“Customer Service (Finally) Defined.” My new books is a treasure troth of articles and vital information for the business world to compete in their quest for better customer service. From Four Useless Words to Why We Don’t Always Need to Agree with the Customer, to A Day in the Life of a Mystery Shopper and so much more, my new book, provides dozens of ideas. Some new – some old – all good and easy to apply. You can trust this book to move the needle on customer service.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born & raised in Chicago Ill., I’ve always worked alongside my husband. It worked because we didn’t know it wouldn’t or couldn’t.
After running two successful radio Stations (San Diego and St. Louis) and an advertising company that provided the largest dial-in weather information service in the US., we together created Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. Nearly out of a mistake. But we nursed it – and started providing companies training programs on site. When someone suggested we do a video, we made a video. My first attempt at writing was the ‘leaders’ guide’ that accompanied the video.
During the time I was working with my husband, I was also a professional actress, appearing on stage with Gig Young, Dan Dailey, Forrest Tucker, Don DeFore, Virginia Mayo and a few other oldies but goodies.
Our current company Telephone Doctor offers an online platform, www.serviceskills.com , and onsite training programs where I speak at conferences and corporate meetings and webinars. It’s a small family owned business, with a staff of 25, helping companies all over the country communicate better with their customers.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book is my ninth. And we have a 10th in the works. What inspired the book was the need to share our information to help businesses large and small. I can’t say it enough: more business is lost due to poor service and poor treatment than poor product. Companies spends thousands of marketing dollars trying to convince us to buy their products, but if customer contact is not handled just right in a store, at a cell center or on the web by customer service representative, all that money is wasted. 87% of customers share good experiences with others and 88% are influenced by online customer service reviews when making buying decision. You have one chance to make a first impression and gain a repeat customer. Poor customer service can stop a purchase, create negative social media reaction and ruin a brand. It’s plain old common sense…that often sadly overlooked. This is why some businesses are staring to see the potential in CRM services from companies like Salesforce.
How did you celebrate when you finished writing the book? When it was published?
I sent out quite a few copies to my high-profile clients as a thank you for their business.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I never knew I wanted to be a writer. But when you write about what you know, it comes much easier. My first book was published because our clients asked for it. The material is always there, and the ideas just grew and grew.
Do you have a daily or weekly writing schedule, or do you write only when you are inspired? How many words or pages do you complete in a typical day?
I write as I’m inspired. Because I write about customer service, it’s difficult to run out of material. You can’t go a week without reading or hearing that some company had a disastrous customer service fail that caused negative media coverage and shaming on social media. It seems as though poor customer service is here to stay; and we can help.
How many drafts did you write before publishing your most recent book?
Usually one draft…and then I go back and edit. Perhaps several times. Because it’s not fiction… this works for me.
What software do you use to write? Or do you prefer to write longhand or dictate your work? What made you choose the method you use?
I use Word, the ideas seem to flow easily. I’m usually answering a problem or concern I’ve read about or personally received from a client. IE: How to Handle Irate Customers, or Killer Words of Customer service. Our books are filled with “how to” information. I choose the method because I had no other idea how to do it. We keep our information short, and easy to read.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have started sooner. I love sharing our information and helping businesses succeed.
Do you read reviews?
Having a professional theatre career – I read; but don’t always believe. The nice ones are great to get; and the bad (although I haven’t had any on the books) can/should be used as constructive criticism.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Just DO IT. Don’t over think it. If you have a great topic and you want to share it with others, write!
Do you have friends who are writers? How do you help each other to become better writers?
I have one friend who is successful at fiction mysteries. But she needs no help from me.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect reader for me is someone in business who wants their team/employees to do better. Also, the self-motivating employee who wants to improve.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?