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Why are great customer service employees so rare and valued?
A great customer service representative is "one in a million." It takes a remarkable combination of skills, knowledge and instinct to become a customer service superstar. Now you have the opportunity to discover that combination and put it to work to achieve your own goals. You can get what it takes to be one of your organization's most valued assets — and be on your way to a stellar professional career.
This noteworthy conference was designed to address the customer service issues, strategies and skills that can help you become "one in a million." In a practical workshop setting, you'll learn the secrets to solving the most difficult CS challenges, positioning yourself to attain success and satisfaction in one of today's toughest fields.
Staying One Step Ahead of Critical Customer Service Trends
How can you stay focused today without losing sight of what's looming ahead? Take a look at where the field is headed and what it means to you. This is a frank, eye-opening discussion about the steps you need to take right now to position yourself — and your organization — for success in a rapidly changing world.
Blue Track: Management and Leadership Development
Session 1: CS Career Ladder: Moving Up and Into Management
Whether you're a manager today or eyeing future opportunities, learn and refine the key qualities that get CS managers noticed, lauded and rewarded.
- Your personal career map: Devise a specific, yet flexible, plan to achieve your goals
- What it takes: Identify and develop the most significant traits of the best CS managers
- Personal assets: Determine which assets are most valuable to others, and how to get your best traits noticed and rewarded
- Strengths and weaknesses: Learn how to maximize your pluses and minimize your minuses
Session 2: Find the Gems … and Keep Them: How to Recruit and Retain a Top CS Team
What do CS managers cite as their most pressing challenge and concern? Top talent — how to get and keep it in today's tight labor market. It's harder than ever to attract promising talent, and even harder to retain your top performers. You'll learn creative and aggressive tactics to find and hire the best people and foster a work environment that keeps them from "jumping ship."
- Specific incentives to attract top performers and the unique "menu" your organization has to offer
- The cost of hiring: Understand and outline the obvious and hidden costs
- Symptoms of the unhappy employee and how you can intervene early and effectively
- The Retention Equation: a formula that pinpoints turnover problems and points the way to solutions
Session 3: Tech Techniques: Communicating with Today's Technology
Few organizations deliver customer service strictly face-to-face or by phone. Communication channels such as email, voicemail, faxes, live chat and websites have become more commonplace, heightening convenience but posing a tricky challenge — how to use technology to its full potential, yet still maintain a personal and responsive tie to customers.
- Dos and don'ts of email: check yours for these offensive e-blunders
- The two faces of voicemail: Ensure this notorious technology helps, rather than frustrates, your customers
- The new role of the telephone — how to use this CS standard in conjunction with new technologies
Session 4: Raising the Performance Bar: Setting Standards for Stellar Performance
Every staffer has a different idea of what constitutes a "good job." This session details ways to raise performance standards and motivate everyone to reach for superior levels of service. You'll learn how to identify key performance benchmarks and communicate your expectations to employees in a way that will make them strive to meet the highest standards!
- The key traits of top performers: how to develop these "success habits" in anyone, even "borderline" employees
- A six-step process to establish optimum performance standards
- How to measure performance, including hard-to-quantify, intangible factors
Red Track: Building Partnerships with Your Customers
Session 1: Communication Style & Savvy: Say the Right Thing, the Right Way
Do you really know what you're communicating? And what message, exactly, is your customer trying to get across? In face-to-face communication, words convey only 7% of the total message. The same holds true for the phone, where only 14% of the message is communicated by words! In this session, learn how to understand, control and use the full 100% of communication resources to your advantage.
- How to integrate voice, words and body language, and spot hidden weaknesses
- Non-verbal volleys: how to communicate opinions and emotions wordlessly and how you can consciously control it
- How individuals process information differently and how to adjust for different styles: slow or fast, high- or low-detail and more
- Rules of clarity: Most miscommunications occur because one or more of these rules are broken!
Session 2: Proactive Problem-Solving: Managing Today's Complaints to Prevent Future Ones
You should welcome complaints! Why? Because most of your ex-customers didn't bother to complain. They simply took their business elsewhere. Every complaint is an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied one, while using the feedback to prevent future dissatisfaction. You'll learn how to use problem-solving techniques to regain the trust of customers and make them feel they've been treated fairly.
- Phrases customers hate! What you should NEVER say when trying to resolve a complaint
- Questioning techniques that involve the customer and get to the bottom of a problem
- When to involve your manager in a complaint or dispute
- If you can't give them what they want: how you can still make them feel they've been treated fairly and professionally
- How to use feedback to ensure future customers aren't dogged by the same problems
Session 3: Taming Tempers: How to Win Over Angry, Demanding, Impossible Customers!
Every CSR can tell you dozens of "war stories" about out-of-control, rude or furious customers. Even the best reps and organizations regularly face highly charged situations; it's a fact of life. The good news? With proper training, you can handle practically any bad situation that comes your way — coolly, calmly and with dignity!
- Five simple steps to help you stay calm and keep your head when the customer blows up
- How to respond when a customer launches a personal attack
- Step by step, how to lead an angry person to calm and reason
- Recovery strategies: ways to get things back on track and end on a positive note
Session 4: Building Partnerships: Boost Cooperation with Customers, Coworkers — Anyone!
Learn the process by which customers come to trust you and value the relationship! You'll discover the simple, yet highly-effective, techniques that build "partnerships" — putting you and your customers on an even footing, with common goals and problems. The techniques you'll learn apply to any relationship, so you'll boost trust and cooperation with coworkers, family members and friends as well!
- Partnership "rules": essential guidelines for positive customer contacts
- Techniques for making a great first impression or changing negative perceptions in established customers
- The amazing difference between advisers and experts, and how it affects customer relationships
- How to build and expand long-term relationships with customers that keep them coming back
- Communication tips between "partners" and how it differs from traditional approaches