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The Phone Lady's Blog

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Incivility Costs Us … Even After the Call!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 10, 2019

Sara Moginot is a customer service aficionado, a regular reader of this blog … and the author of this article. From sarcasm to bullying, incivility in the workplace reduces productivity, lowers morale and increases employee stress levels. Whether we are a victim or a witness, there’s … Read more

Connecting with Your Compassion – 7 Easy Steps

By Mary Jane Copps | February 3, 2019

After reading my post about a recent car accident and compassionate communication, Duncan Ebata of Shift! Food in Wolfville, NS, sent me this question on Instagram: “How do we structure conversations to have more compassion and still get what we need done?” Great question! How can we … Read more

A Dog, a Kayak and a Phone Lesson

By Mary Jane Copps | January 27, 2019

Sara Moginot is a customer service aficionado and a regular reader of this blog. She recently had a “light bulb moment” while enjoying an outdoor adventure with her dog … something that’s valuable for all of us to consider when our phone rings. What did … Read more

Accident-al Conversations: How Compassion Can Change Everything

By Mary Jane Copps | January 20, 2019

On Monday afternoon at 1:20 pm, driving back to my office from a workshop in Truro, I was rear-ended at a stop light. (It’s important to say here that I’m fine. The car is undergoing repairs until early February, but I’m perfectly fine.) The next … Read more

Options vs Opinions

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2019

As business owners, salespeople and customer service reps, our job is to create the clearest communication possible. Yet we often confuse, and sometimes alienate, clients and prospects when we present their options tangled up with our opinions. How do options and opinions get tangled up … Read more

What’s With “Talking Over”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 5, 2019

We’ve all had this happen on the phone – the other person talks over us as we start or finish a thought. Doesn’t it make you crazy? Speaking for myself … it gets under my skin very quickly. Why does talking over happen? What does … Read more

One Word for 2019

By Mary Jane Copps | December 30, 2018

There’s power in resolution, in the simple act of saying to myself, “This is going to happen.” -MJC For the fourth year, I’m sharing with you the concept of One Word. I was introduced to this idea in 2016 by my colleague and friend Jeanie Burke, President … Read more

Holiday Joy!

By Mary Jane Copps | December 23, 2018

While it’s certainly exciting to find presents under a tree, there are hundreds of other ways to embrace the joy of this season. It will come as no surprise that one of mine includes phone conversations, while the other … well … it can be … Read more

The Phone Lady’s Best Advice in 2018

By Mary Jane Copps | December 16, 2018

In the 13 years I’ve had the pleasure of being The Phone Lady, 2018 definitely delivered the most change in communication. Each shift, from encountering more silence within phone calls, to treating every phone call as a scheduled meeting, requires that we adapt and embrace … Read more

What’s With Persistence?

By Mary Jane Copps | December 9, 2018

When I stand in front of a group of entrepreneurs or salespeople and talk about persistence, almost everyone squirms in their seat. The discomfort around following up, making multiple calls and connections, is almost universal. Why? I think it’s about semantics, the words we use … Read more

Customer Service By The Numbers

By Mary Jane Copps | December 1, 2018

When it comes to creating a great experience for our customers, we need to ask the question, “What do our customers want?” Delivering service based on their expectations is key to our success. Fortunately, there are companies out there crunching the numbers for us and … Read more

When We Follow Procedure …

By Mary Jane Copps | November 25, 2018

Two years ago a Toronto-based client introduced me to their downtown hotel of choice. I deeply appreciated both the atmosphere and the service I received. Since then, whether in the city for work or personal reasons, I’ve stayed at this hotel. So I was very … Read more

Sorry … Wrong Number

By Mary Jane Copps | November 17, 2018

My business phone rang one Saturday afternoon while I was at my desk. I quickly checked the number and, while it was local, it wasn’t one I recognized. I made the choice most of us do these days – I didn’t answer. When I eventually … Read more

What Are Your “Details”?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2018

This oft-asked question came up in a workshop earlier this week when discussing how to leave effective voicemail messages: What should we say when the person’s instruction is to “leave a detailed message”? What is a detailed message today? What details should you leave to … Read more

Keep Your Team “In The Loop”

By Mary Jane Copps | November 4, 2018

Florence Anderson is a customer service aficionado and a regular reader of this blog. She’s responding to the October 6 post with an insightful story about email assumptions and the chaos that can result. When should an email be accompanied by a phone call? What’s … Read more

