Visionaries Podcast

How To Deliver An Amazing Customer Experience with Charlotte Purvis

Charlotte Purvis

Customer service is essential to every human no matter your business, title, relationship status...

You need to know how to communicate to lead, resolve concerns, and empathetically guide others (and yourself) to a solution!

Join Charlotte Purvis and Dallin Nead as they explore the fundamentals of exceptional customer service.

Charlotte Purvis is a Customer Service Consultant, trainer, coach, speaker, and enthusiast. She developed the Customer Communication Formula and has tested it for over 20 years with clients in corporate, campus, and community settings. Her programs have influenced literally millions of customer interactions.

welcome to visionaries where we believe your powerful message is the best way to grow your business and live a meaningful life today we have on charlotte purvis charlotte how are you doing i'm doing well and thank you for the invitation dallin of course of course it's so fun to get connected across the country um so tell us a little bit more about who charlotte is absolutely well i am first and foremost a native of tuscaloosa alabama and i've let me tell you i am very creative in finding ways to make sure my clients know that and what i tell them is that if you don't know that about me you're missing a big part of me so anyway so but now i live in the research triangle area of north carolina i am very proud to have had now over 20 years of experience as a customer service consultant coach trainer and also as an enthusiast i may be one of the first customer service enthusiasts you've ever met i literally treat customer service like other people are about sports how they like watching it yeah and analyzing it well that's how i am about customer service how do you do that with customer service say like a sports enthusiast would watch yeah do you observe people do you observe other examples of customer service what does that look like two i do i i literally if i'm in a store or something i will stand there and observe customer service when i am the customer that's one of my favorite things i am super courteous i am i mean i'm attentive i'm courteous i can relate to that person who's providing me the customer service because those are the people that i work with all the time right and there's empathy um tons and i i know what they're i know they're processed i know what they're going through so as i say uh dale and i am super courteous when i'm a customer and then i like hearing stories about customer service so if you had a customer service experience and you wanted to tell me about it i just can't get enough so i'm a customer service enthusiast as well and what's been unique about my my work is that nearly 100 of my business has come through referrals and repeat business my clients have literally for two decades they've been my sales team and that is i'm so proud to share that i've i have had some of the most awesome clients in the whole wide world and so with that i am very enthusiastic about customer service and the contributions that i've made because i know for a fact that i have had the opportunity to influence millions of customer service interactions and it doesn't get much better than that right yeah and i i think that's so powerful that you point out that enthusiasm where i feel like a lot of coaches and course creators consultants can often lose that enthusiasm because they lose sight of that end impact which you also just identified too around the millions you've been able to impact in different forms absolutely how how does someone keep their sights on that end vision of how they're making an impact with their efforts yes that's a okay that's a good place for us to start so i feel very strongly that one of the ways we do that is by making sure we are clear about why we're doing what we're doing so for example if i if i just you know thought about my training programs and just said i'm developing a training program and i'm going to teach some people some verbiage for customer service well that's not enough to get you motivated on your tough days right but when i think about the fact that i am influencing customer service professionals who are going to impact the lives of millions of people help them find solutions and because a lot of my work has been in pharmaceuticals we're we're we're changing the way people think about their health and their their lives so i don't lose that connection i it's the bigger picture what's my bigger purpose and when we when i think about not what i'm doing but when i think about the customer when i look i look at my work from the point of view of the customer and what it means to that person to have my influence then i i can't think of a day that i've had that i didn't want to do it didn't want to do this again so that to me is the big big picture our purpose what is your purpose and then you know what's important to is to recognize when you're having those tough times and you can't quite your empathy is depleted to be able to recognize that you need to step away for a moment for an hour for a day to know to have that self-awareness that part of emotional intelligence that tells you i'm not at my best and that's okay the customer never has to know

yeah that's so good and as you're sharing this and i'm sure many listening or watching yeah are thinking the same um they're thinking of certain examples i'm thinking of certain examples that have existed throughout my experience where every day in some form we experience customer service yeah like how everyone's a salesman or saleswoman right salesperson they are experiencing customer service uh every day and in that observance of it uh we recognize when it's good and when it's bad uh and and i think of the times when i i've received terrible customer service and it's usually probably because they haven't been able to detach and give that silence or separation to be at their best or maybe they're not aligned to that clear end purpose or vision and whatever you find with with your years of experience and the many you've impacted what are some of those essential skills or focuses that you help coach people on to improve their customer service absolutely yes well yeah you can imagine how many times i have been called in to to provide that training that coaching that input so um near the top of my list ironically i mean you you may be surprised dalen uh dallin to hear this but um at the top of my list is personal boundaries okay believe it or not i mean you would think yeah you would think communication yes that's on my list empathy is on my list but guess what especially right now this is what i think about

