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Five Easy Steps on How to Be a Good Customer Service Representative

Even though a certain company has innovative products and an efficient marketing strategy, if the customer service they offer is dismal, they are on the road to their downfall. The quality of its customer service can make or break a company.

Below are some helpful tips that will help you in serving your customers better; whether you are engaged in over-the-phone customer service or customer service that entails interaction with the customers.

Always Wear A Smile. Start every call with a smile. The caller may not see it but he will definitely hear it in your voice. Try to place a mirror on your cubicle and look at yourself while talking. This will improve the way you talk to your customers.

Listen and Be Attentive. There is nothing more irritating than a CSR who keeps on asking the same question repeatedly. Listen to key facts and make it a habit to note down what the customer is saying. Paying attention to important details saves time and will give an impression that you are really serious on being of help.

Watch Your Tone of Voice. Irate callers usually makes a CSR equally irate. But you should not allow yourself to be "infected" with their emotions. Remember, the customer is always right. So no matter how the customer is getting on your nerves, remain patient, understanding and empathetic. While it is normal for you to be annoyed, just make sure it doesn’t show in your tone.

Remember that Patience is a Virtue. Some callers can get on your nerves sometimes. Some customers call to complain or inquire while some just call to annoy people and pull pranks on unwitting call center agents. Even so, you cannot even raise your voice at them, much less talk to them rudely. Protect yourself from abuse by telling them in an even yet grave tone that you would not tolerate this behavior. If your annoying caller persists, be polite in telling your prankster that you are hanging up at that moment. Add an equally polite, "Have a great day Sir/Ma'am," for good measure. 

Make a Recap. Once you have gathered and written down all the pertinent information you need from the customer, do a recap to make sure you get all the details correctly. Give the information that the caller needs and wrap up the conversation, making it clear that resolution was made or is being processed.

Customer Service need not be a pain in the neck, if you know how to handle your customers. As a guideline, keep in mind that politeness goes a long way. More so patience. With these two, you'll get far in your call center career.

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The Art & Science of Presenting Yourself Right


So what is Image Management?

It’s the art & science of presenting yourself right. It’s about being Appropriate, Authentic & Attractive in every situation. It’s about conveying the right messages without speaking. It’s about managing the perceptions other people form about you It’s about being aware & conscious of where you are today & where you want to be. It’s an ongoing, pro-active process of evaluating and controlling the impact of your appearance on you, on others, and the achievement of your goals. To say the least, it has become the most essential skill to stand out, to just be noticed, to get that chance, that dream job, that promotion, that special date or that business deal. It’s about time that we start managing our image in a more conscious & positive manner whether we’re a celebrity, an interviewee, a public servant, a business owner, a mother, a young adult or a CEO…..

Each one of us needs to project an image that is in sync with what they really wish to communicate.

 

Is Image Management important for a Corporate Professional?

Well, an organization’s corporate image is reflected in the employees & this impacts how clients, future prospects and business partners perceive the organization.A credible & professional image is essential, so that people want to know us, like us & want to engage with us professionally.

Also, with rapid globalization in the Indian corporate sector today,

Organizations have become very conscious about hiring employees who can represent themselves in a well-dressed, well-groomed, well-behaved & well-spoken manner. This comprehensive image management also enhances your self-confidence, it affects your performance at work positively.

Image also has a profound impact on your Emotional Quotient.  If you look good and feel great, you respond to others and yourselves in more positive & growing ways & that makes you more productive, confident and effective. When you define your image you have a sense of control, a direction and a positive approach towards every aspect of your life.

 

Is Image management important only for a Corporate Professional?

Well, here are couple of questions you need to get answers for:

  • Is your Personal Branding working well for you?
  • Do you Look like you’re a business owner?
  • Do you Dress Appropriately for the Role & for the Goal of your Life?
  • Is your Body Language helping you win some great deals?
  • Do you communicate using the right words & the right tone of your voice?
  • Are you leaving a Great Impression behind after you finish a Personal, Social & Professional Meeting?
  • Why should someone want to spend time with you & listen to you?

