Do you have a few minutes to listen to our podcast?
Nancy Friedman is our guest on today’s podcast episode and shares some of her secrets to customer service success! She is a customer service expert and shares some of her golden nuggets of customer service information on how to create world-class customer service.
She is the co-founder of the Telephone Doctor, ServiceSkills.com, and several other businesses. She has run radio stations and even franchised her business!
An international customer service training company, Telephone Doctor, Inc. provides onsite programs for conferences and meetings as well as their popular customer service learning platform (www.serviceskills.com) for small and big businesses alike. Nancy and her staff of 21 have helped over 30,000 organizations improve the Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSat) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) of their Customer Service Reps, Help Desk Staff, Call Center Agents, Tech Support Staff and other team members.
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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:03):
You’ve worked hard to build your business, and now it’s time to grow. Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise team, and a serial entrepreneur. Join me each week as I interview leading entrepreneurs, executives, and experts who share their misses, makes, and multipliers. If you are a growth-minded entrepreneur, investor, or franchise company, then this podcast is for you. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in business and in life, it’s that you can always learn something new to make things better. Our purpose for this podcast is for you to glean some wisdom and practical ideas to implement on your expansion journey. We look forward to being your guide to multiply your success. Welcome to the next great edition of the Multiply Your Success podcast.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:56):
As we get started here, I want to ask a quick question. Did I catch you at a bad time? Do you have a few minutes to listen to the rest of our podcast? Well, I hope your answer is yes, and those questions come from our guest today, Nancy Friedman, who is the co-founder of the Telephone Doctor and serviceskills.com, and a customer service expert. Also, she was a franchisor, CEO and just an all around fantastic, fantastic person. She’s hilarious, and you are going to really, really, really enjoy this episode today. Nancy and her staff have helped over 30,000 organizations and improved their customer satisfaction score, their net promoter score, or any other kind of help desk, customer service support and so on. She’s been interviewed and on programs and TV shows and media outlets such as Fox News, Oprah, CNN, the Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, and over a hundred radio stations during her career, as well. So needless to say, she has the credentials folks, and you are really, really going to enjoy her. She has a great, great personality. So without further ado, here’s my interview with Nancy Friedman.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:18):
Nancy, thank you for joining us today. Just as a way of kind of breaking the ice and getting us started, why don’t you give us a little background on you and tell the listeners a little bit about you?
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (02:29):
Well, that’s always a wonderful question and I appreciate that, Tom. I got all dressed up for this program. I look great, and I don’t often say that about myself. Then, I had this Zoom issue, but if they’ll stick with the program, I promise you the techniques better looking than me, if they stick with it. 30-some-odd years ago, I picked up my telephone and I called my insurance agent/ I told him to cancel all my policies. He says, “My gosh, Nancy, what happened?” So I told him your people stink. They’re so rude, they’re so abrupt, they’re so unfriendly, they’re so… Just forget it. You’re terrific. Your wife is pretty. Your kids are cute, but I don’t want to do business with you anymore. Thank you very much.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (03:09):
He says, “My gosh, what happened?” I said, “They’re terrible. I mean… They didn’t help me. They didn’t know anything. I just don’t need that.” He said, “would you do me a favor?” He was a friend of mine. I said, “What is it?” He says, “Would you come over?” I’m working with my husband at his advertising business. We had four startups, but that’s another story. “Would you come over and show my guys what you guys do?” Somebody reaches out to you, you want to help them. I said, “Okay,” So I went to his office out of love, it was the last time I did it out of love, but I went to his office. They had 8… 9… 10 people there. I had a cup of coffee, met the president, stood up 15… 20 minutes. I said please. One woman said, “Oh my God, write that down,” I said, “Thank you” and I said, “You’re welcome,” I wish I was kidding. I wish I was kidding.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:55):
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (03:56):
