Ten Thoughts to Encourage Others

Over the years I have noticed people with ability and skill to do a task or an assignment often lack the confidence to tackle the job before them. If they are a writer, they may fear to put words on paper. If an analyst, they may hesitate or question themselves before solving a problem or recommending a solution.

I have found that a little encouragement helps them make their goals and do their job. Here are ten thoughts on how I encourage others.

1. Show a Sincere Interest in the Person.

  • Listen to what they are saying.
  • When they are talking, look at them not your smart phone.
  • Be interested in what is happening in their life, the challenge(s) they are facing.
  • Let them know you care.

2. Acknowledge What’s Important. 

  • When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.
  • A proper technique I use is merely to restate their question or challenge and then allow them to talk it through.
  • Follow-up and ask how it’s going, are they making progress.
  • Do not share similar circumstances you have lived through or had a friend or family member survive. It’s about them, not you!

3. Say “Congratulations.”

  • These magical “Words of Encouragement” at the right time can make all the difference between a person “keeping going” and “giving up.”
  • Congratulate them on a job or task well done. This recognition can be as simple as thanking them for meeting a deadline.
  • A “Post-It” note or email congratulatory word has fantastic results.
  • Give a person the credit they’ve earned. Do not claim it for yourself.

4. Be There. 

  • Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need.
  • Just being there for them is encouraging.
  • Many times all they need is a listening ear to talk through the issue or task.
  • Let them know “you have there back.” Many times these simple acts share hope.

5. Say “Thank You.”

  • Saying thank you is a common courtesy.
  • It is good manners.
  • People like a little reward for hard work.
  • A simple thank you will make others aware that you know what they have done worthwhile and find it meaningful to you.

6. Return the Favor.

  • If someone does something sweet for you, an excellent way to show your appreciation is merely to return the favor.
  • Returning a favor will both shock and encourage them.
  • Consider bringing them a coffee or offering to help them with their next project or routine tasks when they have a short deadline or a heavy workload. You might take their “on-call” where they can have a weekend break instead of swapping weekends with them.
  • Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer With Something Unexpected. 

  • I have a phrase I have used for years … love them from where they are to where they need to be!
  • Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.
  • If something went wrong, help them focus on the solution instead of assigning blame.
  • It is incredible the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “Good Finder.”

  • A “good finder” is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.
  • An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their usual tardiness.
  • A good finder affirms their coworkers or friends.
  • People will gravitate toward you where you’re a “good finder” as you’ll become someone who makes others feel good.

9. Smile.

  • Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?
  • Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?
  • Share an encouraging smile.
  • Smiling will transform your own attitude as well.

10. Offer to Lend a Hand. 

  • You can offer to lend a hand.
  • Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.
  • Show them you really care by being there for them.
  • If a person gives me an excessive workload, I usually ask them if there is anything else I can do for them when I finish the job. I do not complain about the amount of work.

What are some ways you encourage friends or coworkers? These techniques also work with your spouse or partner. Please share your suggestions in the comments.

What are some ways you encourage other? Post your actions in the comments. They just might enocourge someone!

Photo Source: Pixaby

Ten Thoughts to Encourage Others

Ten Thoughts to Encourage Others:

Over the years I have noticed people who have the ability and skill to do a task or assignment often lack the confidence to tackle the job before them. If they are a writer, they may fear to put words on paper. If an analyst, they may hesitate or question themselves before solving a problem or recommending a solution.

I have found that a little encouragement helps them achieve their goals and do their job. Here are ten thoughts on how I encourage others.

1. Show a Sincere Interest in the Person.

  • Listen to what they are saying.
  • When they are talking, look at them not your smartphone.
  • Be interested in what is happening in their life, the challenge(s) they are facing.
  • Let them know you care.

2. Acknowledge What’s Important. 

  • When you acknowledge what’s important to others, you offer a form of verification and support about who they are and what they’re doing.
  • A proper technique I use is merely to restate their question or challenge and then allow them to talk it through.
  • Follow-up and ask how it’s going, are they making progress.
  • Do not share similar circumstances you have lived through or had a friend or family member survive. It’s about them, not you!

3. Say “Congratulations.”

  • These magical “Words of Encouragement” at the right time can make all the difference between a person “keeping going” and “giving up.”
  • Congratulate them on a job or task well done. This may be as simple as their meeting a deadline.
  • A “Post-It” note or email congratulatory word has fantastic results.
  • Give a person the credit they’ve earned. Do not claim it for yourself.

