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John Tschohl

Learn How to Handle Irate Customers

By John Tschohl Irate customers. No matter how good you are at what you do, what business you are in, or where it is located, you will at some point find yourself facing an irate customer. Maybe a product was flawed, a delivery was late, or a charge was inaccurate. How you deal with that […]

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Peter DeHaan

The Trials and Triumphs of Telephone Support

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about customer service via the telephone, even more so than usual. There are some things that I am excited about, while others are a concern. On the negative side, consider a large telecommunications company that provides cell phone, Internet, and long distance. Another is a large national banking institution. […]

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Peter DeHaan

The Saga of a Telemarketing Failure

Last year my local phone company changed. There was much to-do surrounding this news, arriving in the form of frequent mailed communications and email messages and spanning several months. Throughout this, the phone company repeatedly promised that there would be no rate increases — all that would change was their name. I’m still not sure […]

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Peter DeHaan

Book Review: The Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey

Promoted as “a customer service fable,” The Napkin, the Melon & the Monkey is ambitiously subtitled: How to Be Happy and Successful at Work and in Life by Simply Changing Your Mind. Let me confirm that I believe it lives up to its grandiose intention. The inside back cover notes that author “Barbara Burke is […]

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Peter DeHaan

Your Call Center on Autopilot

I remember calling Visa with a query about my statement. The knowledgeable rep professionally answered my question. After an effective and otherwise satisfying call, he concluded by saying, “Thank you for calling American Express.” I was taken aback, but opted to say nothing. Either he was oblivious to what he uttered or mortified that he […]

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Peter DeHaan

Channel Inconsistency

When there is inconsistency between different channel promotions — Website, call center, and physical store — everyone suffers: staff, prospects, and customers. The result is prospects and customers venting to staff, with front line employees — as as store clerks and call center agents –getting the brunt of this understandable, but avoidable, customer angst. This […]

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Peter DeHaan

A Lesson in Futility

The phone calls were not how I wanted to start my week. My company’s sales line was being slammed with phone calls — for another company. What unfolded was a look into what I assumed was a bygone era, revealing that the ugly side of the call center industry is yet to be eradicated. The […]

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Peter DeHaan

They Just Don’t Get It

I wonder if my local phone company is clueless; it seems that they just don’t get it. By “it,” I mean everything: marketing, pricing, customer retention, technical support, and customer service. Although they are surely aware that they no longer function in a monopoly environment, their actions belie that reality. Of course, within their extreme […]

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Peter DeHaan

Customer Since 1978

It was an emotional moment for me. After proudly carrying and using a Shell gasoline credit card for more than 20 years, I had just canceled it and was in the process of cutting it up. Not that I was angry or upset with Shell, but it no longer made sense to carry their card. […]