                                      

Positive personal image is the starting point to becoming known, liked & trusted. So it’s vital that you are positively remembered. As it, helps you to stand out and to move up on the ladder of success.

So how can we do it? 

Today, I want to share with you the 3 most crucial elements of creating a good first impression….. & these are:

  • Appearance, Behaviour & Communication

The ABC of Image management .…

ABC skills carry high social respect and improve our credibility in social & professional spaces

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Tips And Tricks For Successful Public Speaking

Public Speaking

Are you one of the countless folks who simply dread the prospect of speaking in public? Do you start sweating at the mere contemplation of it? If you have long been troubled by speaking in front of groups, but would like to make a change, this article is meant for you.

Executive Coaching 2

Feeling nervous before speaking in public is very common. To help overcome the fear of speaking in front of others practice the speech you will be giving several times in front of your family. This will allow you to work out any kinks in your speech. Additionally, this will give you the chance to speak in front of others.

Make sure you wear a supportive pair of shoes when you do public speaking. You want your posture to be tall and confident, with open and relaxed shoulders so you portray confidence. If you get tense on stage from feet, knee or low back pain, it will affect your speech greatly.

Tips And Tricks For Successful Public Speaking

Practice makes perfect. Practice as often as you need to in order to perfect the speech. Practice your

pace and breathing. Ensure your speech allows for interruptions, such as applause. Use the equipment


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A Happy You Is A Healthy You

You’ve heard your parents, doctors and health experts say that a good diet with exercise is the key to great health. Happiness, though, may be just as important.

A Happy You Is A Healthy You

Studies show that happy people are less likely to experience chronic illness or pain. They also tend to live longer.

On the other hand, people who worry, have a hard time dealing with stress, and/or have pent-up anger and other negative emotions, are more likely to have illnesses like high blood pressure, allergies, constipation, indigestion, and body pain.

Negative emotions, much like bad eating habits, upset the acid-base balance of the body. A highly acidic environment in the body leads to sickness. And unhappiness causes toxins to flow and brings up acid levels in the body.

Since unexpressed anger and resentment in particular do not have emotional outlets, the body instead manifests these through illness. So, if you have chronic respiratory allergy or back pain, for example, your physical condition may not only be the issue.

On the bright side, though, people with illnesses who release their negative emotions in healthy ways find that their symptoms disappear almost instantly.

So what to do if you are unhappy or experiencing negative emotions in general? Following these tips may help:

Release anger in healthy ways. If you need to scream, scream. But do it privately. Screaming into a pillow is advisable especially when there are people outside the room.

You can also write a letter to the person who hurt you. Release all your anger in it. Afterwards, tear up or burn the letter. Do not send it to the person. Talk to the person only once you are calm and can express your feelings in a constructive manner.

Forgive. As the saying goes, “Unforgiveness is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Once you forgive, you will feel lighter, as though you have just been unburdened of a heavy load.

A Happy You Is A Healthy You

Understand that you have no control over everything. Control only what you can, and leave the rest to the universe. Trust that everything will work out for the best.

Be grateful for the things you have now. Make it a point to think of at least one thing you are grateful for everyday. This will put you in a positive frame of mind and bring good or better things to you.

Do positive self-talk. Understanding that good food nourishes the body, feed your mind with positive thoughts. Do this everyday, believe, and be amazed with the results.

A Happy You Is A Healthy You

Surround yourself with positive people. Talk with people who believe in you and encourage you. Minimize contact with people who make you feel negative or deplete your energy.

Get counseling if necessary. Should you have serious emotional issues, especially those stemming from childhood, it may be best to seek professional counseling to facilitate healing. [Continue...]

