Category Archives: Customer Experience

Ways to use NLP and the LAB Profile® to get results

I just came across an interview I did with Dianne Lowther, an excellent UK-based
NLP and business trainer, and a friend.

I re-listened to it and realized that we were talking about very practical ways to use NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) and the LAB Profile® to:

– create a depth of rapport and credibility with anyone
– help your coaching clients’ solve their issues without having to argue with them
– what you have to do to actually apply it
– how to increase response rates for marketing and sales
– how to get agreements sooner in negotiating and bargaining,
– how to influence people through others, when you can’t talk directly to the decision-makers,
and much more.

Have a listen yourself and see what you think!
I hope you get lots of great ideas from this!

If you open this recording on your smartphone, you can listen to it in your car, walking, running, on the train, or anywhere!

Hint Alert: There are lots of ideas in this recording. Remember the key to applying good ideas is identifying step-by-step how to use an idea. First identify your outcome, then the steps to get there. And commit to following your plan! (Is that the hardest part? lol)

ps. If you want to know more about how you can get more business, better results in coaching, solving clients’ communication problems, etc.,
check out my LAB Profile® Consultant/Trainer Program
August 1 to 12, 2016, Paris, France

Dealing with Upset Customers

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It’s really important to know how to calm down your customer quickly, get to the root of their problem, solve it, and nourish the relationship for next time.

If you’ve had a chance to look at my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, you’ll get this all laid out for you, but there’s four key steps.

1)     Treat the Emotion First
Most people cannot do these two things at the same time; they can’t be upset and be logical. If you’ve got a customer that’s upset and you try immediately to solve their problem, they probably won’t co-operate because they’re busy being upset and they need you to understand that. So treat the emotion first.

The key is to meet your customer where he or she is. My strategy may seem a little silly because most people are taught to stay calm. But if you think about it, when you are upset about something and the person you are speaking to stays calm, and doesn’t acknowledge either verbally or in their tone of voice that you are upset, it can feel like they are not really hearing you.

Instead, I suggest that when your customer becomes upset about something and they raise their tone that you raise your tone to almost the same level, but you say something helpful and we call that getting upset on behalf of your customer.

This is not the same as yelling at your customer. Step number one is to get upset on behalf of your customer, show them that you are surprised and upset with them. If you don’t sound like you’re surprised when they are upset, your customer may believe that this problem is normal, you don’t care, this happens all the time and your whole company doesn’t care about what happens. Remember, everything you do determines what your customer believes about your whole company. So for step one, treat the emotion first.

Click here to find out more about how to match your customer’s tone, and what kinds of things you can say that will be helpful.

2)    Clarify What the Customer Actually Wants and Take Action

Whether or not you agree that it’s a problem, if the customer thinks it is a problem, we need to sort out what it is they need.  You can suggest two options here that will solve their problem. In my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, there is more information on exactly the wording to use with upset customers.

It is important to make a suggestion at this point, as if you ask the customer “How would you like me to fix this?”, they may become angry again since they will be expecting you to be the expert and to know what to do to fix the issue. So step two, clarify what the customer wants and take action.

3)    Make Amends

Many people don’t think about this, but if your customer is upset, to him or her it is as if they have been hurt. So our third step is to make it up to them. It is not enough simply to say, “Well I’m sorry”. Remember when you were a child and your parents told you to say you’re sorry, your siblings knew you weren’t really sorry. Your upset customers know you are not really sorry either. So what can you do to make amends? Does your company have a policy so that the person actually dealing with the upset customers can make amends right on the stop without having to ask for permission?  So step three, make amends.

4)     Nourish the Relationship for the Future
Make sure that you communicate to your customer so that whenever they contact your company again for any reason, that you have set them up for a positive experience. You can do that by saying, “Listen, any one of my colleagues will help you find what you want and if there are ever any issues, we’ll do whatever it takes do to solve it.  We are your personal fix-it people”.  Make sure they can see a picture in their mind’s eye of how it will be next time, (such as “fix-it people”) That’s how to nourish the relationship for next time.

