Tag: winnthinks

Ticking the Seasonal Boxes

In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is thundering into view! Whether you celebrate it or not, Christmas has a habit of generating plenty of extra activity, be that fun stuff like mince pies with the neighbours, or less lovely concerns

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Customers can be a nightmare…

Customers can be a nightmare! Who you gonna call?

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Is your Verbal Handshake like a wet fish?

Have you ever thought about the way you answer the phone as your Verbal Handshake? If not, you should. If our physical handshake delivers a powerful message about our trustworthiness and level of interest in the other person, our Verbal Handshake does exactly the same thing.

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The Back to School Guide for Grown Ups

The grown-ups’ equivalent of going back to school is starting a new job. How can we make sure our new joiners at every level, like our children, arrive confident, equipped and ready to hit the ground running?

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The Importance of Silliness

Stick up for silliness! The ability to be silly can play a major part in the success of your oh-so-sensible organisation. Here’s how.

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Help! I’m frightened to make that call!

Ever get this? You have a list of people you need to call, but somehow everything else is more appealing. Filing, checking the database (again), making a coffee … somehow you can’t find your mojo when it comes to picking

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Has it become counter-productive to talk about ‘women’s issues’?

The contention goes that, by constantly ‘bleating on’ about women’s rights, we’re drawing attention to difference rather than similarity. It keeps women stuck in the role of the weakest link, constantly needing support and special privileges instead of naturally rising to the top through talent and hard work. Surely we’ve moved beyond all that now, haven’t we…?

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How a tomato helped me get my work done

It’s one of the great mysteries of life. My youngest turned 22 this year, but as any parent will attest it seems only moments ago I had a chubby-cheeked toddler on my lap and endless hours of crayoning ahead of

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Selling without being sales-y

You know how it starts. (“Hello, am I speaking to…? Great! How are you today?”).
You know the type. (Pushy. Talks too fast, listens too little).
You know the tactic. (“A special deal, just for you, but only if you buy it TODAY…”).
You know the feeling. (Oh dear, here we go…).
For a nation that loves to buy stuff, the word ‘sales’ has a heap of negative connotations.

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A Voyage of Discovery

When launching on a Voyage of Discovery it isn’t enough to simply look at someone else’s holiday snaps. There’s no substitute for experiencing things for yourself to really learn something new.

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A Christmas Hamper of Customer Types

If your customers were the contents of a Christmas Hamper, what would they be? Here, then, is a light-hearted delve into the Hamper of Delights that is your customer base. Well, we’re allowed to get a bit silly at Christmas…

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The Art of Apologising

‘Sorry’ is a word that’s very much over-used these days. So when you really need it to count, exactly how do you offer an unhappy customer a really great verbal apology? Here’s how…

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Five ways to spot opportunist complainers

The customer is always the customer – but what if we suspect he or she is trying it on? Here are five ways you might spot those Opportunist Complainers.

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Moving Tales: Customer Service A to B

As some of you will know, I’ve had a busy March and April completing the sale of one house, purchasing another, packing, moving and getting unpacked at the other end. After 21 years in our last home you can possibly

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The Lego Movie: Are teams really that awesome?

“Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team Everything is awesome, living our dream…” The Lego Movie has been offering much delight in our household over these dark winter days, particularly the cringingly awful song ‘Everything

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A Formula for Successful Change

Here we are at the start of another new year. I’m guessing your Inbox and social media feeds have, like mine, been full of advice about New Year’s Resolutions and creating a brand new you? Good luck with that –

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Customers In Disguise

I’ve worked with some interesting organisations recently, some of which are really not part of the traditional market for ‘customer service training’. And it’s brought about some fascinating conversations. Take, for example, the secondary school where I was asked to

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High Hopes

I just rattled off a friendly email to a fellow coach, and as I’m a bit of a fusspot about grammar, spelling etc., I naturally proofread it before hitting ‘send’. Imagine my dismay when I counted – in a very

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“I don’t hug trees and I don’t knit my own yogurt…”

How does coaching fit in to the development strategy in your organisation? Perceptions of coaching (and coaches) vary greatly, and that’s hardly surprising. There are some excellent professional bodies out there laying down rigorous standards and CPD (continuous professional development)