i have had experiences in customer service where maybe we were servicing one part of the country that had gone through a tornado or flood for example so we all geared up and we wanted we got a call from this state we know what is happening with them and let's be extra courteous let's make sure we're giving them the best service well this is the first time in my career that we don't care where you're calling from everyone is affected by the crisis we're in right now

but guess what not just the customers are affected but the people providing the services the customer service they are affected as well they're human beings they have relatives they have neighbors they have faith community members that are affected so if there were ever a time for us to learn those personal boundaries and knowing how not to let that spill over to our customer service and our relationships that time is now so now my my list has shifted this year last year and this year my list shifted now i need at the top of my list i need some personal boundaries including self-awareness um willingness to be coached and trained everything about yourself ironically that's where i would start you follow so i do yeah how do you set uh i mean my thoughts just in this with let's say um removing personal like having personal boundaries in just the day-to-day where sometimes um there's many days that i haven't personally been able to disconnect completely from work at the end of the day right and and i feel like there's that um personal boundary that's hard to define yes where they bleed in especially if you work from home and a lot of people have naturally in 2020 and in 2021 now um have forced to work from home good or bad um how does one in customer service and obviously for those listening think about in the context for you how does one separate their professional to personal boundaries absolutely so this is something that i've talked to my clients about a lot and i say one of the least talked about customer service skills is acting your acting skills ah okay how about that i tell them that you do not it is not required that you feel it in order to express it it's not that's not a requirement and that is an extra burden that we're putting on ourselves in order for me to show empathy to dallin i've got to be feel good my day's got to be perfect everything's got to be going great in my life and the pandemic doesn't affect me at all i that's what that's what we're doing to ourselves so unnecessary it's called acting people it's not hard and let me tell you i i just this is a great place for me to tell you just this i won't tell the whole story but i'll use this as an example i had the great honor of helping a person who was returning to work and here's what i will say this is how i tell this story so we don't all get choked up this person had was returning to work because she had received the call that no parent ever wants to receive so i think you get me on that and your listeners will get there it's better for me to say it that i've practiced how to say that without saying what it was just read between the lines so who's there to be to join her when she comes back me i'm seated side by side and there she is having to answer the telephone on one of her first days back and she is as buried in grief as one can get get this she and i are talking i'm expressing empathy i'm interested in everything she's talking about i want to hear how she's doing and then ring ring the phone rings she turns around thank you for calling xyz company how may i help you wow she takes the call handles it beautifully she does her write up her documentation i should say she does the documentation and then she turns it in her chair and we go right back to that conversation

i was so impressed i mean let me tell you that was years ago that story has stayed with me i gave it a name dallin i call it the swivel learning how to do the swivel because literally she swiveled in her chair answered the call did her documentation she swiveled around and then she's telling me how miserable she is how sad the situation was i'm listening to all the details so not only did i learn the importance of her knowing how to do the swivel as i call it but i learned another lesson about us as leaders my showing empathy and interest to her then she could turn and then deliver that same empathy to the customer that to me was a living breathing example of how important all of this is she had somebody seated right next to her tell me everything let's talk about the whole tell me everything you want me to know and i showed her empathy and then she was able to do that on the call she swiveled back around and we went back to our total misery and sadness i'm telling you what else do you need to know darling is that not just the best