The Death of Spontaneity

By Mary Jane Copps | October 28, 2018

If you’re not reaching clients or prospects on the phone, don’t take it personally. It’s part of a larger societal shift that is phasing out our relationship with spontaneous phone calls. This was clarified for me recently in a conversation with Jeff Brookhouser, President & … Read more

At The Sound of Your Tone …

By Mary Jane Copps | October 20, 2018

While rushing about doing weekend errands last Saturday, I received an important – and tear-filled – lesson on the power of tone of voice … all while choosing between green beans or kale! What was the lesson? And why did it make me cry? I’m … Read more

Two Ways To Immediately Increase Customer Service Excellence

By Mary Jane Copps | October 14, 2018

Years ago, one of my most loyal clients asked me to deliver a workshop on a topic with which I had minimal expertise. When I declined, they asked me to find the right facilitator. And I did. She is Denise Williams, owner of Customer Service … Read more

Are You “In The Loop”?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 6, 2018

We have so many ways to reach each other. I continue to be deluged by email and text is a constant, as well. I have friends and family who are best reached by Instagram, others who are faithful to Facebook. And, of course, there are … Read more

What I’m Thinking About: Loyalty

By Mary Jane Copps | September 30, 2018

The word “loyalty” has become strongly associated with marketing activities. There are loyalty cards and programs. There are special offers and prizes. Loyalty is something businesses strive to capture, yet, as illustrated in a recent post, don’t always know how to retain. Perhaps that’s because … Read more

Our #1 Responsibility as Entrepreneurs & Salespeople

By Mary Jane Copps | September 22, 2018

Whenever I work with entrepreneurs I ask them: “What is your first and most important responsibility?” The popular answer is “make money”, and of course this is vital. But at the top of the priority list is … letting your target market know you exist. … Read more

What’s the Value of Loyalty?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 14, 2018

In 1988 my oldest stepdaughter was attending university, paying rent, working part-time and pursuing a singing career. Money was tight, to say the least, and it was definitely time for her to have her first credit card. My advice? The same card I was using … Read more

The #1 Way to Increase Success With Customers & Prospects

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2018

A quote floated past me on Twitter last week and took my breath away for a moment. It captured a bit of wisdom that I believe deeply. I quickly wrote it down and used it as the starting point for a workshop the next day. … Read more

Lessons Learned From “Is That Me?”

By Mary Jane Copps | September 2, 2018

Throughout August I’ve been working on a project that’s had me navigating a huge learning curve – one I’ve been procrastinating on for quite some time. I’ve been “uncomfortable” throughout the process and it’s made me think about both my mother-in-law and the many people … Read more

10 Ways to Uncover What Your Customers Experience

By Mary Jane Copps | August 26, 2018

We have all received dreadful customer service. It happens over the phone, in person and online. It can make us angry, frustrated and disappointed, and left wondering why the business would allow their staff, or their automation, to treat us so badly? Yet all of … Read more

A “Heritage” Phone Story

By Mary Jane Copps | August 19, 2018

For many, many years my sister and I have kept up a tradition of a weekly phone conversation. She lives in Ottawa, I live in Halifax and every Sunday morning we use our landlines to speak to each other. During the winter I call her … Read more

“Send” Does Not Mean “Received”

By Mary Jane Copps | August 11, 2018

We have very high expectations of email … and text. We believe that once we hit “send”, our words have been received, read and acted upon. But this is not always true. To create excellent communication – and avoid some uncomfortable situations – we need … Read more

Customer Service: It Takes A Village

By Mary Jane Copps | August 5, 2018

On July 22 I shared with you a challenge I was having with my accounting software, Sage, and how it was influencing my thoughts on customer service. Not only did I receive great comments on the post, it ended up inspiring numerous online, phone and … Read more

The #1 Way to Increase Phone Conversations with Prospects and Customers

By Mary Jane Copps | July 28, 2018

Last week I received an email request from a not-for-profit in Toronto. They had found my website and were looking for information on how I might help them with fundraising calls. I happened to be at my desk when the request came in and I … Read more

What I’m Thinking About: Customer Service

By Mary Jane Copps | July 22, 2018

I have a bill on my desk that is twice what I expected. It arrived from my accounting software company several months ago. Because I have this company set up for monthly auto payments, this large bill has already been paid … even though I … Read more

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The undeniable value of a phone call - read the interview with Mary Jane.
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Some on Wall Street are hanging up on voicemail. See what The Phone Lady has to say.