The Phone Lady's Blog

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difficult communication

Customer Service Tip #1 – Get Over Yourself and Use This Phrase!

By Mary Jane Copps | May 22, 2022
upset man on the phone

The combination of the pandemic and our current economic climate has definitely increased stress levels. For many businesses, this means an increase in emotional conversations with customers. My webinars on the skills for managing and de-escalating big emotions on the phone, by email and in … Read more

Unleash Your Vulnerability

By Mary Jane Copps | December 4, 2021
man talkng on phone in office

Several years ago, while working with a very enthusiastic group of salespeople in Toronto, something totally unexpected happened. We were all together in a beautiful classroom space in the city’s financial district. All the latest technology was available. The coordinator was charming and funny, the … Read more

The Impact of Empathy

By Mary Jane Copps | October 31, 2021

Empathy is not only the champion of storyfinding but also the no-fail creator of trust, loyalty and clear communication. Why? Because recognizing and honouring the emotional content of any situation allows us to provide solutions that go far beyond the surface problems or challenges. Empathy … Read more

What Alzheimer’s has Taught Me About Communication

By Mary Jane Copps | July 3, 2021

In June of 2017 my husband, David, and I sat in the office of a kind and compassionate doctor who gently told us that David had early-onset Alzheimer’s. There were the expected moments of silence, then lots of effusive optimism and cheerfulness. There’s no correct … Read more

What’s In A Name? Everything!

By Mary Jane Copps | September 19, 2020
nametags

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve called somewhere, perhaps a customer service centre, or a government department, or a company we are thinking about hiring. A person answers, or we reach their voicemail, and their name is so muffled, said so quickly, that we … Read more

Practice Patience with Your Persistence

By Mary Jane Copps | August 7, 2020
woman talking on the phone

There’s a struggle going on. No matter what industry my clients represent, or how smoothly they managed the initial COVID-19 lockdown, or how quickly they created a re-opening process … they are all still struggling on some level. The demands on their time seem to … Read more

Options vs Opinions

By Mary Jane Copps | January 13, 2019
woman in front of laptop

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

At The Sound of Your Tone …

By Mary Jane Copps | October 20, 2018
woman with shopping list

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

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

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part VI

By Mary Jane Copps | June 16, 2018

While sitting with a small group of committed, engaged and effective salespeople enjoying a lively discussion about how to inspire conversations, someone shared: “But it’s so hard when no matter what question you ask, they give you a one-word answer.” Someone else quickly added, “Yeah, I … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part V

By Mary Jane Copps | June 9, 2018

A few weekends ago two events collided and created this post. The first was a drive across the bridge early Saturday morning to speak at a conference. Listening to the radio, I noted that the host of the program was encouraging listeners to email him … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part IV

By Mary Jane Copps | June 3, 2018

For all of us, no matter where we’ve lived, where we’ve travelled or what languages we speak, a phone call with an unfamiliar accent can be a challenge. What I discovered, when I moved from the Northern Ontario mining town of my childhood to Toronto, … Read more

Strategies for Difficult Conversations – Part I

By Mary Jane Copps | May 13, 2018

The past two weeks I’ve received numerous emails from followers and clients with questions about difficult conversations. From accents to constant talkers, and from disrespectful language to unfulfilled promises, some phone calls are definitely challenging. The next few posts will feature my favourite strategies. And … Read more

What Choice Will You Make?

By Mary Jane Copps | November 19, 2017

Last month I agreed to help a colleague book meetings with SaaS (software as a service) companies, primarily in California. This is work I enjoy and I’m able (usually) to deliver excellent results.  Also “working the phone” allows me to identify new communications trends and behaviours. While I … Read more

Letting Go of Human Connection

By Mary Jane Copps | November 12, 2017

I’m writing this on a chilly Sunday morning. I’ve just returned from our neighbourhood mailbox (a major construction project prevents us from gathering our mail daily). After sorting out the flyers, I chose to open an envelope from the Nova Scotia Health Authority. As I read the enclosed … Read more

Silence on the Phone Doesn’t Have To Be Awkward

By Mary Jane Copps | October 14, 2017

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between them.”  Debussy In a workshop this past week Melissa of House of Auto Details wanted to know more about dealing with silence on the phone. It can be a challenge for many of us, yet it … Read more

“Who” Will You Reach?

By Mary Jane Copps | May 20, 2017

Anxiety or fear of phone calls is not new, but is more pervasive as we spend less and less time using our phones to talk to people. One of the main reasons for this anxiety is: “How will the person I’m calling react when they … Read more

5 Powerful Phrases You Need To Use More Often

By Mary Jane Copps | April 30, 2017
woman video

  In the past two weeks, I’ve made some big mistakes. If I was the only one affected by these errors, I could quietly and humbly accept them as necessary reminders that I’m far from perfect and, hopefully, learn a lesson or two. But my clients were … Read more

In this episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, Mary Jane shares how a good story is crafted, what makes a great storyteller, and even tells one of her favorite stories.
Listen to this podcast discussing why trends in customer service calls, how to make sales calls more effectively and more.
CBCs-The-Current
CRTC has recently taken new steps to fight fraud calls and phone scams. Read (and listen) to what Mary Jane has to say about this problem.
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.