care

Be Generous to a Fault - 8/20/19


People who think they’re generous to a fault usually think that’s their only fault – American Journalist Sydney Harris. This quote reminds me of someone who views themselves as a giver – someone who is so humble that he likes to humbly tell everyone of the gifts he’s given, good Read more

Don’t Assume because... - 8/13/19


You've probably heard this statement growing up. Your parents said, “Don’t assume, because it makes…you look bad.” Or something like that… Recently my laptop screen died, and since it was an older laptop, I decided to go ahead and buy a new one instead of paying to have the screen Read more

Patience Leads to Positivity - 8/6/19


Thank you for your patience. That’s a statement I enjoy saying…when I am the customer. When I’m trying to learn something and I’m about to go into a process, I want to have a feel for what the whole process involves. Over the years, I’ve gotten tired of feeling like Read more

Back to Reality...for Customer Expectations - 7/30/19


Have you ever walked into a patient registration area of a hospital and seen a sign that said “if you’ve been waiting longer than 15 minutes, please see the receptionist?” Have you ever called a customer service number and been told by a recording that “the average hold time is Read more

For Excellence to Happen, Get Engaged - 7/23/19


The customer was throwing an absolute fit in the lobby. Sitting among several other customers waiting for her number to be called, she was raising her voice and letting out the occasional expletive about the lengthy wait time. An employee sitting behind the counter thought to herself: I’m going Read more

Libby Listened to Serve - 7/16/19


Libby was new to her role with the organization. She had never been a customer service representative in a call center before, but she was hired because of her attitude. She wanted to learn, enjoyed working with people, and could carry on a conversation with a wall. After going through Read more

Chris Got Noticed for All the Right Reasons - 7/9/19


Chris was working through a temporary agency, and he got a job at a warehouse. He was packaging items to be shipped out, and his shift didn't start until 7:30 a.m. Chris always got there a little bit early because of the bus schedule, and he hated just sitting Read more

What Does “No News” Mean? Here’s a Quick Story - 7/2/19


Steven was trying to make the purchase of his new used car official, so he could get license tags for his State. In order for the State to allow him to put the vehicle in his name, he had to submit paperwork to prove that the prior owner (from Read more

Are you the Output or the Input? - 6/25/19


You’re the output and the input. Sorry to put it into such technical/industrial engineering terminology. But in a service system, we all have some role as a part of the process. First, we receive the output. Somebody has a customer that they direct to us, so that handoff is from Read more

Hear Them, and Tell Them What You Heard - 6/18/19


CSS has conducted close to 1000 research projects over the years, many of which were web-based surveys. And oftentimes, in addition to or instead of completing the online survey, respondents e-mail us directly with questions or comments – and we respond personally to every message on behalf of our 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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