer service is to do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. I didn’t and I’m sorry. I let other things get in the way of my goal of sharing ways to make you a rock star at customer service. I could tell you all the reasons why, but just like a customer, you probably aren’t too concerned with why, you just want what was promised. Well, I have my act together now, so look forward to blog posts, #serviceshoutouts on Twitter, and although I’m sure the first videos will be rough, how to videos on YouTube.

 

It Starts with a Smile – Customer Service Basics – Step 1

All good customer service starts with a smile. A smile relaxes people. It also lets customers know you are there to help. It will make your job a lot easier too.

A smile puts you and your customer in a better frame of mind. Have you ever come to work not feeling well, frustrated with your job, tired, or worse, hungover? If you project those feelings to your customers, you just made your rough day 100 times harder.

Imagine the last time you went to buy lunch and the person behind the counter just didn’t seem to care. What happened? Did you instantly start thinking, “this isn’t going to go well, they obviously don’t want to be here.” Most likely because of the way they appeared, you might have been critical of their service before they even started. Did they get your order right? Did they do it as fast as you would have liked?  Do you want your customer starting off critical of you? Nope!

Now think of the time you were greeted with a warm genuine smile. I’m sure you felt much more comfortable. So make your life easier, as a person is walking up to you or before you pick up the phone, relax and smile. Yes, a smile can be felt across the phone, it comes across to the customer in the tone of your voice. Not really into it that day, well I am going to use the old cliché “fake ‘till you make it.”  Try it and let me know in the comments how much easier things go.

It’s Finally Time for Debbie Talks A Lot!

Yes, it’s about time! 30 years ago I had the idea to write a customer service book. Life happened and it didn’t get written. Over the years, I would just add notes to a folder I have. Now we live in the age of the internet, blogs, YouTube, and social media. I can get my ideas out in little bits just like the ideas in my folder. So here I am, and debbietalksalot.com was born.

I have always enjoyed being in customer service (you don’t hear that  often). I like  helping people and to be honest, I  judge people on their customer service skills and have been known to offer positive suggestions to those starting out. I also watch how people act as a customer. I have always said “you can tell if someone has been in frontline customer service by the way they  act as a customer.” I have been complimented on my customer service skills at every job I’ve had, so I feel I come with a strong background to share, and boy do I have a lot of stories to tell!

Ok, so why the name? Honesty is a good policy so here goes. My name is Debbie and I talk a lot. I always have. I was usually chosen to introduce school plays or do readings even when I was 6. My teachers usually wrote  “Debbie is a very bright girl, but very talkative” on my report cards.  My fifth grade teacher Mr. Fyfe, threw a chalkboard eraser at the back of my head because I was turned around talking to my neighbor. I was a cheerleader and class president all through high school so lots of talking there. I parlayed my comfort in speaking with people into enjoying customer service. So debbietalksalot.com makes complete sense.

So why should you read and subscribe? If you are just starting out at your first job, or now you have to talk to people in your job, or you are looking for something that will make you laugh and help you improve your skills, you are in the right place. I will talk about all things customer service related, it’s more than answering a phone, or taking an order at a counter, trust me. Besides, 30 years is a long time, aren’t you curious what I put in my folder?