Anger Management: How to Deal with Yourself When You Have Reached the End of Your Rope

Some people find it hard to control their anger, that more often than not, they throw a fit and even become physically violent. Nevertheless, you have total control of your feelings. As a guide for you on how to do that, here are some simple steps to remember so you don’t let anger take you over.

Image Management

 Breathe and Count to Ten. When on the verge of losing your wits, it is much better to pause for a while, count to ten until you have released all the tension inside. This actually works, trust me.

Shut up. When you feel like bursting and you have the intense urge to shout at the top of your lungs, bite your tongue to avoid adding fuel to the fire. Cool down first before you say anything. Keep in mind that it takes time to build a relationship and only a word to wreck it. Be careful with what you say so you won’t regret anything in the end.

Image Management 2

Think of the Possible Consequences. I know that making your mind work, especially when you’re fuming, is hard. Nevertheless, exercising control over your emotions will do wonders. It’s just mind over matter. Think of the possible consequences if you act on your anger. Try to visualize the things that might happen  if you do something borne of your anger. Will a breakup ensue or will you leave a bad impression among your friends as soon as you start spewing hurtful words? Through pausing to think, you will be able to stall your emotions while the anger subsides. Be mature enough to take responsibility in the actions you do and the words you say. As the Chaos theory puts it in the movie “The Butterfly Effect,” “Everything, even the flap of a butterfly’s wings can cause chaos” so be wary of what you say and do, as it will affect everything that will happen in the future.

Image Management 3

Detach Yourself and Do Something Else. If you find it rather hard to zip your mouth when infuriated, walking away from the situation in the meantime might work for you. In this way, you prevent yourself from lashing out on people around you. When your anger has cooled, talk things over with the person you are angry with like the adults that you are. Take a walk in the park or write in your journal to let go of your emotions. Keeping your emotions bottled up might lead to heart ailments, but going the other extreme and exploding is also as harmful. Allowing yourself to explode may damage your relationships. Walking away doesn’t mean that you won't address the issue at hand or suppress your emotions forever. This means distracting yourself from extreme anger, calming yourself down, and then dealing with the issue when you are more capable. Later, when you are ready to, you can process your emotion by naming it for what it is, acknowledging you indeed were hurt or offended, forgiving the person and yourself, then asking that person for forgiveness, if need be, then moving on.

Exercise Your Power to Choose. Remember, you have the will to choose. You have the will and the power to choose, even in anger. Try to imagine this scenario. You are in a crowded mall when someone accidentally stepped on your newly-polished toenails. You are about to yell at that creep when you suddenly realized that it was your crush. Don’t be a hypocrite: even if you're fuming mad, you will most likely want to flash your sweetest smile and assure him that you’re perfectly fine. Fine too, your toes would be, despite the searing pain and the toe-flesh turning purple. So you see, you have absolute power to control your anger. Thus, stop saying that emotions are involuntary and they're hard to restrain and manage. On the contrary, they are totally subject to your will. You hold the choice. Don't be a victim of uncontrolled emotions. Practice wielding control over them now. [Continue...]

INSIDE THE MIND OF AN INTERVIEWER

Interview skills

Did you know that the first impression takes all of just 5 seconds to be formed?

Yes, that’s true! From the time you enter the room and walk towards the interviewer, the first impression about you is already formed!

And then it's the dialogue with the prospective employer for a few minutes that determines the path of your professional careers for years to come?
While this certainly goes to show just how important our image and conduct is for the advancement of our professional life, let’s be mindful of the fact that inside an interview room, there is no rewind button to undo an erroneous start.

It is extremely important to take note of all that one can be assessed for during an interview to ensure a flawless & impressive interaction from start to finish. Read on for some important pointers on how to appear & behave in an interview.

interview skill

Look Appropriate – Charm them!

Dress the part! If you look “well put together”, it is deemed that you would also “put your work together well”. What you wear and how you are groomed says a lot about whether or not someone like you would add value to your role & to the image of the organization, so dress to charm your interviewer in good business formals (pic) and invest in good grooming practice (pic) to appear careful, proper, professional & smart.  