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The Law of Harvest

September means lots of things: going back to school, nights drawing in, the start of that hurtle towards Christmas. It’s also harvesting time, which has been very much in evidence in my rural community. It got me thinking… if we’re

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We’re all in this together

As I work with organisations up and down the UK on their customer service delivery, I get very used to hearing one particular comment. Here it is: “I would love to promise my customers what they want (a response, a

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“Behold the hands…”

“Behold the hands, how they promise, conjure, appeal, menace, pray, supplicate, refuse, beckon, interrogate, admire, confess, cringe, instruct, command, mock and what not besides, with a variation and multiplication of variation which makes the tongue envious.” Michel de Montaigne (1533

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Firestarters (or things that wind up your customers)

“I’m a Firestarter…twisted Firestarter (whoooooooo!) HEY! HEY! HEY!” Firestarters. It’s the name I give to those gestures, sounds and phrases that can turn a perfectly reasonable customer conversation into a raging torrent of accusations, or a slamming down of the

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The Four Step Assertiveness Technique

One of the things my clients often ask me to do is support their customer service teams, complaint handlers and helplines with the more difficult customer behaviour they encounter on the phone. ‘Difficult’ is a highly subjective term, so the

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Whether the weather be fine…

Whether the weather be fine Or whether the weather be not Whether the weather be cold Or whether the weather be hot We’ll weather the weather, whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not!   This catchy little poem

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How changing your jacket can help you deal with difficult customers

One of the subjects I am most often asked to train out is how to handle difficult people – particularly customers who are angry or upset. There are lots of ways our customers can make themselves a challenge, and sometimes

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Goal-Less

Every January my social media stream fills up with comment about New Year’s Resolutions and the importance of goal setting for the months ahead. As a Coach I am, of course, a huge fan of goal setting, both in the

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Lessons in Customer Service from Doctor Who

Last weekend was all about Doctor Who. Hard to believe it’s been going 50 years – and don’t those early episodes look OLD! How times have changed and how technology has moved on since those scratchy black and white days.

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How to get more bang for your training buck

There are, it is said, three types of training course participant:   Holidaymakers Prisoners Learners Holidaymakers are those who put themselves on a course – usually an in-house one – because they see it as an easy day’s work and

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“We Never Sell a Stale Cake”

Think about that for a moment.   This, a coaching colleague tells me, is the actual advertising slogan used by her local bakery, deep in darkest Nottinghamshire. I have looked at their website and it all looks just delectable –

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Fifty is the New Twelve

Something strange is happening to me this weekend. I’m going to become a fifty year old. I’ve never been one of those before, so it will be an interesting experience. Happily this momentous occasion will be shared with a number

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Guerrilla Gardening for Managers

Did you know that 1st May is International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day? It’s ‘an annual event of optimistic seed growing’. If you want to find out more, go take a look at www.guerrillagardening.org – or better still, grab that trowel

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In which Winnie-the-Pooh Introduces the Value of Coaching

“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is

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Cockle-Warming Customer Service in Cold Hard Times

Customer service is a funny thing. We all know when we’ve received a poor version of it, and indeed, when that happens, we tend to go away and tell everyone we know all about it. Oh, and lots of strangers

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“Being English I crave disappointment…” (Bill Bailey)

Go on, if you’re English, admit it. You know exactly what he means. We could even widen it out to the rest of the UK, I reckon… self-deprecation and false modesty are peculiarly British traits and Bill Bailey nailed it

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Brand YOU!

So there you are, strolling up and down the aisle at your favourite supermarket, and you reach the coffee section. What drives you to select one product over another? Maybe you believe that ‘you get what you pay for’ and

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How to create your own luck

Someone very smart once said to me that “people will only ever treat you as well as you let them.” What wise words! We all, to a very large degree, create our own ‘luck’ when dealing with other people, and

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Small is Beautiful

I’ve just enjoyed reading ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s a book about epidemics, and explores the factors that combine to make something go viral – be it a disease, or a social movement, or a fashion craze –

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A World of Winnthinking direct to your Inbox!

Frequent visitors to this website will have noticed the arrival of something new – just over there, on the right. It’s our new Sign Me Up! box, giving you the opportunity to get a little bit of Winnthinking delivered to

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Writing it right

I’ve spent a lot of time recently helping a client work on their written material. In particular that has been about the quality and tone of the letters and emails the company sends its customers. As an investment company, they

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