4. Be There. 

  • Sometimes the “ministry of your presence” is all they need.
  • Just being there for them is encouraging.
  • Many times all they need is a listening ear to talk through the issue or task.
  • Let them know “you have there back.” Many times these simple acts share hope.

5. Say “Thank You.”

  • Saying thank you is a common courtesy.
  • It is good manners.
  • People like a little reward for hard work.
  • A simple thank you will make others aware that you know what they have done worthwhile and find it meaningful to you.

6. Return the Favor.

  • If someone does something sweet for you, an excellent way to show your appreciation is merely to return the favor.
  • It will both shock and encourage them.
  • I can be as simple as bring them a coffee or offering to help them with their next project or routine tasks when they are overloaded. You might take their “on-call” where they can have a weekend break instead of swapping weekends with them.
  • Note: don’t ever do something expecting someone to return the favor for you.

7. Answer With Something Unexpected. 

  • I have a phrase I have used for years … love them from where they are to where they need to be!
  • Even when others let me down or they know I know they “dropped the ball” I don’t tell them so, I usually pick the ball up for them.
  • If something went wrong, help them focus on the solution instead of assigning blame.
  • It is incredible the long-term results this can have in encouraging someone.

8. Be a “Good Finder.”

  • A “good finder” is a person who looks for the good, not the bad in a person or a situation.
  • An example would be if a person is always late to meetings, but makes in on time to your meeting instead of saying “About time you attended a meeting on time” say “I really appreciate the extra effort you made to get here on time” without any reference to their usual tardiness.
  • A good finder affirms their coworkers or friends.
  • People will gravitate toward you where you’re a “good finder” as you’ll become someone who makes others feel good.

9. Smile.

  • Have you ever experienced the magic of a simple smile?
  • Have you ever noticed how when you smile at someone they smile back?
  • Share an encouraging smile.
  • Smiling will transform your own attitude as well.

10. Offer to Lend a Hand. 

  • You can offer to lend a hand.
  • Sometimes a person feels like the weight of the world is on their shoulders and no one cares.
  • Show them you really care. You can be there.
  • If a person gives me an excessive workload, I usually ask them if there is anything else I can do for them when I finish the job. I do not complain about the amount of work.

What are some ways you encourage friends or coworkers? These techniques also work with your spouse or partner. Please share your suggestions in the comments.

Photo Source: Pixaby

Customer Care Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do: The Next Step

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step

Let’s face it; we have all had bad customer service experiences. Like me, I bet you can recall the details of every instance of bad service. If you are like most people, you probably told anyone who would listen about your dreadful experience.

The average customer will tell many people of a bad experience. That’s the type of word of mouth advertising we do not want.

One way to avoid painful misunderstandings is to tell the customer what you are going to do. Make sure they understand the next steps in the process.

Here’s a checklist to help:

  1. Recap expectations and follow-up items in a summary form.
  2. Ask the customer if your understanding is correct.
  3. Tell them your name and that you are the person responsible for resolving the issue.
  4. Tell the customer any requirements they have. Examples would be:
    1. What paperwork or documentation do they need to provide?
    2. What format is the paperwork or documentation? Electronic or paper?
    3. When is the paperwork or documentation due?
    4. Contact information if they need help, have questions, or need an extension?
  5. Tell them what to expect from you.
    1. How will you acknowledge receipt of the paperwork or documentation?
    2. How long will it take to process?
    3. What you they expect to receive from you and when?
    4. How is resolution notification handled? The is a great touch point for a courtesy contact of the customer.
    5. Contact information if they have questions or if they feel you are too slow and need a status update.

Having a road map to help the customer understand the next steps is an excellent way to create goodwill. The client has confidence when they have an understanding of the process. Knowing by name a contact person who handles managing their issue is a core ingredient to world-class customer service. You can provide this point of touch even if the follow-up work is someone else’s. The name you give is the one managing the incident or case.

Follow through on all promises. A great plan requires execution. Failure to follow through will lose all the great service and goodwill you work so hard to create.

Customer Service Tip – Tell the Customer What You Are Going to Do – The Next Step


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.

Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.

Let me share with you a recent experience of receiving poor customer service. Here are some of the lessons from the situation and my story.

