Customer Service Tip of the Week

Reach Out to Customers the Right Way - 3/31/20


Depending on what industry that you work in, business is either booming, or it’s greatly slowed down.  I’m not sure if there’s much of a middle ground these days – where industries are working as normal. If you’re in one of the industries where business has slowed, there may be Read more

LEAD them Away from Anger - 3/24/20


Last week we addressed keeping our personal sanity.  This week, let’s discuss dealing with customer insanity.  That may not be the best choice of words, but many customers are overreacting.  In last week’s Tip, we discussed dealing with emotions of anxiety and nervousness from customers, but many customers are Read more

4 Tips for Personal Sanity in Public Crisis - 3/17/20


We can only control what we can control.  There are times like these where the healthcare world is fighting a quickly-spreading virus, and governmental, business, and other organizations are making changes to try to mitigate risks and find solutions where possible. With all this activity swirling around us, we still Read more

Create Mutually-beneficial Relationships - 3/10/20


We have worked with many clients over the years who have long-term staff in customer service roles.  At some point, the company decides to add a sales component to the responsibilities of the representatives, and the sparks start to fly! I was not hired to sell. This is not in Read more

Predictability Excites these Customers - 3/3/20


Sherrie had used that airport one too many times.  Sure it was convenient to her home, only 20 minutes away, but it seemed like every time she scheduled a flight, there was a delay.  And since it was not a “hub” airport, if she had to fly any significant Read more

Who Loves Ya, Baby? - 2/25/20


Telly Savalas played Kojak - a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby? So, who loves their customer? If you want to see somebody who loves their Read more

6 Actions for Attitude Adjustments - 2/18/20


The battle over one’s attitude can feel like a never-ending fight… I need to stop letting little things bother me. I need to not let that customer’s anger infect my mindset.  Just because my co-worker isn’t doing what they said they’d do shouldn’t mean that I should have an attitude Read more

A Hair-Cut Above...and Below - 2/11/20


After going to the same barber for more than a decade, I decided to leave.  The customer experience went down, and the price went up.  For my last several visits, I was the one who was driving the conversations – when I could get a word in edgewise between Read more

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


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 Read more

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


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 Read more

Be the Director of First Impressions – 10/15/19

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Whether it’s in a hotel or in a coffee shop or a bank branch, first impressions mean a lot. First impressions mean “this is who we are” and “this is what you should expect.” First impressions mean “this is our definition of excellence” and “this is how much we care about you.”

An office leasing firm had a receptionist in the lobby whose title was “Director of First Impressions.” This was the company’s way of saying to the customer “this is what you should expect,” but it was also the organization’s way of setting an expectation of the receptionist of what should be her behaviors. It was a way of saying “YOU are the first impression that customers have of our company.”

Wow! Talk about a big responsibility! That employee wasn’t directing others to make a first impression. She WAS the first impression. And the first impression was of someone who greeted you immediately, who smiled, who quickly addressed your need, who adeptly managed callers, walk-ins, and customers alike. She kept communication going with people who waited, and she kept the flow of people and work going.

Therefore, the people who interacted with her had an impression about the company that it was focused on the customer, engaged, cared about meeting the customer’s need, generally happy, responsive, and organized.

So where do your customers get their first impressions?

Are you making positive impressions in the minds of customers? Are you setting high expectations of employees?

Create your customers’ expectations and set your expectations of employees by defining what a fantastic first impression looks like.

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People will Pay for Customer Service – 10/8/19

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Sometimes all you need to read is the first paragraph in an article. Here’s the title from Business Insider: Amazon charges sellers as much as $5,000 a month for customer service if they want a guarantee that they’ll be able to talk to a real person.

The first paragraph reads:

Amazon charges third parties who sell goods through its online marketplace as much as $5,000 per month to access its optional management-growth service, Jay Greene at The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. The service guarantees quick help from a real person, according to The Post, and deciding not to pay can have devastating effects on sellers’ businesses, especially in instances where quick customer support is required.

In this world of AI and technology, of smart phone customer service, and the world according to Google, people are willing to pay $5,000 per month to…talk to a real person!

Why? Because these dedicated representatives can “solve problems before they blow up.” Because true, personalized, useful service is compared to an experience where it’s “almost impossible to get support help from the mostly automated Amazon systems.” Because people provide value. Because having a dialogue and quick resolution with someone empathetic, smart, caring, and knowledgeable has value.

In other words, you have value – literally – to your customers. You may be in a role where you serve others, but your customer allows you to do so because they know your worth.

Studies decades ago used to quote that customers would spend 10% more for the same product with better service. Today, that metric is put on steroids in this $5,000/month dedicated customer service representative story.

But both metrics suggest the same thing – you, your team, and what you do have value. You have worth.

Know your own worth to the customer.

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New Ways to Celebrate National Customer Service Week – 10/1/19

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The week of October 7 is National Customer Service Week. No, this wasn’t another holiday invented by Hallmark, so you have to go to work. Hopefully that’s the good news!

This week is typically thought of as a time to rejuvenate relationships with customers, to refocus your efforts on treating clients well, on showing your accounts or patients or members that you value and care for them. And all that still holds true.

But I’d like to consider a different track as well this week. Best practices in customer service now focus on how culture drives customer service. It’s easier to be consistent in the service experience if your employees, your internal teams operate like a cohesive unit. They have the same goal, they communicate well, they treat each other the way you want them to treat customers.

It’s the internal culture that drives the external customer experience.

So, this week, consider ways to appreciate your co-worker. Show your team member that you value them as a person, as a peer, as a professional. Ask the person sitting next to you about themselves; find ways to be supportive of them. Strive to build relationships with those you work with every day so that you can better support those you work for every day.

Ask yourself: How can I be a better teammate? How can I build positive relationships with my co-workers?

Celebrate National Customer Service Week by celebrating each other.

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