Government

Bring Magic to Your Account Management - 1/19/21


One of our first sports-industry clients was the Orlando Magic.  They were a true leading-edge organization in the early 2000s when it came to dedicating resources to season ticket holder retention.  They didn’t make customer service, relationship-development, and renewals simply a function of the Sales department.  They broke it Read more

Customers Want Easy, but Easy is Difficult - 1/12/21


New employees go through days of training to learn products and services.  They have formal workshops to learn how to use their office applications, web functions, and whatever programs are specific to their department.  They test new technology, and they get quizzed on knowledge of policies.  This is hours Read more

Make 2021 the Year of Building Relationships - 1/5/21


I’ve been very fortunate over this company’s 20+ years in business to have great and long-lasting relationships with many clients, colleagues, business partners, and co-workers.  It’s a gift to be able to call on these individuals for advice or referrals or to be a sounding board.  And it’s just Read more

Bring Warmth During Winter - 12/29/20


Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth. Although some of us may like the cold at times of Read more

2020 Holiday Poem - 12/22/20


When in the role of customer service,We are wired to give and give.It’s built into our DNA.It’s simply the way we live. In order to give to others,We need to find ways to give them their fill.We need to pour empathy and openness into them.To serve, we need to have Read more

It’s NOT about the Cinnamon - 12/15/20


It was happening again.  Jessica had just handed the freshly made concoction to her coffee shop customer, and less than a minute later, the customer was in Jessica’s face, red as a beet, ranting and raving:  I specifically asked for extra cinnamon on top!  Does this look like extra Read more

Locke-in from the Start - 12/8/20


John Locke was a 17th century English philosopher, physician, and researcher.  He wrote many papers arguing particular points, oftentimes using reason and facts as the basis for his position.  He noted that many disagreements start because there is – in my words – a lack of real clarity about Read more

The End of the Tunnel - 12/1/20


Have you ever heard the expression:  There’s light at the end of the tunnel… In this COVID-era world, it sure does feel like the tunnel is long, doesn’t it?  It sure feels like this is not a light that we’ll be at in 2 seconds after the train goes another Read more

A Lesson in Gratitude - 11/24/20


Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Read more

Why Your Job is Important - 11/17/20


I was speaking with a client recently, and she was telling me about one of the classes delivered by their professional development team. Her description of the course reminded me of some client workshops we’ve conducted where a part of the outcome is having individual staff develop Personal Mission Read more

Taking the BRE Pulse

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Blog 5-15-18In the recent article Annual ‘Take the Pulse’ business survey underway, the Chester County Economic Development Council promoted the launch of its business retention and expansion survey.  The CCEDC COO noted that “This annual survey is a tool we use to identify emerging trends and issues in our local economy. Coupled with other outreach programs like Engage! and our industry partnerships, we feel like we can really be proactive in addressing the needs of Chester County businesses.”

While the CCEDC is a somewhat large-scale economic development organization, conducting such surveys isn’t something that requires unlimited resources or time. It requires three (3) primary characteristics:

  • First, relationships with businesses that have been developed over time and will result in those companies being open to sharing their perspectives and plans.
  • Second, BRE representatives having an understanding of the link between community economic development goals and how research can help to foster broad-based strategies as well as business-specific Retention and Growth efforts.
  • Finally, a well-designed BRE survey that gives you the key attributes to prioritize those big picture initiatives and also uncover risks and opportunities with existing businesses.

For business retention and expansion programs that have limited resources, keep in mind the vital role that research plays in your efforts to retain and grow jobs with existing businesses. Work to  become systematic about acquiring the kind of intelligence that could help your community grow.

Interested in BRE Services?  Check out:  http://cssamerica.com/government/bre-news-research-services-brebuzz/ 


Government Opinions Driven by Bad Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

blog-10-3-16Have you ever had an issue with your water bill?  How about the appraised value of your home?  Concerned you’re overtaxed?  Did the building inspector fail to show up as planned?  Did the City leave your yard in a mess after digging up a water line?

These are all negative situations with local governments, but they don’t have to be entirely negative experiences.  There are 350 million people in the U.S., and local governments interact with all of them, so there are going to be issues, but often opinions of the government are not formed based on the issue itself.  Opinions are largely formed based on the employee’s reaction to the complaint.

In the article Water bills: City Council ‘displeased’ with customer service, numerous complaints about customer service at the City are noted.  However, although the situations dealt with unexpectedly high water bills, the complaints that rose to the level of City Council were about the City’s handling of the issue.

Customers complained that their issues were “ignored and brushed off by city employees” and “employees have (had) a short temper.”  And one Councilman noted “The thing about customer service is, if you have one bad experience, that’s what gets out.”

Unfortunately for local governments, their reputation for serving the community isn’t determined similar to many private sector businesses who try to “delight” the customers or create the “WOW” experience.

Reputation is created in the responses when questions and issues arise.

What is your organization’s response plan? How do you deal with the irate customer or the complaint?  How are staff trained, and what tools are they given to rectify the situation?

Don’t just focus on the creating the WOW.  Create a plan and an organizational personality that shines greatest when the complaints come flooding in.

Interested in learning how CSS supports local government customer service?  See more at:  http://cssamerica.com/government

 


What We Can Learn from IRS Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Blog 1-19-16In the article Report: IRS customer service lacking, the author shares the woes that customers/taxpayers have when working to get questions answered and issues resolved.  And while many people have heard customer service horror stories about the IRS, what’s most interesting about how the article is constructed is that the premise of poor customer service is based on data.

Only about 33% of callers can get through to the IRS.  Call hold time tripled from 2010 to 2015.

The IRS complained that this was due to budget cuts and increased demand for services because of Obamacare and other initiatives. And while all that may be true about the Federal Government, there is a lesson for every business as well.

What are those true operational measures that are indicators of customer service performance?  What if you identified those internal measures and (gasp) had to report them publicly?  I’m not talking about “97% customer satisfaction” as Geico touts.  I’m talking about real objective internal measures that get at processes and quality.

What is the hold time, the abandon rate, and likelihood of being transferred?  What is the quality of information provided in written correspondence, and how long does it take to get to the customer?  What did your business tell the customer to do and in what timeframe, and did it meet those expectations?  What is the reality of your customer experience as viewed through a Mystery Shopping Program, and did the Shop results mirror what management THOUGHT was the real customer experience?

Take a step back, and imagine if all your internal metrics were made public.  How would it make your business look to the customer…and to your competitors?

Put your measures and your customer experience through this reality check to find opportunities to raise your customer service performance.

Interested in improving your customer experience?  Visit the Customer Service Solutions website.


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