Robert Bacal is the author of a number of books on customer service: Perfect Phrases For Customer Service (McGraw-Hill), Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook For The Public Sector, and in 2011, If It Weren't For The Customer I'd Really Like This Job.
Below you'll find advice on improving customer service, using customer service as a business strategy and a lot more.
Do You Deal With Difficult Customer Interactions?
If you deal with angry and difficult customer situations, consider visiting our brand new (2013) site dedicated to teaching you the techniques you can use to defuse even the toughtest customers and clients.
Excerpts From Our Best Selling Books on Customer Service and Difficult Customers
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Preface and Instructions How can you use this "seminar in a book" to reduce stress, reduce time wasted with angry and frustrated customers, and stay professional!.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Complete Table of ContentsThe table of contents shows you a list of over 120 tactics and strategies to help you deal with aggressive and frustrated customers and clients.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Chapter 2 - Part 1 - Nature of Hostile and Abusive Behavior In the first section of this chapter, learn about some of the psychology behind hostile and abusive behavior, and what falls into the category of "hostile" customer behavior.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Chapter 2 - Part 2 - Learn why customers act badly, and the basic customer defusing principlesEver wonder why normal people sometimes act badly when in the customer role? Here we explain what happens, and the basic principles of defusing hostile customers.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Chapter 2 - Part 3 - More: Learn why customers act hostile and aggressive Why customers act in hostile ways, so you can be better prepared to apply the defusing skills.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Chapter 2 - Part 4 - What Angry Customers Want and Need A very important issue, since defusing angry customers is predicated on understanding what customers want, and what customers need to happen so they can tone done their anger and/or difficult behavior.
- Defusing Hostile Customers Workbook Examples of Exercises Included in the Workbook This book is a "seminar in a book" and is based on the actual exercises used in many of Robert Bacal's live seminars. Here are some examples of how the exercises are used to help learning happen.
- Gathering Customer Service Data - Every Employee A Researcher Excellent companion article to go along with the previous one, employees are in ideal situations to collect and make sense of data about customer service in your company. The data they collect may not tell the whole story, but it will tell a good bit of the story that executives and managers often miss.
- Referring Customers To Competitors? Smart Business Move Seems counter-intuitive, but if you can`t meet the needs of your customer, you can create customer loyalty by referring to a competitor.
- Is Much of What You Believe About Customer Service Wrong? - Could Be Most people think they know a great deal about customer service because we're all customers, but it's dangerous to use just our own experience when it comes to providing service to customers. There's a lot of cognitive bias operating. Result? Much of what you believe about great customer service is probably wrong.
Customer Service Improvement
Customer Service Trends/Social Media
- Customer Service & Social Media Zealots Both Intolerant, and Short-Sighted (oh, and nasty, too) What happens when one disagrees with customer servivce and social media zealots? As with any extremists, it ain't pretty, which explains why a lot of customer service and social media "advice" is short sighted and wrong.
- Social Media Empowering Customers? Balderdash We debunk and explain why social will not make one iota of difference in terms of empowering customers, unless companies choose to believe this ridiculous claim.
- Bacal Interview: Where Do You See Customer Service Going This Year (Customer Empowerment) Customer service author Robert Bacal discusses the future of customer service and customer empowerment.
- The Tyranny of Middle Class Values and How Some Think About Work-Employee Engagement, Who Cares? "The current buzz word: employee engagement, has been linked to customer service quality. Oh, really? Employee engagement is a construct--something that doesn't exist, per se, and is an attempt to explain something, but do we really gain anything using it? Or is it a reflection of a middle class bias about how people function at work?
- Google+ For Customer Service? Things You Should Know Before Jumping In Google + is the new kid on the block, growing quickly, so should you use it to provide customer service to your clients? Before you jump in you should read these cautionary notes.
Customer Service and Social Media – Myths and Myth Steps
Lots of buzz about combining customer service and social media, but it's based on a number of incorrect assumptions about what customers want, and Return On Investment (ROI). Before you invest valuable time and money in social media as a customer service tool, READ THIS.
Twitter IS A Broadcast Medium, NOT A Conversational One And Implications For Customer Service
Despite the experts' contention that Twitter is about conversation, dialogue and interaction, the data doesn't support that. If we want to use Twitter for customer service we need to know how real people actually use it, not what the experts say about how people SHOULD use it.
Study Suggests Internet/Social Media Customer Service Discriminates Against The Poor, and Rural Residents
If companies reduce customer support via traditional channels and move their resources to the Internet and social media, systemic and discriminatory barriers will work to affect the poor, the rural, and those in other groups defined by heritage and culture.
Seven Reasons Why Social Media Negatively Affects Customer Service and The Customer Experience
Despite the claims made by social media gurus and advocates, social media hasn't, isn't and will not result in better customer service. Here are seven reasons why.
A Typical Day - Why Technology is Worsening Both Customer Service and Customer Experience
A more personal experiential explanation of why technology isn't making being a customer any easier.
What Customers Really Want
- As A Customer is THIS What You Want? Not Me What do customers really want? WOW? Luxury? To be loved? Or do they want convenience, speed and basic service? We vote for the later.
- A Guide To Customer Expectations Regarding Customer Service and Customer Experience In Various Industries and Niches There is no such thing as THE customer. It's not possible to accurately generalize about what CUSTOMERS WANT because this differs tremendously according to culture, geography and type of business. A five star hotel has customers and expectations quite different from a tire store, or even a lower tier motel.
- Customer Service and Why We MUST Get More Find Grained In Our Discussions To Improve It - Five Guidelines We revisit the issue of whether we can generalize about all customers, and conclude that we have to become more fine grained in our thinking and our analysis, if we want to provide customer service at just the right level.
Tough, Angry Customers
- Success With Difficult Customers - The Mindset Here we take a look at the kind of mindset or self-talk that is required to work successfully with difficult and/or angry frustrated customers. Mindset is important!
- The #1 Mistake Made Dealing With Angry Customers There IS actually a #1 mistake people make when dealing with customers, and I'm betting you'll be surprised what it is since it comes from trying to help "too much".
- Understanding Angry Customers The better you understand what angry customers want and how their anger works the better you will be better able to have some compassion for them, and defuse effectively.
- Do Governments Have "Customers"? Indeed, government has customers, and particularly for government employees, it's good to understand this, since many government "customers" have the ability to make your life miserable. Better understand them, and how it benefits you to provide effective customers service in government.
- Humor For Learning - Words & Customer Understanding Some amusing customer type stories we can learn from.
- Gathering Customer Service Data - Every Employee A Researcher Who knows customers best? Employees, and that one reasons why every staff member can contribute to gathering data/information about your customers.