Government

I Think I Think is Wrong - 10/20/20


I think that’s not going to be feasible.  I think we can do that.  I think you’re on the right track.  Methinks thou dost protest too much. Please forgive the Shakespearean reference, but it seems to fit well here.  When we are talking to co-workers and customers, and we’re giving Read more

Be Slowest, and Be the Best – Chick-fil-A - 10/13/20


About one week ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article that analyzed the results of a SeeLevel HX research engagement on the customer experience at fast food restaurants.  The results were seemingly contradictory.  The fast food chain with by far the overall best drive-thru experience was Chick-fil-A, and yet Read more

Connect During Customer Service Week - 10/6/20


It’s Customer Service Week…woohoo!  This week should be all about the customers we serve and the staff who serve them.  This should be about conveying we value other people, and – hopefully – having other people convey that they value us.  It’s a week about people – about us. This Read more

Temper the Tone of THE VOICE - 9/29/20


The television show The Voice is a singing competition.  The opening episodes of every season begin with individuals singing while judges have their backs to the singer.  The judges can’t see the singer, so they are evaluating the performer purely based on their voice. Oftentimes, when the judge turns around, Read more

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

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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