Last Saturday morning my car battery died. It was the original equipment battery that came with the car. Let’s face it, car batteries die. My story is the service or lack of good services I received from a garage that has worked on my vehicles for fifteen years. During those years, I have paid them over $10,000 for both routine maintenance and major repairs for more than a half-dozen cars I have owned.

In the thirty days before my battery died my car had been in their shop three times. The first time it was there my engine had died when I was driving down the highway. It had happened one other time about a week earlier, as well. In both instances, I only turned the key and restarted the car. I asked them to check the fuel and electrical system to see what was happening. They found nothing.

About ten days later I was back to have for my annual state inspection. They inspected the car and sent me on my way.

My third visit was just a week before the battery failed. This time I was in for an oil change. When the car was ready, I noticed they had not washed the windshield and windows like they usually do when I get the oil changed. I also found they had not vacuumed my car. The complimentary cleaning of the interior is one of the services they provide make their higher prices more tolerable.

Here is why I got upset this time. I realized they usually used their battery tester every time I was in for routine service or major repairs. They would always let me know how the battery tested and if it was nearing the end of its life cycle. I had them pull my records. They attach a copy of the battery test to the invoice when they check the battery.  They had not tested my battery my battery my last three visits.

I addressed the lack of testing with the shop foreman and then the owner. They had failed to check my battery. They also had not provided their concierge-class complimentary services.

What I received was the excuse that they had made a conscious decision due to the increased workload to service customers faster by not testing the battery or cleaning the car. They equated better service with handling a higher volume of clients instead of providing their past quality service.

The results of their actions caused me to get stranded for over an hour while I waited for assistance. They also missed out on selling me a battery. If they had tested and then told me the results showed that it would fail soon, I would have bought a new one immediately.

I believe their short-cut contributed to my being stranded with a dead battery. They missed the chance to make a sale. They also missed out on creating goodwill.

Most of all, they are now at risk of losing me and my extended family as well as my friends as customers.

Customer Care Tip – Taking short-cuts/not asking for the sale is bad customer service.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Customer Care Tip – Your attitude should be, “It’s a joy to help.”

Customer Care Tip – Your attitude should be, “It’s a joy to help.”

I do technical customer service and support by choice, not by chance. There are other jobs and tasks I could do instead. However, I enjoy serving people and not being a servant to a computer server.

Years ago I decided customer service was a mindset. I could choose to give poor, average, or great customer service to my clients. My attitude toward them was not dependent upon how nice or demanding they were toward me. I believe everyone needs the same level of service I would give my mother or my spouse. I learned a long time ago that rarely is the client or users reaction to me personal. I should give my best. The result is they’ll get great service and reflect a more positive attitude back toward me. I honestly believe this. I have experienced it.

Colossians 3:23 in the King James Version of the Bible reads, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;”. You may ask what a Bible verse has to do with customer service. My thought is we need to realize that our role is serving the customer. When we give our best, it has an active reflection on us, our co-workers and management, and our company. Let your life be guided by religious belief, “to God be the glory.”

Remember you not only hold the key to the type of experience the customer has, but you hold the key to the way you react to your clients.

I’ll be honest and admit not all customers are a joy to help. Some clients can become a major challenge. When the customer is a challenge to help, it is time to give the extra effort and “nice them to death”. By that, I mean I double my efforts to take care of them. I make sure in spite of their bad attitude that I am the point of sunshine in their day. I make sure of the handling of their issue to mutual satisfaction. I do not let them get to me. I enjoy the challenge of helping them get from where they are to where they need to be.

You can’t make everything right for everyone. You can manage how you react to them. You can do your best to make sure they have a good experience. When resolving their issue why not join me in telling them, “It’s a joy to help”.

Customer Care Tip – Your attitude should be, “It’s a joy to help.”


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Customer Care Tip – Allow the Customer to Have a Good Experience.

Customer Care Tip – Allow the Customer to Have a Good Experience.

What is a purchaser’s experience when they have a customer service issue with your company? Is the issue handled to a mutually acceptable resolution? Is the patron’s experience a good one or one of frustration? Is your customer left with a good experience?

Most businesses policies (the why) and procedures (the how) are bountiful. Many times the regulations exist because once upon a time someone had good intentions. Our fairy tale like intent can turn into a nightmare. Policies designed to help our customers can morph into a procedural obstacle course of frustration.

