business retention and expansion

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

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/


When Mayors Get It Right

Posted on in Government Please leave a comment

The new mayor had taken office, and she had appeared on many different local television shows and radio shows. It seemed like every time she spoke, she spoke about the importance of retaining jobs. She spoke about the importance of keeping local businesses.

It was amazing to hear, and yet it was not amazing to hear. It was amazing to hear in the sense that very few politicians ever talk about retaining jobs. Sure, they are more than willing to promote the next new local headquarters or the company that is moving a facility to their jurisdiction. But rarely do politicians talk about the importance of retaining jobs and companies in the future.

The reason why it was not so surprising is that the local economy had lost some major employers recently, and there was an increasing sense of concern permeating the community about the loss of more jobs.

Just like with any private sector business attempting to retain clients, government entities need to have strategies focused on retaining their local businesses and local jobs. These strategies involve having an organizational structure setup that is continuously touching base with local businesses in key industries to ensure they are getting their needs met. This strategy includes ongoing research by directly contacting companies as well as more passive research where the municipalities are gathering information on local businesses about leadership changes, changes in company performance, facility changes, and industry trends. That strategy includes making sure that there are incentives in place to help with economic development for companies willing to expand and stay locally so that those incentives can fend off other jurisdictions offering relocation incentives.

It’s sad that it takes a bad economy to get politicians to talk about business retention, but if it does nothing else, it proves that every local job, every local business, and every industry impacted by local business is important.

Make sure that your jurisdiction has a sound strategy for business retention and expansion.

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