The Phone Lady's Blog

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My Cellphone Dilemna

By Mary Jane Copps | October 6, 2013

I’ve been contemplating some criticism I received back in August about how I handle incoming calls. The Wall Street Journal article had just been published and there were people from all over the world reaching out to me. And for many of them their expectation … Read more

Are You Up For a Challenge?

By Mary Jane Copps | September 8, 2013

If you want to test out, practice or stretch your phone skills, I have a challenge for you this week. I’ve been asked the question “Why the telephone?” a lot in the past few weeks. And while I’ve been contemplating the many different answers, I … Read more

21 Words of Wisdom

By Mary Jane Copps | August 25, 2013

This quote, by Henry David Thoreau, came across my desk this week: The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer. There’s a lot of wisdom in these 21 words. Asking our customers … Read more

Help Wanted: Information for Decision Making

By Mary Jane Copps | June 23, 2013

I first encountered the impact of too many choices several years ago. I was in a greeting card store, standing in front of one of the many racks filled with colour and images and words. I had already walked up and down the aisles twice, … Read more

Assumptions Limit Excellence

By Mary Jane Copps | May 26, 2013

At the Ottawa Airport this morning, someone’s boarding pass drifted past my feet as I walked to my gate. I picked it up and went over to the agents for the appropriate flight. “Good Morning, ladies,” I said to them both (it was 7 am), … Read more

The First Impression

By Mary Jane Copps | May 5, 2013

All of us need to give more thought to our outbound voicemail message. Why? Because for our clients, customers, donors and prospects our voicemail is our receptionist. It is vital that this “receptionist” welcome our callers and contain our desire to be of service. In … Read more

Am I Being a Pest? And Kudos to Porter

By Mary Jane Copps | April 21, 2013

“What’s the best time to call?” is one of the questions I get asked frequently and earlier this week I posted my answer to The Lunch Pack’s Burst of Learning group on LinkedIn. (It takes less than a minute to read and can be found … Read more

Precision and Silence

By Mary Jane Copps | March 24, 2013

This is an inspired blog … inspired by Brookes Diamond to be exact. I had the pleasure of running into him on Barrington Street on Tuesday – looking very dapper I  might add. (Brookes and Fiona Diamond are amazing entrepreneurs, currently creating heritage entertainment for … Read more

Another Perspective

By Mary Jane Copps | March 3, 2013

This week I bring you someone else’s thoughts on phone communication, courtesy of colleague Andrew Scollick of Falconer Group Andrew is indeed a voracious reader and I send him my thanks for connecting me with this Harvard Business Review Blog by Dan Pallotta ( … Read more

Honoured Customer or It’s All About The Money!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 24, 2013

Perhaps like many of you, I carry a curiosity about meditation. I’ve heard so many positive reviews of the practice not only in the media, but also from close and trusted friends. So in late October when I discovered an opportunity to experience guided mediation … Read more

Powerful Words: What

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2013

When we pick up the phone to call a customer or a potential customer, our objective should be to inspire conversation. With our customers, we want to learn more about them, find out how we can provide more or better service. After all, they are … Read more

Powerful Words: Names

By Mary Jane Copps | January 27, 2013

This past week I immersed myself in phonework for three solid days – a rare occurrence that I welcomed with excitement. (I know, I know, many of you think that is completely bonkers!) But dialing the phone to accomplish a specific goal is the foundation … Read more

Powerful Words: Or

By Mary Jane Copps | January 20, 2013

No matter why we pick up a phone – to close a sale, book a meeting, connect with a customer or resolve a service issue  – being able to inspire a conversation holds tremendous value. It is through conversation that we can: *hear opinions, thoughts … Read more

Powerful Words: The Language of Effective Telephone Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | January 6, 2013

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful holiday season and that 2013 holds not only prosperity but a few dreams come true for each of us. This quote has been following me around the past few weeks: “I like good strong words that … Read more

