Saturday, October 15, 2011

My next book

I am very pleased to announce signing a contract with leading business publisher AMACOM Books, for what will be my ninth nationally-published book.

This project has a working title of What to Say in Your Very Worst Customer Situations. It will explore what people like hostage negotiators, crisis counselors, and psychotherapists can teach you about handling your most difficult situations. Best of all, you can become part of it! Stay tuned for social media opportunities from AMACOM and I to share your own very worst customer situations.

I am thrilled to be back with AMACOM again: for a customer service author, this is the business-book equivalent of signing with the Yankees. They have released three national number #1 customer service books in as many years, including my own What to Say to a Porcupine, as well as one of the best-selling customer service books of all time, Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service. Their stable of authors includes some of the top thought leaders in business today.

One milestone I am especially proud of is joining a very small fraternity (along productivity expert Brian Tracy and customer service guru Ron Zemke) to publish four books under their imprint. More important, I am happy to be back working with such great people.

This book will also have a worldwide platform – it will be available from McGraw-Hill outside the US, and AMACOM has always done a great job of foreign rights sales. (Porcupine was a top 10 customer service book around the world, and my AMACOM books have been published in six languages to date.)

A summary of the new book is listed below – pub date will be a little over a year from now. Can't wait that long? I've been speaking on the material in this book for quite a while now: contact me at to learn more. See you on the bookshelves again soon!


What to Say in Your Very Worst Customer Situations
by Richard S. Gallagher, MA MFT

Why do people struggle to give good service?

It is not because they don't care. It isn't because they need more smile training. And it's not because they need to work harder. It is because of FEAR.

They feel alone and vulnerable on a very public stage, worrying about when the next customer will leave them twisting in the wind. They have no idea how to handle other people's demands. They don't know how to negotiate productively. And they have no clue how to defuse someone else's anger.

Even though they wear name tags that say, "Hi, Can I Help You?", they are silently praying that your customers will go away with as little collateral damage as possible.

So how do you change this fear? By totally blowing it away. By teaching them the skills that hostage negotiators, crisis counselors, psychotherapists, and police officers use every day. Because when people learn how to handle their very worst customer situations, everything changes. And great things start happening to your service quality, morale, and turnover.

Author Rich Gallagher loves worst-case scenarios. He enjoys having people get angry with him about high-stakes situations in front of large audiences. A former customer service executive, practicing therapist, and author of the #1 customer service bestseller What to Say to a Porcupine, he has a track record of dramatically turning around the performance of customer contact operations, by teaching people what to say in their very worst customer situations. His new book will teach you:

• How to defuse anger and criticism by "leaning in" to it – with gusto!
• Avoiding well-intentioned "trigger phrases" that escalate a bad situation
• The secret to helping people feel heard in a crisis
• Using a "divide and conquer" approach to safely deliver bad news to anyone
• What to say when a situation is your fault – and when it isn't

Most of us think excellent customer service involves smiles, positive attitudes, and "magical moments." Yet none of these prepare you for what to say when someone experiences serious consequences that are totally your fault. Or a customer is so upset that he wants to sue you. Or someone says the wrong thing and a customer is in-your-face angry. These are the times when “magical moments” suddenly go out the window – and they eventually happen to all of us. That's where this book comes in.

Attitude and courtesy alone will not fix your most difficult customer situations. Specific communications skills will. What to Say in Your Very Worst Customer Situations will teach you the right words for any critical situation, in a powerful new book that will change everything about how you work with customers.