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What not to say to an unhappy customer

When faced with an irate customer, Calgary-based customer service expert Jeff Mowatt urges you to acknowledge the person's feelings but to never tell the customer to calm down. "Can you think of a single example in the history of the world when telling somebody to 'Calm down' did anything other than make things worse?" Influence With Ease Newsletter


Mix and match seating to integrate staff

Dennis Crowley, co-founder and chief executive officer of the Foursquare social networking site, says they mix up the seats of everyone in the company from time to time so staff get to sit next to a wider range of people. That applies to him as well. New York Times


Seven key phrases for any leader

Consultant Ron Edmondson lists these seven phrases leaders should use often: I believe in you. You are an asset to this team. Let me know how I can help you. You are doing a great job. I need your help. I want to help you reach your personal goals. You are making a difference here.


Online quizzes to assess your personality

Are you too narcissistic? If so, it could affect your management ability and, for men, connect to higher stress, according to studies. Try the Narcissistic Personality Quiz at the Psych Central website. Bob Sutton's blog

Do you have advice on two words you hate or love to hear from someone in customer service? Add a comment below or e-mail it to We'll publish the best ones (profanity excluded, sorry).

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