yeah that's it for me yeah that's what a powerful swivel story uh yes and it's interesting because i don't think i've ever heard anyone describe customer service in the way of of acting and that like i and i'll speak for myself where i definitely um jump into thinking about customer service as you need to show that you care you know you need to be human and obviously all those elements can still be at play while you act um right yeah and so it's it's interesting just because uh yeah i i think the more people can understand that it's like acting can be okay i mean i i enjoy acting like i love stage plays i love movies and uh and we often you know think that oh and it's true a lot of these actors are making believe you know they're doing um they're completely embodying another person and it sounds like um would you say that it's kind of has to be that way right you have to embody this um person who's who cares about the customer and the person they're speaking to on the other end absolutely even if you know they may feel different about themselves because on it's they're not talking uh about themselves it's not about them on the call right it's about that hero of a customer on the other end exactly yeah that's that's so fascinating that that sheds a new light to me uh on what it means to do effective customer service absolutely i'll tell you i mean this is i can't believe i'm talking to talking to your audience like this as though they know me but i'm gonna tell it i'll just tell this story that i can remember one of the toughest days that i ever had just you know things going on you know how things happen in life but i was already scheduled to go to one of my client buildings and i thought well now how am i going to pull this off so what i did was i made the adjustment in the parking lot i said you know whatever is going on charlotte you can you can have it going on it's real life it's nothing that anybody else isn't going through but you have this appointment once i gave myself till i got to the parking lot once i was in the parking lot i said from when i leave my car until you know when i go into the building until i'm back at my car this is they are paying me to come and provide a service for them they are not paying me to come and be miserable and make everybody else miserable i was so clear about that and i can remember that parking lot and thinking i can do this because because the truth of the matter is it is a role r-o-l-e that's what it is and here's what i want to leave with your audience as well it is unreasonable that is an unreasonable expectation that you or i or anyone else will feel that every single day that's that's just it's just not humanly possible to feel it so when you take away the feeling part and you don't base it on the field that's not a requirement for me that i feel it before i'm able to deliver it to my clients i can't even begin to tell you the freedom so guess what i have i have had like more client engagements that i can count anymore i don't even count them anymore spend that many but if you brought on any of my clients they will tell you we didn't even know she had a tough day they if they heard this story they said well when was that we've never seen you you you're there yeah you're always happy that's exactly right exactly and and they are right because i'm happy to be there to deliver that service to them and i am clear that whatever is going on in my life is not their responsibility at all they have nothing to do with that and i'm telling you that has that has just brought me a level of freedom and excitement about the work that i do that i i'm i'm just happy to be able to talk to you you and your audience about it i am oh man that's so powerful and uh you mentioned leadership um how does leadership play a role in how we do customer service and connect with our customers absolutely um so i used to say the customer service begins when the phone rings for example or when the email comes in and i've actually changed that um dale and i think you'll be interested to know my new line now is customer service begins with the leadership when i walk into an environment and i see trends that clearly don't have the customer as the center i used to say well let's just change the script or oh my goodness let's change this process let's do something about that and now i say i'd like to request a meeting with the leaders please

completely yeah the leaders because what i've learned is that if there's something going on in an organization especially where customers are not being treated as they should then what that tells me is that the leaders have created an environment where that is acceptable

that's what i learned over these years so i i immediately request conversations with the leaders and i tell them that not only is it your job to set the standards and the vision for the organization but get this it's also your job to demonstrate that so for example i just had a conversation with some of my leaders recently dallin and i said we talked about empathy and i said now okay if you're going to talk about empathy while you're talking about it please demonstrate it i said i said how ironic would that be

