What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service is book #6. It is a compilation of 27 articles on topics such as The State of Customer Service Today, Presenteeism in the Workplace, The Human Touch Will Never be Replaced, Find Your Customer’s Why, and the 5 W’s of World Class Customer Service.
Tell us something about yourself.
I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but live in Carmel, NY now–about 1 hr north of New York City. I am an industrial psychologist by profession, a consultant, master trainer, customer service expert and coach specializing in contact center human performance. We train people in soft skills, people skills. I’m known as the ‘champion for the human’ in a high tech industry. I speak at conferences all over the world and at my first conference I was asked to write a book and that’s where and when my first book was born called Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, now in its 4th edition. I’ve written 6 books altogether, most of them on the topic of customer service. One called Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck is motivational and inspirational readings and comes with a deck of cards of 32 of the best of the 52. In my spare time I am a tai chi practitioner and a tennis nut.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’m the one walking around saying, ‘wake up, we the people are who make the difference. Technology is here to support us, not replace us.’ As the preamble to the US Constitution states, ‘we the people’…we the people make the difference.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
I was asked to write a book and when I did the publisher declined it. Then someone else offered to publish it and it was that easy. It felt like I was riding the horse in the direction it was going. Of course, all my books are just large business cards. I can’t quit my day job on royalties.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I’ve always written, even as a child I wrote in journals, diaries, and I made up stories, fictional fantasies. As I grew up and older I continued to journal, took a couple of writing classes, and then my biggest attempt was my dissertation. That really got me going on writing. And then of course being asked to write a book motivated me even further.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
Just sitting down and doing it. There are times I can’t think of what to write and so I go to sleep that night feeling empty, and I wake in the morning with a topic or a tip. I write a tips newsletter and now they’re in the three hundreds so it’s hard to come up with one so I use this overnight technique often.
How do you do research for your books?
I used to use the libraries in person, but now I do most of my research on line, in industry publications, magazines, case studies, webinars, best practice information, and the like.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
I learned that I have a responsibility to share what I have learned throughout my career. I learned that I know more than I thought I did. I learned that most people are myopic in their focus, and maybe rightly so, on their own companies, and I can bring them the world and the broader picture.
What are you reading now?
I’m reading The Cluetrain Manifesto at the moment. Very interesting and especially the point about how important the human is.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
I like to read business books that are motivating and factual. I also like reading novels as well. I enjoy Terri Geritson, Wayne Dyer, Byron Katie, and even Nora Roberts.
I enjoy the different writing styles, the messages that the universe sends me through whatever I read, the inspiration I receive, and at the very least, an escape from reality every now and again.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
My next book is a self directed training program. It is very robust and user friendly. It comes with Power Point slides to back up the lecture as well as sample handouts. It has a schedule to roll out a training program efficiently and effectively and has charts for body language and what each gesture represents.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Don’t stop before the miracle. Just keep writing. You can always go back later and correct, change, structure, etc. But when you are in the flow of writing, just keep going. Regarding publishing, ask lots of questions until you are comfortable with the answers on who you are going to choose, or whether you will use a publisher or self publish.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I have made a video about it; I have blasted it to my subscriber list of over 17,500 people; I have sent out press releases, and it’s been written about on my blog.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Our main site is http://www.human-technologies.com.