It was incredible. Again, 30 years ago, bottom line, I said, “Thank you,” and started to walk out the door. The president of the insurance company said, “Wait a minute, Nancy,” I said, “What’s wrong?” He said, “Well, nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to thank you,” I said, “Well, you’re welcome,” He said, “No, no, no, no, no. You don’t understand. We really learned some new things,” So, I came home to my husband and I told him what happened, and he said, “Nancy, don’t ever be surprised. Nobody has ever shown them,” So as you well know, not going to judge how old you are, but when we got into business, computers were just coming in. So, we always got the back of the bus seat. We always got the, “No, we can’t. We don’t have time for computers or for customer service. We just got computers and we’re stuck.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (04:41):
Then, of course, CRMs came in. So, the first few years were good and fun, but it was a battle with management and how important customer service was. It finally caught up and now they’re with us. So that’s how it all started. It’s a small family owned business. The mother, father… My son now runs it. He’s president. I made myself founder and chairman and he’s… My daughter is vice president of client services. I understand, having four small businesses, the ins and the outs. Fortunately, we’re blessed with some of the biggest companies in the world that use our online training.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (05:18):
Well, Nancy, that’s quite a story and I’m really interested. One of the reasons I wanted to have you on our program is because our audience is primarily small to midsize businesses. If you’re in business, you’re in the customer service business. I really wanted to have someone with your background and knowledge and expertise to come in and talk about some of these general tricks of the trade, some ideas… Some general suggestions, some horror stories like the one you just shared. You said, “Please,” and the ladies writing it down. Say please. Common… What seemed to be common sense really isn’t common sense.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:09):
I’d love for you to talk through, just from a high level, some starting points for people who have customer service. We had talked a minute about this right as we were getting going. I think that most people, most businesses and most business owners, small business owners in particular, think that they have fantastic customer service. In my opinion, most probably don’t, because if it was exceptional, there’d really be something that stands out about it. So, how can someone, who maybe has a good or a average customer service, go to that next level? What are some things that you might suggest, just as a starting point, to get them going down that pathway?
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (06:56):
Well, I know we’ve got an half hour and 45 minutes here, but this is a whole day program as far as what’s going on. Let me share a story with you. Many years ago… I’m from Chicago and worked there at WGN Television Tribune broadcasting for a while. The guy I worked with eventually became CEO of Tribune Broadcasting. We remained friends. One day, he calls me and he said, “Nancy, I want you to come up and train these people. They need you,” I said, “Okay,” He made the arrangements. I fly up to Chicago and he brings me in the room. He says, “Okay, these are your people,” It was maybe 70 or a hundred people in the room. He said, “Okay, I’ll see you for a drink afterwards, “I said, “Where are you going?” He said, “I’m going to go play golf,” I said, “No, you’re not,””You’re going to sit in the program. How can you walk away from this when you’ve asked them to sit through it?” He said, “But I’ve got a date,” I said, “Cancel it,” I said, “If you don’t stay, I’m not doing it,” Now, I happen to have be very good friends with him and I could play with him like that. He said, “Really?” I said, “Really. I’m not kidding,” So, he sat through it, and he came up and said, “Man, it was worth canceling the golf game,” Management has to start involving themselves. They delegate it to their vice president of client services or they delegate it. And that’s all well and good after it’s settled and solid. So as far as some techniques… You hit the nail in the head, Tom. We’re talking common sense here. That’s what we sell. Telephone Doctor and serviceskills.com sells common sense, which is not so common today.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (08:34):
It starts with, if you want to know… If you put them in order, it would start with the attitude. The attitude has to have a smile. Now, I’m talking with a smile and you can hear it. I know you can. Let me show you what it sounds like to talk with somebody without a smile, which is difficult for me to do, but I’m going to do it. Tom, I’m very happy to be here. This is a pleasure and thank you very much. Now, Tom, I’m very happy to be here. Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure. So that’s with and without a smile. It’s a huge difference.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:08):
That is very noticeable. I would question listeners was option one with the smile, or option two with the smile? Hopefully you can figure that one out. So we start at the top. We start at the top with management. They’ve got to be involved. Then, we make sure we’re smiling when we’re talking over the phone or however we’re communicating. We have a smile. Then what happens?
