Transform New Year’s resolutions into accomplishments
by Betty Hintch, editor, First-Rate Customer Service Forum
Resolve to turn annual goals into new skills and expertise. Follow these steps to set goals and accomplish them:
- Determine “how” and “when.” A common pitfall is identifying the desired goal—but not the steps to achieve it. For each resolution, list two or three actions you will take to be successful.
Example: I will improve my phone skills. To reach that goal, each week I will ask my supervisor or colleague to listen to one of my conversations and offer feedback on my weaknesses. Also, I will post a list of tips for effective phone conversations at my workstation and review it each morning.
- Create a plan. Write mini-goals for each month. That way, you’ll stay on track and limit the stress of trying to accomplish everything in the first part of the year.
January—Develop a checklist of effective phone skills.
February—Practice a skill on your list each day.
March—Start a log of successful calls, and record the strategies that worked for each interaction.
April—Seek a mentor to share your ideas with.
May—Identify and participate in a training session or virtual seminar on effective telephone skills.
June—Review your progress.
July—Revise your checklist based on your progress and experiences.
August—Consult with your mentor.
September—Review log entries and add successful strategies to your list.
October—Review customer reviews for clues that your phone skills are improving.
November—Write a summary of your progress.
December—Develop new goals.
- Limit the number of goals. You’ll become overwhelmed if you tackle too many resolutions, and you may not reach any of them. Start with two or three major goals for 2012. Once you meet them, you can add a fourth.
Define your resolutions and goals with our “Goal-setting Worksheet.” Download a free copy at CommunicationBriefings.com. Click on the Free Reports button in the navigation bar to gain access to this handy form.
Last month’s poll
Customer distractions are the biggest challenge for reps trying to communicate by telephone. More than two-thirds of respondents to last month’s survey said that customers interrupting them during phone calls created a barrier to communicating their message. One-third said customers were preoccupied with their surroundings and had trouble focusing on the discussion.
Making Every Call Count: Best Practices for Business Telephone Communication outlines best practices and provides a guide to correcting, upgrading and improving your organization’s most critical communication link with the world.
CHECK OUT THIS BEST-SELLING TRAINING KIT!
First-Rate Customer Service Training Kit is an essential resource for developing the front-line employees in your organization into confident and effective representatives of your brand.
Customer service reps will discover how to:
- View service situations from customers’ viewpoints.
- Act in the best interest of the organization to please customers.
- Avoid phrases that irk customers and damage your organization’s reputation.
- Handle the most difficult customers with confidence.
- Turn service situations into greater sales.
- And so much more!
This resource includes more than a dozen guidelines that show customer service reps step by step how to handle the most challenging situations they will encounter. They will learn how to assess each situation and quickly adapt their responses.
The result: reps who shine in every service interaction.
INCREASE YOUR BOTTOM LINE!
The audio conference Want Fries With That? What Customer Service Up-selling and Cross Selling Really Bring to Your Bottom Line will give you the tools you can use to train your entire staff, so they can make it easier for customers to buy while feeling supported—not sold.
GET MORE TOP TIPS!
Keep Top Tips for Delivering First-Rate Customer Service on the desk of every customer service representative! It helps you teach staff members how to rebound from angry customers and see every complaint as an opportunity. Plus, much more!
Click here to receive First-Rate Customer Service Forum once a month, delivered straight to your inbox!