When There’s Value in Being Last

By Mary Jane Copps | December 2, 2012

I’ll admit that this particular bit of advice sounds quite silly. For some of us, it evokes memories of delicious teenage telephone conversations that we couldn’t bear to have come to an end, so we fell into a game of “you hang up first – … Read more

My Neighbour’s Roof

By Mary Jane Copps | November 26, 2012

In the broad spectrum of home improvement projects, a new roof carries its own unique stress because – when you need a new roof, you need it! One evening this past Fall, while looking out the window above our kitchen sink, I noticed that our … Read more

It’s All In The Name …

By Mary Jane Copps | November 11, 2012

How you answer your business telephone – be it a land line or a cellphone – tells your customers a lot about you and the service you provide. If you want to deliver “awesome” follow the simple guidelines below: 1)     Express your desire to be … Read more

Who’s At The End of The Line?

By Mary Jane Copps | October 8, 2012

This past week I called the CEO’s office of a local corporation. I placed the call with great excitement because of an opportunity that’s brewing I believe is a perfect fit for them (more on this in a future post). I was also very relaxed … Read more

Silence Means You’re Listening

By Mary Jane Copps | September 9, 2012

Part of my Saturday morning was spent with the friendly, energetic woman of lia sophia. I want to thank them for a great Phone Lady power hour – they truly dedicated themselves to learning – while having fun. Special thanks go to Independent Advisor and … Read more

Ask – And Keep Asking!

By Mary Jane Copps | August 29, 2012

Riding the subway in Toronto recently I was inspired by the slogan of one of the local cellphone companies. Adapting it slightly, I want to introduce it as a foundation or core value for business success: “How do you keep your customers and clients happy; … Read more

The Phone is Part of Your Brand

By Mary Jane Copps | August 8, 2012

How employees behave on the telephone is, or at least should be, a vital component of every company’s branding, of their “personality”.  Why? Because every time we interact with a customer or prospect we are influencing their decision to stay or become our customer. Whether … Read more

Vacation messages – It’s ugly out there!

By Mary Jane Copps | July 30, 2012

Is it the excitement of summer vacation – or any vacation – that causes people to suddenly become, well, thought-less? That’s my guess. I do empathize. There’s nothing like that last day of work before a holiday, the focus we have as we “tie up … Read more

A Pioneer of Social Media

By Mary Jane Copps | March 11, 2012

Saturday March 10 2012 – Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call was made 136 years ago today. And while our interactions with this amazing invention have changed substantially, it’s probably safe to say that very few of us get through a whole day without using … Read more

Listen – Respond – Build Rapport

By Mary Jane Copps | February 12, 2012

This past week I was on the phone steadily and had several strong reminders of the importance of listening – and responding – to what I hear. This is vital to our ability to create and maintain strong relationships.  Phone fear is grounded in our inability … Read more

One Small Word

By Mary Jane Copps | August 23, 2009
man speaking on phone

When I started my first company, at the tender and overly self-confident age of 28, one small word got in the way of my increasing revenue consistently. That word was “just”. I used it in my telephone conversations, like most people do, to be polite, … Read more

Radio New Zealand logo
How to tackle your telephone hang-ups. People with bad cases of telephone anxiety can experience nausea, increased heart rate and shortness of breath at the sound of a ringtone. Listen in...

Phone Phobia Hits the News

Phone phobia, or telephobia, has been getting a lot of attention in the news recently. See what Mary Jane has to say about it...
Margins of Error with Harry Enten
CNN's Harry Enten asks why we’re avoiding phone calls and whether we can be coached through our telephone-related nerves in this Margins of Error podcast featuring Mary Jane.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
22 Minutes correspondent, Brandon Hackett, figures out which end is up on this thing called a telephone, with help from The Phone Lady. Watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.
The Wall Street Journal.
Banks Curtail Employee Use of Voice Mail: Voice mail is viewed as an expensive vestige of a bygone era. See what The Phone Lady has to say.