World of Customer Service

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

Higher Ed – All About Customer Service for Student Success?

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

blog-10-5-16I was presenting results of mystery shopping research years ago to a Higher Ed client.  There were about 150 people in the room, and in the middle of the presentation, two professors stood up on opposite sides of the auditorium and starting yelling at each other.  They were arguing over whether students should be viewed as customers.

Without rehashing the details of that conversation 10+ years ago, let’s juxtapose that visual to the visual of Universities looking at customer service as a key to Student Success.

The transition is starting to happen – even in Higher Ed.

In the article Customer Service May Be A Key Ingredient To Increasing Successes And College Rankings Without Increasing Costs, the author highlights all the many initiatives that colleges and universities have underway to maximize student retention, graduation, and other measures of Student Success.

She states “Many schools are creating infrastructures that consider its students as customers; it wants its students to feel that the University is working for them rather than against them. This manifests itself in how students are treated in all aspects of their interactions with their university. It includes attention to course scheduling, ease of registering for courses, early provision of financial aid packages, etc. They want to make sure that students have a good experience.

She offers as an example “Too often, classes are scheduled for the convenience of the faculty rather than the student resulting in most courses being scheduled between 10 and 4 Monday through Thursday resulting in conflicts for students when many of their classes are scheduled at the same time.

The author highlights a University that has hired an executive to oversee the student experience strategy and to develop metrics to gauge performance.

Just as with any organization/business, it’s not all about the Education or the Price that keeps the student in school or facilitates their graduation.  Sometimes it’s conveying to the student that they’re valued, and customer service in the development of organizational strategies and the 1-on-1 Moments of Truth where those strategies are implemented can be the difference between a student feeling valued or looking elsewhere.

Use customer service strategies and techniques to show you value the student.

Would you like to learn about how CSS helps Education-industry organizations succeed?  Visit http://cssamerica.com/education-industry/


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

 


Find Assets that Build Fan Affinity

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

blog-9-30-16What do football fans care about other than winning?  Lots.  Some care about having a kid-friendly environment, some care about being treated special – that customer care, and some care about food!

To some it’s the halftime show and to others it’s knowing the direction of the team – hopefully a positive direction.

So it’s important to highlight an organization like the University of Kentucky as noted in the article UK football season ticket holders tour practice facility.   They didn’t get to tour the Chancellor’s office or take home any championship trophies; it was JUST a practice facility.

But to some fans, it was something special, unique for them, something that shows the direction of the team, something that proves a future investment, something that tightens that relationship with the program.

So what are your organization’s assets?  What are those events, activities, facilities, or awards that could be leveraged to build relationships and make the renewal process flow easier?

You can’t control what happens on the field, but you can control much of what else drives relationship and renewals with STHs.

Find your organization’s assets, and use them to make fans feel special.

Want more ideas?  See what CSS can do for Sports Organizations at:  http://cssamerica.com/sports 


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