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (09:40):
Well, I go back to the smile for a moment, because I have to say I don’t feel like smiling all the time. My husband, many years ago, he’s the author of all of our videos and helps me write the books. It is a true partnership, but the bottom line is he created a saying: “A phony smile is better than a real frown”. A phony smile… I wish we had the video here, because I could show you our smile sticks and stuff like that. There are days I don’t feel like smiling, but I put it on and within 15 minutes I feel better. For whatever reason, if you just put that little phony smile on, you don’t have to have an… I don’t want to swear, but you don’t have to have some big ugly grin on your face, but it’s better than the frown. So, there are stories after stories.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (10:28):
You got the attitude, you got the smile, and then you’ve got to have the care gene: C-A-R-E. If you don’t have the CARE gene, you might as well go home. The CARE gene means tell me what’s going on. If I can help, I will. If not, I’ll get somebody who can. That’s as simple as I can make it. The other thing that I want to point out… So many people say, “Nancy, will you help me with our script?” or demand that I call somebody who’s got a script or a franchise. They have to say this and they have to say that. My answer to scripts… scripts are for actors, all right? That’s who uses scripts. I’m a professional actor. That’s my background. In fact, did you know Don Defore? Do you remember Don Defore at all, a famous actor? No? It’s a little before your time.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (11:16):
Okay. Well he was a [inaudible 00:11:19]. I can’t even think of those shows he did. Bottom line, they… An actor can read a script, all right? Bradley Cooper, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, they read a script. Give it to a 20 year old or 30 year old, or a 40 year old, this is what they sound like: “Mr. Defore, I am so happy to help you. What is your problem? What can I help you with?”
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (11:44):
This is a true story. I was on the phone with a cable company a month or two ago, and that is how she was talking. Very sweet. Mary was her name. I remembered the very sweet lady, Mary… Nice Mary. I don’t know how old she was, hut I don’t care. She was reading this word by word. I said, “Mary, will you do me a favor?” “Yes, Mrs. Friedman, how can I help you?” I said, “Whatever you’re reading, would you turn it over and pretend I’m your mother and just talk to me?”
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (12:12):
She said, “Really?” I said, “Yes.” “Okay, what’s going on?” I said, “That’s what I wanted to hear. My cable’s not working. Can you fix it?” “Yes I can.” “Okay, fix it.” We had the best conversation because we had a conversation instead of reading me a script. So, you could have bullet points to follow something. I understand the need to have certain questions asked. I do understand it, but there’s a way to ask people. There’s a way to bring on a topic. You just don’t put somebody on and say, “What is your name? What is your address?” You don’t throw those things at people. Yet, I bet you could give me some horror stories. Everybody that I talked to says, “Oh my god, [inaudible 00:12:56] company. The one industry I’m not able to get to is the medical industry, the healthcare. I’ve worked with some very big franchise healthcare industries and they’re the ones that are doing better than the others. I can tell you that. I’m blessed. I’m blessed.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (13:16):
Interesting. Well, speaking of franchising, certainly our show, multiply Your Success… We have franchise companies tune into this. How do you see implementing something like this from the franchisor perspective that’s implementing this in the franchise network and then from the other end, for an individual franchisee who’s maybe listening to you, Nancy, that says, “I really want to implement Nancy’s program and get involved and start doing that”. How do you recommend the franchisor first do that? If the franchisor’s not doing it, what are some strategies that a franchisee can do?
