care

Bring Out the Best - 11/12/19


As a management consultant, oftentimes my job is to identify the key issues, determine the root causes, and provide solutions. We do a lot of strategy work, we conduct many research projects, and we train and train and train our clients. However, improvement usually involves pointing out what needs Read more

Know What You Don’t Know - 11/5/19


Twitter, Instagram, Facebook – yak, yak, yak.  In the social media world, there’s an awful lot of talk that goes on and a lot of opinions shared.  But sometimes those opinions are not based on any level of deep knowledge. Sometimes they are based on assumptions. In the world of Read more

Service, Sports, and Self-Control - 10/29/19


When I was growing up, I played a lot of golf. I practiced a lot, and I could score pretty well. However, when something went bad, when I hit a tee shot into the woods or dumped an iron shot into a lake, I would become unglued. Then every Read more

What it Means to Respect Someone’s Time - 10/22/19


Whether it is with a client when I realize that the meeting might go long, or possibly it’s in a workshop where I’m trying to end one conversation so we can move on to the next topic, there is a phrase I’ve used many times, and I mean it Read more

Be the Director of First Impressions - 10/15/19


Whether it’s in a hotel or in a coffee shop or a bank branch, first impressions mean a lot. First impressions mean “this is who we are” and “this is what you should expect.” First impressions mean “this is our definition of excellence” and “this is how much we Read more

People will Pay for Customer Service - 10/8/19


Sometimes all you need to read is the first paragraph in an article. Here’s the title from Business Insider: Amazon charges sellers as much as $5,000 a month for customer service if they want a guarantee that they'll be able to talk to a real person. The first paragraph reads: Amazon Read more

New Ways to Celebrate National Customer Service Week - 10/1/19


The week of October 7 is National Customer Service Week. No, this wasn’t another holiday invented by Hallmark, so you have to go to work. Hopefully that’s the good news! This week is typically thought of as a time to rejuvenate relationships with customers, to refocus your efforts on treating Read more

The Error of “Everyone” - 9/24/19


A recent article in The Charlotte Observer got me thinking about a concept, a premise that is suggested all too often in society. First, the article: The story was about lawn care, and some of the people quoted in the article talked about what customers want today. They noted Read more

Between Texting and Thoreau - 9/17/19


The more people that enter the business world having grown up texting, the more the quality of business communications drops. A typical text between friends is rarely what anybody in business would call a professionally-written document. There’s nothing wrong with that, because texting is typically informal dialogue between friends. Read more

I want to be an Astronaut - 9/10/19


When I was young, if a child was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, the answers were often a fireman, a Pro Football player, a teacher, somebody who got to drive a truck, or an astronaut. Maybe the question is still asked today, and, if Read more

Avoid the Greatest Tragedy in Customer Service – 8/28/18

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment


The greatest tragedy is indifference.

That statement is attributed to the American Red Cross, and it applies to the world of customer service as well. The first requirement for consistently great customer service is caring about those you’re serving, and caring and indifference are polar opposites.

It’s tough to be indifferent and do what’s best for the other person. It’s difficult to be indifferent and to understand the other’s situation. It’s a challenge to be indifferent and to anticipate the other’s needs.

The know nothings are less of a problem than the feel nothings.

The author of this quote is unknown, but it ties into the first quote. To care, to avoid indifference, it helps to feel for the other person. But not all of us are the emotional type; not all of us are “touchy feely.” So how do we convey we care, how do we avoid indifference, how do we deliver great customer service if we’re not big “feel” people?

Take a cognitive approach. Think of the opposite of indifference as “making a difference.” What can you do to make the other person’s day easier? What one thing can you do to make them more comfortable? What one question can you ask to find out what’s most important to them? What can you do to move them one step closer to a goal? What one thing can you tell them that will make a process more clear or make them a little more confident?

To avoid indifference, think of that one little extra you can provide.

Avoid the perception of indifference by making a difference.

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Do They Feel That You Care? – 2/28/17

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Let’s first start by stating the obvious – you can’t control how others feel. Many of us have trouble at times controlling (or even understanding) our OWN feelings.

So what’s up with the title of this Tip of the Week?

I was watching a video created by one of my clients, highlighting a staff person known for her great customer service.

One of her points was telling. A goal she has in every interaction with anyone (customer, co-worker, vendor – anyone) is that they feel that she cares.

She is answering their question. She’s researching their bill. She’s addressing their complaint. Maybe she’s briefly chatting with them in the hallway. She could be in a meeting with them. Possibly she’s the presenter at the meeting.

No matter what she’s doing – she consciously thinks “I want this person to feel that I care.” WOW!

She knowingly can’t control their feelings, but she has a desire for people to feel that she cares.

I do something similar that I’ve written about previously; while I’m speaking to someone, I often think to myself “this is the most important person in the world to me at this moment.”

It’s amazing what that conscious thought does naturally to your level of patience, your focus, your eyes and expressions, the words you decide to use, and the tone of voice that comes through your lips. But I’m not consistent like this person. She’s an all-the-time person.

Why does she try to do this 100% of the time? Maybe she figures that if she tries 100% of the time, she may succeed 80% – and that’s pretty awesome! Maybe she does it because it aligns to her personal values. Maybe she wants to feel cared for, and this is her way of providing what she wants to receive. Maybe she wants to make the (working) world a little better place.

Whatever her reason, let’s try it ourselves. No matter what action you’re taking with or for someone else, tell yourself “I want this person to feel that I care.”

See if it changes the dynamic of the conversation. See if it changes THEIR attitude. See if it changes YOUR day.

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Provide Customer Service When They’re Absent – 7/12/16 TOW

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Rick went on sick leave, hating to miss out on his great relationships with his co-workers for a few weeks but knowing he needed to get himself better. Eventually his health improved, but when he returned, he had resentment against the company.

Although an occasional co-worker would text Rick to check on him or bring him a meal at home, his direct supervisor never reached out. No manager ever communicated with Rick in any way. “They preach caring, collaboration, support, and relationships at work,” Rick thought to himself, “but when you’re sick and at home, it’s like you don’t even exist.”

The local restaurant loved its regulars – they were not only good for business, but they were fun to have around, fun to develop relationships with, fun to just see every week. When a couple of the best customers – Dave and Deanna Lundy – didn’t show for their usual Thursday happy hour or their Sunday brunch for a few weeks, one of the managers and their favorite server noticed. But that’s all they did – they just noticed.

Dave and Deanna had taken a week’s vacation, and then Deanna had gotten sick – even had a brief hospital stay. She was better now, and they decided to try a new restaurant on Thursdays and another on Sundays – for some reason, they didn’t feel the same strong pull to go back to the local place they had patronized for years.

Too often we view customer service as something to do just “in the moment,” reacting to something requested or to an issue presented. But if part of delivering great customer service requires that we care about the other, it should move us to act even when the customer’s not right in front of us. We should be moved to reach out to the co-workers not around. We should want to know if our “regulars” are okay. We should convey we care about them even if they’re not accomplishing a task at work or paying us money for some product or service.

Notice those that are missing, and care enough to serve them when they’re absent.

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