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The Phone Lady's Blog

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Top 3 Things You Need To Know About Booking and Cancelling Appointments

By Mary Jane Copps | February 16, 2020
woman speaking on the phone

This past December, while visiting family in California, I received an email from CBC’s The Current. Associate producer Danielle Carr was interested in interviewing me. While the segment was about phone scammers and how they are changing our relationship with our phones, she wanted to … Read more

To Listen and Learn … Press Mute

By Mary Jane Copps | October 5, 2019
phone conversation in office

It doesn’t seem to matter how many projects I do as The Phone Lady, I still get incredibly excited when I’m on a discovery call with a new client. As they start sharing their challenges with me, my brain shifts into high gear and I’m … Read more

Clear the Queue vs. Deliver Excellence

By Mary Jane Copps | March 17, 2019

Sara Moginot is a customer service aficionado, a regular reader of this blog … and the author of this article. While walking along the beach one afternoon, I watched my big red dog dart in and out of the waves. Groot brings zest to everything he … Read more

The Four Factors That #InspireConversation

By Mary Jane Copps | February 24, 2019
man having a phone call

A factor is an “influence that contributes to a result or outcome”. With our prospects and customers, we want our conversations to move everyone forward into decision making and deeper relationships. There are four factors we need to work with to make this happen. Understanding … Read more

Coaching Yourself Through Setbacks

By Mary Jane Copps | February 17, 2019

In a recent workshop, a participant asked, “How can I stay focused and positive during difficult times, when no one is answering their phones or conversations aren’t resulting in booked appointments?” While I’m by no means an expert on creating optimism and enthusiasm, a recent setback taught me … Read more

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

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

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

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 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 II

By Mary Jane Copps | May 18, 2018

One person always makes an appearance at my customer service workshops and coaching sessions – someone I’ve named the “constant talker”. I discovered them years ago while doing call evaluations and listening to a 45-minute customer conversation during which the company representative maybe said 20 … Read more

Customers That Do This … Want to Work With You!

By Mary Jane Copps | February 4, 2018

Andrea Kaye, owner of Alta-Sask Wellness, reminded me earlier this week of a very basic change in phone communication that has a big impact on her business. In her busy clinic she encounters this phone behaviour daily, and it’s possible you do, as well. Here’s … Read more

Are You a Work “Protectionist”?

By Mary Jane Copps | January 14, 2018

Admittedly I’m being very liberal in my use of the word “protectionist”, which means “someone who upholds the economic policy of restraining trade between states”. But for the past few years, a similar philosophy has surfaced in our daily business lives. In an effort to … 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

Top 5 Ways to Create an Excellent ‘On Hold’ Experience

By Mary Jane Copps | April 16, 2017

The first time I put someone on hold was 40 years ago. It was a summer job in the offices of an iron ore mine in Northern Ontario and there were very specific guidelines I had to follow. The etiquette of how to put someone … Read more

Communication Breakdown

By Mary Jane Copps | June 15, 2014

When communication between a customer and a company falls apart, it’s usually because the company representative forgot the #1 rule of great service … It’s Not About You! The example below provided courtesy of Scott Anderson: I recently called a well-known hardware store chain to … Read more

Communicating Your Desire to be of Service

By Mary Jane Copps | April 6, 2014

I want to thank my dear friend Janet E. Bardon,  HR Administrator,  Department of Psychiatry,  Dalhousie University for this week’s post. One of my core values in phone communication is we must always speak so that our customers “hear” our desire to be of service. … Read more

Stories of Do and Don’t

By Mary Jane Copps | November 24, 2013

Recent work calling into Vancouver has provided a great story of how not to answer the phone: At one association I was greeted by what I’ll call an “unengaged” receptionist. She wasn’t unpleasant, but she wasn’t welcoming either. She did not use her name when … Read more

We can now curate who we talk to in a way that wasn’t thinkable when a bulky landline phone rang with anonymous urgency. Listen in here.
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.
Cold Calls: The Psychology Behind the Human Voice - listen to this podcast featuring The Phone Lady.
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Episode featuring The Phone Lady - watch Telephone Lessons for Millennials.
The Wall Street Journal.
Some on Wall Street are hanging up on voicemail. See what The Phone Lady has to say.