Interview skills

Stand & Walk Tall – Impress them!

Always remember that your body language speaks volumes.
It’s important to enter the room with enthusiasm & energy, with your shoulders straight up, chin up – just about up (pic), & with a confident smile. When offered a hand, shake that hand with firmness maintaining an eye contact and with a genuine smile (Samira’s pic from NAR). Maintain a good straight posture while sitting too (pic) & keep your hands in sight of the interviewer (either on the arm rest of your chair or on the table). You would be surprised to know that your correct posture and impressive handshake can actually be one of the strongest deciding factors which can help score over several others in the selection process. So practice a confident walk, a confident sitting posture & a good hand shake to impress your interviewer.

Interview skills

Behave Right – Amaze them!

It is wise to always be mindful of your etiquette & mannerisms as this is being observed too. Great organizations value good manners & etiquette.
So, make a special effort to be aware of your surroundings, be courteous, be polite, use the magic words; thank you, please, sorry etc. Arrive at least 15 minutes earlier, switch off your mobile phone before you enter the room, keep your documents ready and neatly in a nice folder, ask for permission to come in, do not extend your hand unless you are offered one for hand shake, wait till you are asked to sit, greet each & everyone with a smile an avoid talking out of turn, allow the other person to finish talking before you start. Good etiquette & manners never go unnoticed, so go out there, amaze them & shine like a polished diamond!


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THE RESPONSIBLE SIDE OF HOLI

Exotic, vibrant, energized; such is the festival of Holi, celebrated throughout India, with utmost enthusiasm. While Holi is pious and must be enjoyed with dignity and sanctity, what most of us often associate with this festival of colors is a nonchalant attitude of “Bura na mano, Holi hai”. This approach itself can be very precarious for the simple reason that how we conduct ourselves throughout the carefree celebration of Holi speaks volumes about who we are.

Although one must have fun, adhering to some self-restraining practices can help everyone enjoy this fun-filled festival with grace. Here are some recommendations that can help you play Holi amicably!


responsible side


Ask for Permission: 

There are many people who do not share the conventional methods of Holi celebrations ..ie.. playing with color or getting drenched in water. It is important to be respectful of those who want to celebrate this festival differently than you do. Adhering to this simple rule will positively promote your image in the society.

Play Responsibly: 

Fun as it may be, this festival leads to a criminal waste of water. Responsibility calls for us to look for alternative means to have as much fun, minimizing wastage of such an important natural resource.

Also, one must remember that traditionally, the use of color was restricted to natural colors like turmeric, multaani mitti and herbal colors. The rampant use of chemical based Holi colors that cause more harm than fun can also tarnish your image and reputation by making you appear irresponsible.

 Dress Appropriately: 

While white is the color that is usually associated with Holi, it should look both classy and elegant as you sport it on Holi day. If what you wear is uncomfortable or does not dry up quickly, it can put you in an embarrassing position- something you must avoid at all costs. 

Play safe holi

Practice Moderation:

Given how crazy Holi is by default, over indulgence in any form of intoxicity, such as alcohol or the traditional Bhang could lower inhibitions further and make you  reach a point where you're not entirely in control of your body. Any such thing is sure to leave a bad taste and ensure a depraved image as well. 

Also, when it comes to gambling, an important part of Holi, yes you can let your hair down but do not engage in excesses and cause massive losses to both your pocket as well as your reputation in the society.  

As far as the festive mood is concerned, one must take special care in ensuring that your behavior does not become the reason of inconvenience to others and make you look poor in public eye.

Your image is a part of you, festivities or not. So, act responsible, appear respectable and enjoy the festival of colors with poise! [Continue...]

How to Network Better

Most people feel very uncomfortable walking into a room full of strangers and a lot of people completely avoid talking to strangers and stick to their small group of known people and sometimes alone. However, it is something we must do to broaden our business and personal relationships.