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (13:56):
Well, I know… I don’t know if I told you my background. We were a franchisor many years ago. It wasn’t for us. It didn’t work. So now I’m helping the franchises and the franchisors and they tell me about their discovery day and then they tell me about the training that they bring in. I’m not saying that they don’t have professional experts on customers. I don’t want to go to every franchisor and do the training, but sometimes… What does they say? Some people are in the wrong seat on the bus? Is that the expression? I think.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:26):
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (14:26):
So they put Mary Sue, who is sweet as pumpkin pie and nice to everybody, in charge of training and it trickles down. It is frustrating for them, because, especially the big franchisors, they have so many. It starts at the top. The management needs to get involved. They need to practice what they preach. All right? They need to walk the walk, talk the talk. If they’re not walking the walk and talking the talk, how can we have our franchisees? The reason we didn’t survive is because my franchisees wanted to do it their way. Now, what happens when you change the sauce at McDonald’s? Okay? It is not going to work.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:07):
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (15:08):
It’s not going to work. Well, they wanted to change our techniques. So many people think… Example, when I make a phone call, I just say, “Tom, did I catch you at a bad time?” That’s just a courtesy that all of our 23 employees are taught to do and it works. Somebody says, “Well I’m going to ask them if they’re busy”. I said, “That’s not what I said. That’s not what I’m trained. That’s not what the book says. So, don’t say you learned it from me.”
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (15:36):
Are you busy? ‘Are you busy?’ is different than ‘Tom did I catch you at a bad time? Do you have a moment to speak?’ Those little things… It’s all in the details. It’s all in the details. It’s a commitment. It’s a commitment. So many people say they have the commitment, but you go into… It is difficult for a franchisor with X number… I don’t care if they got three or 300 to shine the light and make them all do as… I’m not saying there should be a penalty for not doing it, but it’s got to be explained that this is not an option. This is how we treat our customers.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (16:17):
Well, I love that. I really like the information you’re sharing here. This is something that applies literally to every business, every organization, every human… Every person needs to understand some general customer service best practices.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (16:40):
The other thing that’s needed, and this is in my opinion, my humble opinion, as to where they go off the track… In order to give good customer service, you’ve got to be a good customer. You’ve got to walk the walk, talk the talk and practice what you preach. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. The minute you get a customer laughing or smiling, you’ve got them in the palm of your hands. Now, that doesn’t mean tell a joke, but it does mean you’ve got to have a sense of humor. It is odd, some of the things I run into. I never name names, because that’s not what it’s all about. But I can’t believe the number of people that aren’t laughable, that aren’t having fun.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (17:26):
You and I have not mentioned the big 19 and I don’t want to, because I didn’t even want to make this an issue. Now is the time to have a sense of humor. Now is the time to make it extra special. Fortunately our serviceskills.com is riding pretty good, because the people that are out there remote, the franchisors that are having people do remote or the call center people are… I won’t say they’re good prospects for us, because it’s another program. The franchisees see it. They need it. Sometimes, the franchisors don’t want to spend the money for 300 franchisees. It’s got to start at the top.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:14):
I think your point here is that if you are a franchisee and your franchisor isn’t investing in customer service training or support for the network, as a franchisee you’re still running your own business and you have a responsibility to your own customers and your own clients. From my opinion, it sure sounds like this is something you need to do and to really help your own local franchise run better, run smoother. Maybe this is that missing component that can take you from an average franchisee in the system to a top 20%, or a top 20, or a top 10%.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (19:01):
Absolutely. You’re nailing it, Tom, nailing it. I just had a thought wave and ran out. There’s so many things going through my mind right now. The franchisors, and rightly so… What is the mission of the franchisors? What is the mission, in your opinion? What would you say is the mission of every franchisor listening right now? We may agree or we may not. What is their mission?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:23):
Yes. For me, a franchisor has three simple jobs on how we advise our clients. Franchisor needs to sell franchises, number one. Number two, they need to train their franchisees. Number three, they need to support them, support their franchisees, so that the franchisees can be better at operating their business. So, sell, train, support.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (19:47):
