Customer Service Tip of the Week

The Most Important (BLAND) Customer Service Skill - 10/17/17


People great at customer service are often responsive and efficient. Not the sexiest words to use, but I’m going to use an EVEN MORE BLAND (How’s that for hype!) word to describe much of what drives responsiveness and efficiency – Organization. Continuously work on your personal organizational skills: Save Read more

Get Better to Get a Raise - 10/10/17


I was giving a speech recently about organizational culture, and the focus of the talk was the approach to culture by best-in-class organizations. One organization I highlighted bases employee raises – in part – on how much staff have improved their own skills and capabilities. In one sense, that’s Read more

Use Millennials’ Favorite Words - 10/3/17


Okay – you got me. This tip doesn’t JUST apply to Millennials or JUST their favorite words, but I’m going to use that title as a jumping off point. In recent research conducted by Prosper-Insights & Analytics, the 5 key terms that Millennials most frequently use to describe excellent customer Read more

Turn the Basic into the Remarkable - 9/26/17


When asked about my experience at an event, sometimes I’ll use the phrase “I can’t think of anything remarkable.” I came, I experienced, and I left. There was nothing worth remarking about relating to the experience. Where experiences become remarkable is the place where something happened beyond the Read more

Appreciation Multiplies - 9/19/17


Aaron did a GREAT job on the project! Working in the graphics shop at the company, he would help his internal customers address many different design and production needs. But there was something a little different this time. This time, Jackie – his customer – sent a note Read more

Predict, Prioritize, and Personalize - 9/12/17


Many sports organizations are overly marketing-driven, so they’re typically much more focused on major marketing initiatives/programs than the 1-on-1 relationship-development approach we promote. So when we work with Sports clients, we’re often asked why we use research to do so much analysis on individual fans. Here are 3 key Read more

To Win or Not to Win? That Isn’t the Question - 9/5/17


Joe Customer is complaining, and as I listen to Joe I realize that his story has some of the facts wrong. It was Tuesday, not Thursday. Mary was helping him, not Marie. This situation hasn’t happened to him “100 times.” He’s wrong, and I know he’s wrong, Read more

Drive Down the Drama - 8/29/17


The same situation could happen to two different customers – it’s the delayed delivery, the unreturned phone call, the poor workmanship, or the indifferent employee encounter. With the customer named Dena, it’s not a big concern. She just wants to get it rectified quickly and move on; however, with the Read more

Build their Confidence in You - 8/22/17


The service and retention rep was getting quite a rep! Although Jessie had only been with this sports franchise for 10 months, she was continually getting unsolicited praises from her season ticket holders. They were e-mailing her boss, sending positive letters to other team executives, and sending Read more

Make Sure it’s Not a “YOU Problem” - 8/15/17


There’s a TV personality in the sports world that has a phrase that he says frequently – “That’s a YOU Problem.” For example, he might say “If you have a problem with Joe Athlete and don’t respect or like him, then that’s a YOU Problem.” OR he might say, Read more

The Most Important (BLAND) Customer Service Skill – 10/17/17

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment


People great at customer service are often responsive and efficient. Not the sexiest words to use, but I’m going to use an EVEN MORE BLAND (How’s that for hype!) word to describe much of what drives responsiveness and efficiency – Organization. Continuously work on your personal organizational skills:

  • Save the Trees! Rely less on paper – instead, have soft copies of more/all information – using e-mail, PDFs, One Note, and other tools that can be more easily organized together.
  • Add “Virtual” Structure: Organize your files by client or topics or project or initiative. Use subfolders to best refine that structure. Don’t be one of those folks with one e-mail folder – the 30,000 e-mail Inbox!
  • Plan Your Work: Plan your weeks at the end of the prior week or first thing that new week. Ensure you have the time to do what you need to do each day to reduce the chance you get behind.
  • Work Your Plan: Plan your days at the end of the prior day or first thing that day. Work your top priorities first, and if you did a weekly plan, you won’t have to think about tomorrow until tomorrow.
  • Feng Shui Anyone? Make sure your work area is arranged to make it easy to find information, to share information, to quickly get what you need for a client response or a meeting.
  • Out with the Old: Purge or archive old files – whether it’s hardcopy or e-mail, the longer you keep old information near the new, the longer it will take you to find what’s truly relevant.
  • Quickly In (and out) with the New: When assigned a new quick task or asked for a response, consider doing it right then instead of putting it on a list to do later. This keeps your backlog down and increases your responsiveness.

 

If you want to be great at customer service, find ways to be more efficient, more responsive, more effective, and even save yourself some time.

Get organized to get better at customer service.

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Get Better to Get a Raise – 10/10/17

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I was giving a speech recently about organizational culture, and the focus of the talk was the approach to culture by best-in-class organizations.

One organization I highlighted bases employee raises – in part – on how much staff have improved their own skills and capabilities. In one sense, that’s an odd thing to consider. Isn’t it the organization’s responsibility to develop staff? Shouldn’t staff just do their job? Isn’t performance more important than skills and capabilities?

Those are all logical questions, but let’s instead focus on the following questions. What if your organization rewarded you for developing your skills and capabilities? What if your organization realized that the way to improve organizational performance is to improve individual and team performance? What if the organization believed employee development to be a shared responsibility between the company and the individual?

If that was the case, it leads to questions you can ask yourself. How are you improving skills and capabilities?

What are you reading? Who are you asking for feedback about your own skills, capabilities, and performance?

What are you doing to learn more about technology? About communications? About engaging your customers?

And about what are you being inquisitive that could improve your skills?

Ask and answer these questions for yourself.

Tomorrow, your customers will be different, your technology will be different, your leadership will be different. Maybe even your company will be different. Find ways to get better today to prepare for your tomorrow.

Make your own case for getting a raise. Build your skills and capabilities.

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Use Millennials’ Favorite Words – 10/3/17

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Okay – you got me. This tip doesn’t JUST apply to Millennials or JUST their favorite words, but I’m going to use that title as a jumping off point.

In recent research conducted by Prosper-Insights & Analytics, the 5 key terms that Millennials most frequently use to describe excellent customer service are: Helpful, Quick, Returns, Easy, (Fix/Resolve) Problems.

Essentially this is how Millennials define excellent customer service. There are 2 ways we’re going to suggest you use this information.

Self-Analysis
The first is self-analysis (for you or your organization):

  • Are you helpful? Yes, you may provide facts or information, but do you help the customer address their goal or need? This is second level customer service – going beyond the response you provide to the result the customer desires.
  • Is your service quick? Do you respond to the e-mails, calls, chats, needs, and issues expeditiously, and do you ask for the customer’s timeframes so that you know how they define “Quick?”
  • How do you handle returns? Is it as simple for them to return as to buy; are the employee attitudes as pleasant when customers return and want the refund as they are when customers buy and make the payment?
  • Do you make it easy for them to do business with you? For them to understand their responsibilities v. the company’s? For the customer to communicate with you?
  • Finally, what do you do when things go wrong? How are you at fixing/resolving problems? With many customers, your response to the issue tells them far more about your level of customer service than your response to the sale.

 
Phrasing with Customers
The second way we suggest that you use this information is to incorporate it into your daily phrasing with customers – particularly the words helpful, quick, easy. “I want to help you. We want to make this a quick and easy process for you. How else can I help? What’s the easiest way to keep in touch with you?”

When customers tell you what’s important, use that information to improve. And use those words in your customer conversations.

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