Whenever you are invited to an event, approach it as an opportunity to meet new people and try to talk to as many of them as you can.

Some Important Tips:

Dress for Success - Dress in a style that represents your personality, your company’s brand and projects your personal brand powerfully.

      


Walk in with confidence – Good confident posture with straight shoulders, positive body language & a genuine smile.
    


The name badge – Always wear your name badge on your upper right shoulder. Why? When extending your right hand for a handshake the person will automatically be drawn to your right hand side. Position the badge high enough on your right side to give other people the best view of your badge as well as your face.

         
 

Introduce yourself to people – Greet the person with a firm handshake, a genuine smile and a good eye contact.



Description of what you do – Always be prepared with a short sentence to describe what you do. Keep it brief and simple; however, do talk about what you can deliver, be confident & passionate about your work and add some humor.
 


Ideas of topics to talk about – Think of some “small talk” conversations that are simple and interesting and preferably open questions (Weather, Sports, Current Affairs, Entertainment OR Complimenting them). Be enthusiastic and avoid controversial topics.

 

Importance of Giving and Receiving – the easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.  “Pursue the relationship without any agenda”

 

How to remember names – First introduce yourself and then ask the person for their name. Repeat their name back to them; if you are a visual person, imagine their name written down or look at their business card.


 
Your Network Style  – You are in control of how and where you network. Use your personality style to suit your approach. Learn what makes you tick and works best for you, but do go out of your comfort zone so that you grow and develop and become a great networker. [Continue...]

Some Tips for Creating a Positive First Impression

1. Pleasing Appearance

Always dress according to the occasion: formal, semi-formal, smart casual, casual or evening/party wear. Make sure your clothes look attractive in addition to being appropriate, for example; you could add a bright color tie or a scarf to your outfit or use different patterns of fabrics to make the outfit interesting etc. Ensure your clothes are well ironed, fit your body well and are clean & fresh. Have good grooming by being neat, tidy and presentable, including your nails, hair and shoes. If you look good, you feel good and with that you feel more confident and have better self-esteem and above all, you get treated better.

2. Confident Body Language

Have a good standing or sitting posture, i.e. do not slouch, have open hand gestures, maintain eye contact, give a firm handshake, show active signs of listening (lean forward, nod or comment) when they are talking and remember to smile (genuinely), it creates good will and is a sign of friendship.

3. Be Punctual

Be on time, in fact it is better to be a few minutes early than late. Punctuality is an assertion that you are reliable; it is a way to show that you value your time and that of others. This will demonstrate that you are organized and this will also allow you sometime to prepare before the meeting.

4. Be Yourself, Calm and Relaxed

Be authentic & confident of who you are, your competition should be with yourself and not others, you are competing with self, raising your own bar and getting better each day; in your looks, behavior, communication, thinking patterns and outlook towards people and life….So be at ease with yourself.  Almost everyone gets a little nervous when meeting someone for the first time. The more you meet people and practice, the easier it will become.

5. Small Talk and Network

Connect with people and build rapport as “people like people who are like them”… Think of topics you can discuss and find out about common interests e.g. outdoor games, indoor games, music & books etc. In the UK it is always easy to start with the weather as it changes so often and can be different in different areas.

6. Be Polite

Making a good impression includes being polite and courteous to the other person. Remember to turn off your mobile phone when in conversation or in noise sensitive areas, be gentle, be aware of the etiquette and manners of various situations. Use the magic words; Sorry, Please & Thank you. Greet people with a smile, drop a compliment, be friendly and helpful and last but not the least – be tolerant.

7. Be Positive

“Having a positive mental attitude is asking how something can be done rather than saying it can’t be done.”
Bo Bennett

Be positive & enthusiastic, try to help others, be a good listener, listen to uplifting music, read something motivational, exercise daily, shun the negative thoughts and smile a lot. Sad & negative people do not make a good impression.

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