If we had written down, secretly, you’re top and my top, it would’ve matched. The franchisor needs and wants to sell franchisees. That’s their mission and that’s they got up in the morning. That’s why there are consultants out there. That’s why there’s Big Sky. That’s why there’re Toms out there. Thank God there are, because I read your whole information about multiplying your success franchise your business. Selling their franchise is top component for the franchisors. Again, rightly so, train… They train on their topic. they train on… Patch Boys trains how to be a better Patch Boy. Healthcare trains how to take care of the patients. The customer service component… It’s in their mission. It is. They get big banners. We’re the best. We’re the top. What is it? Rubber meets the road? What’s that? When the rubber meets the road and somebody called up… I just called a place the other day and they said, “Good morning [inaudible 00:20:55], what is your name?” That’s in their greeting. [inaudible 00:21:00] Good morning. They said “This is Miranda, what is your name?” Well good morning to you too.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (21:05):
It’s just these little things and you’re getting me off on a tangent, which I don’t want to want [inaudible 00:21:11] multiplied success.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:14):
No, no, no. This is great. Look, it’s a great reminder that franchisors and anyone that’s looking to franchise their business you are great at what you do, at delivering your product or service. You’ve created a system, a process, a product, or whatever you’re selling to your own customers. Customer service is it’s own specialty. Just as if you have a bookkeeper or CPA, you need a customer service pro to come in and help out. that’s why I love what you’re doing, to be able to come in and set up programs with franchisors that maybe you can come in and it actually be a part of that franchisor training process or incorporate this into the annual conventions and really convey that it is a priority to your organization.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (22:08):
You’re right. They talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. Maybe that’s the better way to say it. My father taught me years ago that shoemakers stick to their last, which mean stick to what you’re good at. People call up. We’ve got customer service, communication skills and sales. That’s our wheelhouse. So I get a call a couple months ago. We need a program on time management. Well so do I. Okay. I don’t do time management. I don’t want to do time. Could I Google time management and be a good speaker on it? Yes. That’s not being an expert.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:43):
Right, Right. No, that’s beautiful. Well, let’s kind of transition here and move into… We’ll stay focused on this customer service in your career, but we have this kind of theme of misses, makes, and multipliers that we talk about on the show. So, maybe you could share with us maybe a miss that you saw in one of your customers, maybe a miss in your own career that you learned from, and that you could share with our audience.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (23:16):
My life has been so positive and my thoughts are so positive. It’s hard to bring up negatives. It is. I will do that for you, because I’m sure they were there. I forget negatives easy. That’s a blessing of my DNA. If I don’t like you, it’s only for a minute and then I like you again. I just… That’s how I live my life. I’m not Pollyanna. There are people I don’t want to be around, so I’m not around them. The biggest negative… I really can’t think of one right now that stands out. I just can’t. We’ve been blessed with business 30-35 years old. I know that we’re one of the very few that lasted this long. There were many through the years. My son, David, is just doing incredible things with service skills. I’m trying to think of something. Even what’s happening now is not a miss to us. It is a big bump in the road. Okay, It’s a pothole, but potholes get fixed. Potholes get fixed.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:18):
No, that’s fair. That’s why I like to ask this question to successful entrepreneurs and experts that we have come onto the show like you. Your vantage point… Very often when people who have been successful in their career, it’s always nice to hear what are some of those thoughts coming through your mind. So, it’s nice to hear that kind of thought. It’s not a miss or a negative. It’s just an event. Go ahead. I’m sorry.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (24:53):
You’re such an enthusiastic host. I don’t want to overpower you, but I enjoy talking to you. I think of my mother all the time, because she used to say, “Nancy, it’s not the problem, it’s how you handle it”. So, every time the ‘S’ hits the fan in my life, I go to plan B. We all have a plan B in life. I’ve never not had a plan B. You’ve got to be able to think, “Let’s go to plan B”. That’s not going to work. Let’s go to plan B. But the world-
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:20):
I love it.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (25:21):
The world went to plan B with Zoom. The whole world went to plan B with what we’re doing now, except the picture there. Did you tell them… tell the audience I have a pretty blue dress on.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:33):