to have a conversation about empathy and not demonstrate it while you're talking about it please show them what it looks like that's the best way to teach it to them and that got their attention i said that would just be too ironic you know so yeah so leadership let's set the vision the strategy the standards let's do that but the new leadership in a contact center or in a customer service environment also requires that we demonstrated let people see what it looks like that's to me true true leadership and i have had the great privilege of working with some some of the finest leaders anywhere and the leaders that i really like working with are the ones who came from the customer service profession and then they are people that i work with them i coach them i train them and then they move on to higher levels of leadership and they bring all of that customer service expertise and enthusiasm with them and then they go on and lead organizations i just say two thumbs up to those who take customer service seriously and then move on into leadership oh yeah oh yeah you know i i my previous employer uh this is coming up i mean about four years ago or so um before i started my own business i heavily worked with a massive customer service department um that within the company they were a client of mine and so i got to see incredible leadership um from from the top down in this department and i i completely agree it definitely starts at the top um to lay that vision for what it means to serve the customers um well one thing i would love to get into is uh you mentioned your book um i think before we started recording um what kind of messages would you like to share from the book to really invite listeners and viewers to take the next right step in their their brand building journey and and even learn more about what you have to offer absolutely so the book is the customer communication formula how to communicate with your customers and boost your customer service brand let me just say that this is an answer to the multiple requests from my clients who i can't even begin to tell you how many times when are you going to write a book please write a book one of my clients even even said um you owe the world the book and i said well you know no one's ever said those words to me before so i am happy to do exactly what they asked me to do i wrote a book and it's a two-in-one book so the first part of the book is for that person who's providing customer service front line person i call them takes them from the beginning of a call or interaction to the end i call it from the connection to closure and walks through all of those steps we can take in strategies i've learned and taught over the years the second part of the book is written for leaders and it talks to them about some of the questions and reflections we want leaders to engage in to think about like what are you doing why are you doing it is the customer at the center of what you're doing those kind of more strategic thinking process questions and then i list for organizations um 10 statements about customer service that i believe every every company every organization wants to at least consider so i did that because a lot as i mentioned i'm proud to say that a lot of the customer service professionals i work with move on to levels of leadership so i wanted a book that took them from where they are now to other levels of leadership one of the things i do in the book is i tell some of the behind the scenes stories so for example the swivel story is in there and i give people um that kind of behind the curtain look at what i did as a consultant and why i did it and the other thing i do is i talk about the lessons i learned in my beloved tuscaloosa alabama how upon reflection the lessons that i learned at home at school at church and throughout my community i mean if you look at those lessons that's what i'm teaching for the foundation for customer service so i give a big shout out to my hometown for giving me that foundation so bottom line is that the readers of the book i treat them just like they are a client i tell them i talk just like i'm talking to you i talk just like i'm talk i talk to my clients and what i say is that i want the reader to be like a virtual client and so it is a an easy read it's also stories and you are like you're sitting across the table having a conversation with me incredible incredible and i i think you mentioned too you wanted to read a passage yes from it as well um yes i'd love for you to share that would be amazing yes absolutely so this is in the afterward of the book okay and this is to serve as an um inspiration for our um customer service professionals i call them leaders and anyone interested in customer service and this is how i end the book i say when we think of customer service we often think of procedures processes protocol customer service is so much more as customer service professionals organizational leaders and consultants we have an opportunity to influence organizations to change lives to be a blessing and to make the world a better place just as i learned in my beloved tuscaloosa alabama so good i love that you reference it back to your roots um you know that hometown of yours and it really brings your own full story you know in full circle you know um what uh what parting wisdom could you share to those who are like this is all amazing information but what can i do next to implement it into my business

that is a a great time for a call to action right right yes a call to action so my recommendation would be to

to really stop and think first of all not from your point of view not from the organization's point of view but from the point of view of the customer what is your customer service experience like from their point of view that's one of the questions that i ask my leaders the leaders is have you ever experienced your customer service yourself and i know that we can't all be undercover boss the television show we can't all do that but it's important that to me would be a place to start

how does a customer feel about and notice and now i'm using the word feel what does your customer service experience feel like to your customers i would start there and then i would of course invite them to learn more about the formula that i developed and have used for over two decades and then how to apply that formula to the three phases i call it the connection the conversation and closure whether it's voice whether it's email whether it's chat all of our customer service interactions have those three phases it's taken me years to sort that out but i finally sorted it out and made it easy for everybody because they all start with the letter c connection conversation closure how to apply the formula in those three phases and what we can do to get our customer satisfaction numbers up this year we can all make that a goal and when i say customer satisfaction i want to be clear i want to be clear let's talk about the external customers but also with everything that's going on in the world right now this is the perfect opportunity for us to think about our internal customers our team members our business partners our colleagues across the organization if we were ever going to step it up in terms of our internal customer service this is the time to do that

such a great perspective um to bring into this conversation and relevant to today and always uh really with addressing both types of customers and the service they require to help our businesses grow but also their lives to grow improve as well um charlotte this has been amazing conversation you've shared so much good value i love it um where can people learn more about you absolutely so i invite your listeners to feel free to

visit my website and feel free to send me a note and if they would send a note and let me know that they heard me on this podcast that would mean a lot to me and i'll be happy to respond i look forward to hearing from your listeners very much so awesome well thank you so much thank you it's been a pleasure thanks so much for listening uh once again if you would like to learn more about how you can use your unique message and share with the world through video and create videos that actually are professional and perform bring you money and all of the results and influence that you want to make then i invite you to learn more by going to thanks again for listening and we'll talk to you very soon


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