The Customer Service Guide to Listening: Part 2

Listenphoto © 2008 runran | more info (via: Wylio)NOTE:
This post is the second in a series on how to listen effectively. It is aimed primarily at customer service call center agents, and we therefore talk about call centers, customers, and companies. However, the principles presented will apply well to almost anyone in any situation, whether business or personal.

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In Part One of The Customer Service Guide to Listening, we looked at the first two rules of effective listening:

  1. Make it obvious that you’re actively listening.
  2. Don’t try to help, or at least don’t try to help too soon.

We’re now getting to the point where the careful listening of those first two rules starts to pay off. You have not only allowed the caller to vent off some of the steam and frustrations that led to the call, but you have also had a chance to gather a lot of valuable information. Now it’s time to start fine-tuning that information, to make sure you understand the issues at hand.

Here is where things start to get a bit ironic, because while the next couple of steps are essential parts of listening, they actually require you to start doing more talking, as you’ll see in… [Read more...]

The Customer Service Guide to Listening: Part 1

Listenphoto © 2009 Ian T. McFarland | more info (via: Wylio)NOTE:
This post is the first in a series on how to listen. It is aimed primarily at customer service call center agents, and we therefore talk about call centers, customers, and companies. However, the principles presented will apply well to almost anyone in any situation, whether business or personal.

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You’d think listening would be easy. Maybe not much fun, but definitely easy. Just sit there and don’t say anything, right?

Nowhere near.

In fact, whether you’re listening to a best friend complain about his or her date, or a teen about what time to be home, or a customer about your company’s return policy, listening well may go against everything you ever thought you knew about communicating.

The basic truth to remember is that people will almost always not just want their problem fixed, but also want to feel heard. Not just be heard, but feel heard. There’s a huge difference. We all need to know someone cares, and that we are important. So… [Read more...]

Ten Quick Keys to Successful Outsourcing

Keys.photo © 2006 Linus Bohman | more info (via: Wylio)It’s complicated.

Whether you’re outsourcing for the first time or have been doing it for years, sometimes the details of what needs to be done and how to do it can just be overwhelming.

Outsourcing of course can cover everything from HR functions, accounting, or call center outsourcing to a long list of other business processes. Interestingly though, no matter what the industry or activity, and whether you’re looking at nearshore outsourcing or offshore, most of the principles to be applied are quite consistent.

So to help you make sure you’ve properly thought of and covered the basic points that can sometimes be easily overlooked or forgotten in the struggle to capture all the fine print, here are Ten Quick Keys to Successful Outsourcing. [Read more...]

23 little ways to love your work more: Part 2

….15.   Chat with the people you work with most to find three things you really like about each of them.
….16.   Find a way you and a coworker can work together to make a project or common task more enjoyable.
….17.   Find one way once or twice a week to help a coworker with something.
….18.   Each day, ask at least one coworker how you can help him or her.
….19.   Plant a garden or tree, or add flowers or plants inside the office areas.
….20.   As a group, adopt a foster child or help entrepreneurs or women across the globe through Kiva or FITE.
….21.   Organize group walks at lunch times or even on the weekends.
….22.   Hold a company talent night. Discover who in your office is a great singer, guitarist, juggler, or storyteller!
….23.   Smile even more.

So there you have it: 23 little ways to love your work more. Have you already tried any of these in your office? Try one or two and reply below to let us know how they work.

And smile. Even more again!

23 little ways to love your work more

Love Coffeephoto © 2006 Ahmed Rabea | more info (via: Wylio)Work can be a drag, and when things there just don’t feel right, some people say they won’t put anything more into a job until they get more out of it. Unfortunately, that’s about as ineffective as saying we won’t put another log on the fire until we get more heat out of it.

We need to look at it from a completely opposite perspective. The more we put into our careers — or anything else in life for that matter — the more we’ll get out of it and the more we’ll enjoy it. The challenge sometimes is finding how to do that in ways that will be engaging and enjoyable, and not take up a lot of time. Just putting in more hours is not likely to make you or your family love your work more.

So most of these suggestions will focus on baby steps: little things you can do in just a few minutes here and there to make your workday more enjoyable. Here are 23 ways to love your work! [Read more...]

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