Customer Service Tip of the Week

Keep On Going - 9/22/20


Thomas Edison once said “Many of life’s failures are experiences by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” You are close to success – Keep On Going. Winston Churchill once said "If you’re going through hell, keep going."  This quote has been taken Read more

Lessons Learned for COVID Era Sporting Events


Since the sports world has begun inviting fans back to their events on a limited basis, CSS has been fortunate to work on multiple events with our sports clients.  Much of our work is fan research-oriented, where before or after events, we are engaging fans to identify expectations, potential Read more

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service - 9/15/20


Peter, Paul, and Marie are co-workers. They are all customer service representatives.  When Peter thinks of good customer service, he defines it as being friendly to the customer. “And I am friendly,” Peter says.  “That’s why I don’t know why they send me to customer service training.” Paul thinks customer Read more

COVID-19 Demand Management Strategies for Customer Service Channels


We all want demand for our products or services.  This helps us to generate revenue and to provide something of value to our customers and communities.  But customer demand does not strictly relate to products and services.  Demand also relates to communications, information, issue resolution, education, and other aspects Read more

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? - 9/8/20


This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I? We only Read more

Reach Out More for COVID-19 Customer Retention


Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic became a reality for individuals, their communities, and their countries, it became clear that people were going to be hurting…that lives were going to be changing…that the realities of the past were going to be very different from the current and near-term future realities. When Read more

Using I, We, or You in Customer Service - 9/1/20


It’s amazing how many conversations can go horribly wrong or incredibly right, not because of the use of a 4-letter word, but simply because of the use of a 1, 2, or 3-letter word – I, We, You. The incorrect use of I, We, You in conversations causes problems more Read more

Get Your Guru On - 8/25/20


You may have heard of management gurus - these people who seemed to know all and be all, to have the wisdom of 1000 leaders.  Maybe you’ve heard it in your industry as a guru in sports psychology or the master of economics or sociology or human behavior. And so Read more

Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right - 8/18/20


This is a famous Henry Ford quote, and the quote is all about self-belief, all about confidence. We’ve often spoken about the need to be confident and how to gain confidence, because that confidence - or the lack thereof - is imparted on the customer. But how does a customer tell Read more

Grind it out Today for a Better Tomorrow - 8/11/20


It’s been said that You Learn Perseverance by Persevering.  You are becoming mentally tougher right now.  The pain and the difficulties and the change today are making you stronger for dealing with the uncertainties of tomorrow. We’re all having to be more flexible.  We are all facing less consistency, less Read more

When Employees Fight Over a Customer – 2/4/20

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There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment.  A feeling of “you are my most important customer” and “I cannot wait to serve you” brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant.  But that’s not the only thing that can bring a tear to my eye.

Walking into a fast food restaurant, I stood back from the cashiers to determine what I wanted.  After deciding, I walked to the counter and the two cashiers, both of which were available.  This is how the conversation started:

  • Cashier #1:  “Can I help…oh, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #2:  “No, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #1:  “No, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #2:  “No…well, okay.  What would you like?”

 

This dialogue would have been very flattering had they substituted “I” for “she,” but the conversation made it obvious that, even though neither was doing anything, they’d prefer continuing to do nothing rather than help me buy their product.

Sometimes we complain about how many companies and many employees are more task-focused than customer-focused.  But this company was more focused on inaction than action.  While we desperately hope this experience is a rarity in your business, there are things to learn from the interaction that can help any business succeed.

First, hire people with not only the attitude of wanting to help others but also the energy to act on those impulses.  Next, come up with a mantra that promotes productivity.  One restaurant tells its staff to remember during slow times that “if you’re leaning (against the wall) you should be cleaning.”  Finally, create a proactive work environment.  The more reactive a culture is, the more likely they are to be passive when there’s not a fire to fight.  Proactive cultures promote the seeking of action and progress.

Work to create an atmosphere of “I’ll take your order.”

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LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers – 1/28/20

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They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers.

Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many situations where we can say thank you to the customer.  And we want to do that often, because without customers, we have no business.  We understand that in the vast majority of the cases, the customer could go elsewhere.  They want to feel valued and appreciated, so we want to find ways to convey that appreciation.

Whether you’re dealing with a request, a complaint, or just the customer’s involvement in some activity, you have an opportunity to appreciate the customer.

Convey appreciation to customers or co-workers for their requestThanks for your request.  Thanks for asking!

Convey appreciation for telling you a complaintThanks for bringing that to our attention.  I appreciate your telling us about this issue.

Convey appreciation for their participationIt’s great that you’ve been a part of this.  I appreciate your time and your engagement in the process.

It is not hard to say thanks, but it is often one of the most forgotten aspects of communication with customers.  They are not a box in our process flow; a customer is an individual that wants to feel valued and appreciated.  So we want to make sure that we are not only appreciating them, but we are telling them so.

There are many opportunities to appreciate the customer throughout the day.  Identify them, and act on them so the customer feels how much you value them and their business.

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When Jack Gave Arnie a Tip – 1/21/20

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Jack Nicklaus may have been the greatest golfer ever.  Many think that Arnold Palmer was the most important golfer of the 20th century.  These two greats were contemporaries, so they became competitors and friends all at once.  And when somebody who is one of the greatest of all time gives you advice, you should take it, right?

Since these players spoke thousands of times over the years on the golf course, advice was often shared.  One day, Jack walked over to Arnie on the practice range, and since Jack was one of the greatest high ball hitters in history, he offered Arnold, a low ball hitter, a little bit of advice on how to get the ball up in the air when needed. Arnold thanked Jack, and he tried the advice, but the tip didn’t work.  

It was advice from one of the greatest ever, but it just didn’t work.  It doesn’t mean that the advice wasn’t good; it means that particular advice did not work for that particular person to address a particular need.

Luckily for Arnie, he realized that just because the source of the advice was great, that didn’t mean that the advice would work for him.  He understood it wouldn’t work because he understood himself.  He understood what his strengths were and how he went about doing his job.  He understood his skill set, what he was capable of, and what he was not capable of or not comfortable doing.

It’s the same for us.  None of us are perfect.  None of us are at the peak of all of our skills or abilities in the working world, so we need to be open to suggestions.  We need to be open to guidance and direction.

However, before we take on any advice and try to utilize it exactly how it’s given, make sure we start with an understanding of ourselves.  We need to ensure that what has worked for someone will truly work for us, because we are different people with different skills and abilities and perspectives.  We need to consider the advice and guidance, but make sure we do it with an understanding of who we are.  

When someone gives you a tip, consider it, but consider it through a lens of self-awareness.

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