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Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

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

Yakima Says Yes to Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Retention is vital to business growth. And retaining a customer can refer to the season ticket holder for the pro basketball team, the resident for the cable television company, the local employer for the community, and…the community college student in Yakima, Washington.

In the Yakima Herald Article, Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) was recognized by a national non-profit organization for its great student retention rates. The semester-to-semester retention rate increased from 75% to 81%. According to Tomas Ybarra, vice president of Instruction and Student Services, "Our new student orientation is definitely bearing fruit right now. In addition to fall-to-winter retention, also seeing increases in fall-to-fall retention (a full academic year). That’s encouraging."

So once again, we’re seeing an example of organizations successful in retention focusing hard on the new customer. In most businesses, retention is most at-risk for new or first year customers. To address this, YVCC delivers an orientation course that makes students more comfortable and confident in navigating the facility and processes and enjoying the experience. The orientation helps to create the ability for a new student to have as positive an experience as a long-term student.

So what’s your retention rate? Do you know it? If not, calculate it; if it’s 80% as an example, calculate the financial impact of not having the business from that lost 20% for the next year or two or three. That will make retention much more important from a financial perspective.

So how do you quickly try to create comfort and confidence in your first time customers? View them differently from your repeat customers. Create a plan to get the first timers knowledgeable of and pleased with the experience as quickly as possible.

Learn why Yakima says “Yes” to retention, and how it makes success from the Yes.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Translate Customer Service into Business Success

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

As one state’s economic engine shifts into new industries and out of the growth industries of the past, relocation incentives are – as usual – a big point of discussion. How much should this state spend in incentives to get out-of-state businesses to build plants, move jobs, and relocate headquarters to this state?

While such incentives are common practice nationwide, some members of governmental think tanks believe that such incentives are overweighted toward new corporate recruitment. As Mr. Robert Atkinson, former Executive Director for the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington stated, “the [faster growing cities] don’t recruit companies. They grow them.”

How does this point relate to your business? Ask yourself, how do you retain your current customers? And more pointedly, how do you GROW your existing customer base? For local municipalities, it means investing in existing businesses so that it’s more cost-effective for companies to remain in their current locations than to relocate.

Translation for your business: Make your company of such value to the customer, that there is no significant financial reason to choose a competitor.

Also, smart municipalities work to strip away regulations and procedures that are burdensome to businesses while still maintaining a solid quality of life for individuals.

Translation for your business: Make it easy for the customer to do business with you. Strip away those policies and process steps that make it inconvenient to purchase your products and services. Make it easy for them to know how else to utilize your products and services. Then make it easy for them to purchase your products and services.

Finally, these municipalities try to get the businesses to become part of the fabric of their communities, strengthening the personal ties with the companies’ employees.

Translation for your business: Create personal relationships with customers that the best marketing collateral and slickest sales pitch cannot overcome.

Translate customer service into business success.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Take a Measure from Government

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

When we work with our government clients, whether it’s an economic development division trying to retain local businesses, a property assessment division trying to efficiently serve its customer base, a City/County manager’s office trying to best manage such a large organization, we’ve found a consistent need – measurement.

When government is trying to measure over such a broad organization, they typically create an organization-wide balanced scorecard system. This metrics system will have the typical measures of Revenue, Cost, Quality, and Customer Service. But it will also have some more outcomes-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents on welfare and more capacity-oriented customer measures such as the percentage of residents living within “X” miles of a public park.

Let’s translate those last two measures to a typical business. Outcomes. An outcome is some end-benefit from what your service or product provides. It’s not the product itself. For a hospital, it’s the quality of life after discharge, not just how good the care was in the hospital. For a fine restaurant, it’s the enjoyment of the evening, not just the quality of the food. For an automobile dealership, it’s the feeling when driving or knowing you own a particular brand, not just the gas mileage. These outcomes often relate to the feelings your customers have as a result of their engagement with your company. They should be measured to make sure your services had a positive ongoing impact.

The other example metric dealt with Access. How close you live to a park can determine your ease of access and likelihood to use it. Similarly, what percentage of the population lives near a grocery store, what percentage of season ticket holders receive a sports team’s newsletter, and what percentage of long-term customers have online access all help to determine the customer’s access to the company. A greater access leads to a greater chance to develop relationships and retain the customer.

Learn from these atypical measures from government to know how well you impact your customers and to ensure you have adequate access to them.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/