Yes, yes. Nancy looks great today. She got all dressed up. It’s a beautiful dress. Hair, makeup, the whole thing. Great lighting. It’s wonderful.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (25:44):
It’s the only thing. You get dressed and you have no place to go. Your question multiplies your success. Our success, and I can point directly to it, is we stuck to what we do best.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (25:56):
So many people said “Why don’t you do this?” Everybody’s got an idea. Everybody comes to you, family, friends, strangers, and say, “Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you do this?” It’s easy to let your ego get ahead of yourself. Very easy. I left my ego at the door years ago and we stick to what we do best and that’s customer service, sales and communication skills. If you go to serviceskills.com, if you look at our platform, there’s nothing out of the box. There’s nothing… We have a sandbox and we play in it and that multiplied. So, I love your Multiply Your Success. I love it, because we did it.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (26:30):
Thank you. Yeah. Well, that’s great advice, I think, for the listeners. Stay in your lane, right? It’s easy to fall victim to that shiny object syndrome and see this or that… A customer, like you had mentioned earlier, a customer says, “Hey can you do a time management?” Well yeah, but we’re not going to, because that’s not what we do. So, I appreciate that.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (26:53):
It’s hard to say no to a customer, but I’ll always… I’ve got friends who are great at it. Then, give it to them. It’ll come back to you. That’ll come back to you. I’m lucky. I’m very lucky, tom. Anybody working in a small family owned business is lucky. Although, I don’t know if you have time or not, I wrote an article once Working with your spouse. Does it… Oh, shoot, I know its title… “Divorce? No. Murder? Yes”. That’s what it was. I couldn’t think of the title. “Divorce? No. Murder? Yes”. Dick and I have worked together for so long. People say, “How do you do it 24/7?” You live with her, you work with her, you take her to dinner, you take her to bed, how do you do it? We just say, “we didn’t know it shouldn’t work”. There was no… We didn’t question that it wouldn’t or couldn’t, or shouldn’t work. So, we went into it positively and we’re still going strong.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:49):
Wow. Well, that to me sounds like the biggest make of this whole thing. We talk about… You talked about multipliers and your viewpoint on the idea of misses. But to me this sounds like the biggest make of all being able to… There are plenty of people who have probably tried to work with their spouse and it has not worked out. So, the fact that you’ve been able… You and your husband have been able to make this go for 35 plus years is really incredible.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (28:22):
Well, we had two radio stations over the years in advertising business. We did have one failure, but it wasn’t a failure. It was a learning experience of… If you want to hear about the failure, because it’s a fun story.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (28:34):
Well, sure. Fun story. Sounds great.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (28:37):
We fell for the shiny object about 20 years ago. Somebody said, “Your tips are so good, why did you do something for the kids, because that’s great”. So we hired a writer, a children’s writer, because Dick is great at adulthood. We don’t know how to sell the children. So, we hired a writer, they wrote a script, ‘Telephone Tips for Kids’. We produced the video with the guy that does our own videos. It was beautiful covers. The artists did the cover. I don’t have one with me right here, but I can show it to you. I’ll send… I will send you one, because it’s embarrassing. My hair 25 years ago was not very good. Anyway, it’s all about vanity. It’s all about vanity. Bottom line, dick and I were so included. It was a done with puppets, too. It was done with puppets.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (29:21):
It was so good. It won the New York Film Festival Award. It was great. We wanted a sponsor to back it. We took it to Blockbuster. No, you can’t sell one video, you need a sequel. So we went to the West coast, we went to the East coast, we went to Grand Rapids, to the cereal company. We wanted to put it on the back of the cereal company. Nobody wanted us. All right. So, I said, “You know what? I’ll do it. I’ll do it”.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (29:43):
So I went to my friend who is in Encyclopedia Britannica, who was distributing telephone doctor videos. I said, “Do you want to distribute this?” “Oh yeah, that’s great.” I think they sold six. It was a flop, but the kids loved it. The kids loved it. Did we lose money on it? Yes. It was such a great learning experience about sticking into your own lane. Our topic is not taught in the curriculum in schools. Soft skills are not taught in schools. What do you get when they graduate in high school and college? You get what people who say, “How do you work with these kids?” The techniques aren’t taught.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (30:22):
I’m so proud of my grandkids, because they come back to me: “You should hear how I was treated”. So, they’re in tune with it. They’re in tune with it. Most of the kids want to be good. Nobody wants to be bad.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (30:36):
That’s right. That’s right. Well, Nancy, as a closing question, we like to ask every guest that comes on: What does success mean to you?