If you want more information on strategies for dealing with customers and creating a great customer experience, check out my book, The Customer is Bothering Me, available as an EBook or available in paperback form.

Hope you enjoyed this. Let me know if you got any great ideas from Shelle’s Top Tips.


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How Visualization Can Create Bad Judgement and Alternatives to Self Delusion

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My coaching client Sophia had explored a business opportunity with a franchising organization and was very excited to tell me about it. It combined many of the activities that she found motivating; it would enable her to work from home, set her own schedule, work in a people job and use her communication skills.  It seemed great. She could see herself doing all those things and being happy.

Sofia contacted them to arrange attending their open house and was dismayed to find that there was no room left in the one next week and she would have to wait a month before  being able to attend the next one. Then two days later they phoned to say a space had opened up and she could go right away.  She also told me about another similar business opportunity but up to this point had yet to explore it in any great detail, because she was very motivated by the first one.

Here’s where I intervened. “Did you have an image of working in this business?” I asked. “How did it feel?”  “It was great!” she replied, “I could see the whole thing.”  “Did you have an image of the second business opportunity and how that might be?” I asked.  “Well no” she said, “but when a space in the open house for the first one opened up, I thought it was a sign this was the opportunity for me.”  “Perhaps it was a sign” I said “that they really want you to buy this business.”

One Image Can Create a Commitment

The purpose of visualization is to make something real, and it is a very effective technique.  When Sophia visualized the first business opportunity, she not only saw it in detail, she lived it.  She jumped into the image and had the experience of what she imagined it would be like.  When she had done this it was very difficult for her to consider any other opportunities.  She began to interpret events as signs that this was the right thing to do.

Having only one image, she became committed to it. I did the same thing a few years ago when I visited a house that I was considering buying. I could see my family living there; saw us hanging out in the living room, was able to walk around the kitchen knowing that I could cook there, the back yard was a great one to be sitting in, etc, etc. The same week I put in an offer on this house, interest rates went up two points, and I lost my contract with the local college. Buying this house was not to be.  But because I had already imagined us living there, I felt a deep depressing sense of disappointment, as if my dream home had just been taken away from me.  At the time I thought that was such a weird reaction to have since I’d never actually lived there.

That’s the problem with having a vivid imagination.  Having conjured up an image of living there made it feel like I actually had or that I was going to live there.  Having imagined what it would be like to work for this franchise made Sofia commit to the idea.
A friend of mine said that many women do essentially the same thing when they first meet a potential partner. They immediately visualize, sometimes in great detail, their whole future unfold with this person. No wonder this puts enormous pressure on the new person in their life!

Your brain, in need of closure will do it’s best to complete the image and then the handy-dandy process of self-justification jumps in to find reasons why this image is the right one*.

Bad Judgment

Once you have a clear image it is as if your brain has shut down and stops being open to other possibilities. For instance, imagine you are sitting in a chair in front of a large window, looking out at a large beautiful pine tree.  Look out the window towards the tree. There may be other trees around, but notice now how prominent the pine tree is in your image and how it takes some voluntary effort to bring the other trees into focus.

In and of itself this is not a problem, but when you have not clearly defined your decision-making criteria or considered alternatives, this ability to become focused on one sole image can lead to bad judgment simply because you took the first available option.
This means that you had no real choice.  Or, there was no opportunity to evaluate the choices against what is important to you and therefore make the best choice.  In this system, where you visualize and then choose the first option, you miss the opportunity to:

  • learn from your experience,
  • analyse risk, as well as
  • analysing potential opportunity

and you may end up making a bad decision.

Real Choice and Great Decision-Making

So what is the alternative?  Different people, of course, have different decision-making strategies.  Good decision-making strategies
however all have a few points in common.