We need to take a step back and look at the real reason for the policies in place and at the procedures for implementing said policies. It is not uncommon for careful analysis to come to the realization that our processes supply our needs while forgetting about the desires of our customers.

When customer’s needs take second place, they receive second class service. Fortunately, the situation is correctable. Here are a few simple steps to help make the service better.

  1. Ask your customers what their experience is like to work with you. Is it good? Is dealing with you a painful, cumbersome experience?
  2. Use a secret or mystery shopper to rate their experience with your business.
  3. Go undercover to find out for yourself what the experience is like dealing with your company. Will you like the answers you learn?
  4. Many times a good reference point on the level of customer care your company gives is found in how you are treated by your computer support people.

You hold the key to a customer’s experience when they have a customer service issue with your company.  You can make sure the issue is handled to a mutually acceptable resolution. You can ensure the customer’s experience is not one of frustration. You are the one who can allow the customer with a good experience.

Customer Care Tip – Allow the Customer to Have a Good Experience.


Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler’s work has appeared in six different Lifeway Christian publications as well as The Baptist Program, Thinking About Suicide.com, Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine and more. His short story stories The Cup, Invasion of the Prairie Dogs, Miracle at the Gibson Farm: A Christmas Story, and The Paintings as well as Gone Electric: A Poetry Collection are available on Amazon.com.

Customer Care Tip – Respect Your Customer By Respecting Their Time.

Stopwatch in HandCustomer Care Tip – Give your customer respect by respecting their time.

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield had a catchphrase, “I get no respect”. If your customers feel they get no respect, you’ll soon be out of a job. One way you can show respect to your customers is by honoring their time.

Today people are busier and busier than just twenty or thirty years ago. People are over scheduled. They work more hours now than ever before.

The last time I checked we still have only twenty-four hours to a day. Today people multi-task working from home in the evenings and even checking email and text messages from home and when they are out shopping.

Time is valuable. That is why people get unhappy when they think someone is wasting or intruding on their time.

When I make an outbound service call or call back to the customer, I ask them if this is a good time for them. I ask this question even when I have an appointment with them. Why do I do this? Situations change. You can listen to the background activity if you are calling someone on the phone for clues. You can tell if they are busy and stressed. You can offer to call back if the timing is wrong. You can suggest they call you when it is a better time.

Other times you may be providing face to face service to a client. Never forget they come to us needing us to do something for them. When they arrive, they want help now. They want everything solved on their schedule. Most of all, they do not want to be made to wait.

You know slow or bad service. Have you ever walked away because the person is just too slow? I have.  Slow or bad service is especially frustrating if it is taking too long for a job that should be quick and easily handled.

You would think since we all are busy, and all have experienced slow service it would be easy to remember to be not slow. Don’t do it to your customers! Slow or bad service includes how long someone waits on the telephone.

I find it easy to tell when someone is getting impatient. You should be able to determine that as well. If they are looking at their watches, you know you are probably guilty of doing things too slowly!

You need to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Avoid chit-chat or small talk when possible. Sure, both are good to build rapport with the customer, but just shooting the breeze wastes time for this client and those waiting in a physical line or call queue. It’s okay to talk to your customer about their concerns and how you make them whole.

Never forget the great customer service is about putting your customers ahead of your needs. One way you do this is to respect their time. Respecting their time is

  • Quickly identifying their needs
  • Staying on task
  • Seeing things from their point of view
  • Solving their concerns the first time
  • Avoiding transferring the customer to someone else
  • Taking ownership of their concerns

When you do the above items in a timely manner, you show respect for your customer. Good service will build customer loyalty. Customer loyalty adds to your bottom line. It increases profits and you’ll never have a customer say, “I get no respect”.

Customer Care Tip – Give your customer respect by respecting their time.

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Jimmie Aaron Kepler

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a writer of speculative fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and reviews books. He’s written for Poetry & Prose Magazine, vox poetica, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Bewildering Stories, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, Thinking About Suicide.com, Author Culture, FrontRowLit.com, The Baseball History Podcast, Writing After Fifty, Sunday School Leadership, Church Leadership, Motivators For Sunday School Workers, The Deacon, Preschool Leadership, Sunday School Leader, and The Baptist Program. For sixteen years, he wrote a weekly newspaper column. He has written five fiction and poetry books. All are available on Amazon.com. His blog “Kepler’s Military History Book Reviews” was named a 100 Best Blogs for History Buffs and has had over 750,000 visitors.