You know I say ‘the devil is in the details’. All the best marketing can be screwed by salespeople or service/support staff who do or say the wrong things.
I was sent a copy of the book, How to Talk to Customers to review. It was written by customer-service consultants Diane Berenbaum & Tom Larkin, distilling all their basic knowledge. It was written for the front-line staff, as if they were getting a seminar.
It really is a great book. Basic, straight-forward, with lots of fun stories of good and bad service. In summation, it really encourages the reader to engage the people they talk to. Jim Berkowitz also received a copy and had a similar reaction to the book.
I liked their ‘four levels of listening’:
- Transactional dialogue (think supermarket checkout)
- Rapport building (start asking questions)
- Focusing on empathy (listening without judging)
- Personal and patient understanding (more like a friend)
So, if you feel your front-line staff is blowing your best-laid plans, you may want to consider passing around a couple copies of this book.