  • Define outcomes,
  • Identify criteria for knowing when an outcome is reached and
  • Present a minimum of three choices.

Three choices are better than two, because two choices tend to be the extremes of an either/or kind of relationship.  “Either I leave or he leaves.”  Not many options there. With three choices you have a real opportunity to see and experience alternatives against what is important to you without only considering the extremes.

Here is a decision-making process that keeps you real choice and will help you make great decisions:

  1. Define the outcome you would like to achieve.
  2. List your criteria for what is important to you about your decision.
  3. How will you know, what evidence will you use for each of the criteria?
  4. Imagine three choices.  One at a time, see each choice in your mind’s eye, holding your most important criteria in your heart. Step in and out of each choice, exploring them one at a time as if you were there.  What happens in each situation?  How do you feel each situation?  What are the future consequences of each choice, as you explore them through time?
  5. Step outside these three options.  Which of them most closely matches your criteria, your outcome and feels the best? Are there any downsides to this particular option that you need to take into account?

Example Outcome: I would like to have my own business.
Criteria: target annual income $100,000, with the take-home income of $50 – $75,000, by the end of three years.  Work in a consulting role with both individuals and teams of people, using proven methodologies for IT solutions in small business enterprise software work and maximum of 40 hours per week, based from home, with visits to local businesses.  Well-defined successful sales model with lead generation to be part of the business.
This is an example for someone who wants to start their own IT consulting business.  He or she could then try out 3 different models or opportunities.

Imagine walking along the road in the country, with beautiful scenery on either side and you come to a place where the road branches in three different directions.  At first, you are not certain which road to take and you realize it is because what you want is not yet clear.  You pause, reflect, and come to understand that the thing you want most is now clear in your mind.  You can see it , hear it, smell it, touch and taste it.  You look at the three paths in front of you and imagine taking each one, exploring where the path leads you, knowing what it is you truly want.  You come back and now you know which of the paths is for you.

One image is no choice; three or more helps you have great judgement.

***Let me know what you think – [email protected]

* In Mistakes Were Made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson (2007) Harcourt Books, the authors detail the exact process by which human beings reduce conflict (dissonance) and then justify whatever they think and do.

Have a look at other Shelle’s Top Tips

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at [email protected]. Please visit my speaking page too.

Apologizing – Shelle’s Top Tips

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Most of us avoid apologizing because we feel ashamed of something we’ve done and we’d really rather it was water under the bridge and we don’t ever have to think about it again. But, you know, apologizing is one of the best things you can do to maintain good relationships because Continue reading

Radio Interview on Airlines Unprepared for Winter

Here is the radio interview I did on Dec 21, 2010 about customer service during the flight cancellations and delays in Europe and all the places connected. Click here to listen to the interview I would love to hear your comments, Shelle Click here to learn what  you need to do now to avoid losing customers and your best staff?

Airline Industry Unprepared for Winter!

It is an outrage that once again the airline industry in Europe and around the world was not ready for a winter storm….. at Christmas time! Why isn’t the world press outraged?

Continue reading

Customer Service FROM Customers!

I had emailed my friend Wendy to let her know I was going to take the early train to Toronto and wanted to know if that was the train she would be on, so that we could sit together. I didn’t hear from her and assumed she had already left.

About 10 minutes from our destination, my phone rang Continue reading

I love Italy!

Here I am in beautiful Marina di Massa, Tuscany on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea getting read to train my graduates. They have come from around the world for the LAB Profile Master Trainer Program.

Today I spent walking around, chatting on the beach, looking at the mountains, re-reading my program notes.

All in the relaxed Italian atmosphere.
Ain’t life grand?

But this is just for new customers

“Hello Ma’am, I would like to talk to you today about a special deal for Bell Internet, TV and home phone service.”

“That’s great. I’m a Bell customer and I’d love a special deal.”

“You’re a Bell Customer?”

“Yes. And I’d really like the special deal.” Continue reading