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (30:49):
I was not prepared for that. I read everything you just sent me. That is a great question. I can only say I’m living the dream. So, success just means being happy, in my opinion. It’s not money in my mind. Yes, I love to make money. I love to buy things. What woman doesn’t? If you had me in the chair and said, “We’re going to do bad things to you, Nancy, what’s success?” You got to be happy and you got to make people happy. As trite and as silly as that sounds, the best compliment I can get is, “You made me laugh, Nancy, you helped my day”. That to me is fabulous. At the conferences, people older than me come up and say, “I thought I knew it all, but thank you.” So, if we can give one or two tips or techniques that help a business, that help a small family owned business or, like I say… International Paper uses our products. That’s not a small family owned business. We got many, many clients like that. So, small or large, it’s affordable, reliable, fun, et cetera. You’re a very good host.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:06):
Oh, well, thank you. Well, Nancy, I really appreciate you joining us today. Thank you so much. We will make sure that what we list in our show notes and information links back to your website, your contact information and getting them on the track to improve their customer service skills in themselves, in their staff, and in their company to ultimately resonate back to happier customers and hopefully more five star reviews.
Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor, Inc. (32:38):
Good. That’s true. Even if you’re good at customer service now, even if you’re getting five stars, you don’t stop watering the grass when it’s green. You keep watering the grass. So, stopping training just because you’re good today is a huge mistake. There’s so much more. I hope we can do this again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:01):
Well, Nancy, thank you so much for being here. That was a fantastic interview. We greatly appreciate your time and your enthusiasm and some of your golden nuggets. We really appreciate that. And so let’s jump into our three key takeaways from the interview today. So, the first takeaway from the interview that really stuck out to me was the quote from her husband and her partner in the business when she said he came up with the quote: “A phony smile is better than a real frown”. A phony smile is better than a real frown. I think that is a really, really great takeaway. Even as I’m recording this it’s forced me to say, “Am I smiling?” Think about that. Am I smiling? So as she said, your attitude has to have a smile. So make sure you’re smiling. People can hear that on the phone.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (33:54):
I know I can. I’m sure you can tell when you’re listening to the podcast, as well. Number two, you have to have the CARE gene. And I think that’s really in any business or for anything that you’re doing. You have to care. You have to care about what you’re doing, care about the quality, and care about the people you work with. You just have to have that CARE gene. If you don’t care about what you’re doing, if you’re tuning in and you don’t care about what you’re doing, well then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Find something else that you care about. Number three, for all of you listening in, I know most of you are entrepreneurs, owners, executives… All of you listening in, you are the leader of your organization or a primary leader in your company.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (34:46):
Nancy made it very clear that customer service and customer care starts with you. It starts with you. So, what are you doing to live and display those qualities of a good customer service and customer care leader? I think that’s a really good point for us to think about. We can… We’ll be talking further about this in future podcasts, about the idea of servant leadership. That all ties in together. Now it’s time for today’s win-win.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (35:20):
So today’s win-win comes from Nancy’s mother who she quoted in saying as teaching her, “It’s not the problem, it’s how you handle it”. It’s not the problem, it’s how you handle it. So, it kind of goes in with the idea that life happens, but it’s how you react to that life that matters. So, that same principle applies here. So, let’s think about how you choose to handle events and circumstances that you’re placed in and how you react to that and the things that you do. You can… In many cases, you could run away, you could hide, you could react negatively, or you can take it in stride and try to see the best in the situation. Nancy had mentioned in the interview about the Coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re all living through right now. You have a choice. How do you handle it?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (36:25):
How does Plan B or C or D come into play as you’re going through this? So, that’s today’s win-win, because if you adhere to these principles, as the leader of your company, it is going to, without a doubt, help you have a better attitude, help you enjoy life more, provide a better environment for your staff, for your team, for your customers, and for all of those people that you are in contact and have touchpoints with on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. That’s our episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe. Give us a rating. Give us a review. Share this with your friends and other folks you think would benefit from the information we’re sharing. We’ll see you right back here next week on the next great edition to Multiply Your Success Podcasts.