co-worker

Who Loves Ya, Baby? - 2/25/20


Telly Savalas played Kojak - a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby? So, who loves their customer? If you want to see somebody who loves their Read more

6 Actions for Attitude Adjustments - 2/18/20


The battle over one’s attitude can feel like a never-ending fight… I need to stop letting little things bother me. I need to not let that customer’s anger infect my mindset.  Just because my co-worker isn’t doing what they said they’d do shouldn’t mean that I should have an attitude Read more

A Hair-Cut Above...and Below - 2/11/20


After going to the same barber for more than a decade, I decided to leave.  The customer experience went down, and the price went up.  For my last several visits, I was the one who was driving the conversations – when I could get a word in edgewise between Read more

When Employees Fight Over a Customer - 2/4/20


There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment.  A feeling of “you are my most important customer” and “I cannot wait to serve you” brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant.  But that’s not the only Read more

LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers - 1/28/20


They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers. Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many Read more

When Jack Gave Arnie a Tip - 1/21/20


Jack Nicklaus may have been the greatest golfer ever.  Many think that Arnold Palmer was the most important golfer of the 20th century.  These two greats were contemporaries, so they became competitors and friends all at once.  And when somebody who is one of the greatest of all time Read more

Make it Abundantly Clear - 1/14/20


Becky was laying in her hospital bed and staring at the whiteboard on the wall.  It had a room number, the room’s phone number, and the date.  It had the pictures of the pain scale, with happy-to-sad faces and ratings from 0-10.  It noted when the last meds were Read more

Become the Wishing Well - 1/7/20


When you don’t know if the next step will solve the customer’s problem, give hope a chance.  If you’re not certain how things will progress on their project, give hope a chance.  If you want to end the conversation by having them feel positive, even if uncertain, give hope Read more

Why Silence is Golden - 12/31/19


In the world of customer service, to begin finding a resolution, sometimes we have to initiate conversation. To keep things moving forward, oftentimes we have to proactively engage in discussion.  To have effective dialogue, we need to avoid those long periods of dead silence. But don’t let those truths of Read more

2019 Holiday Poem - 12/24/19


There is joy absolutely everywhere, Sometimes you just need to look for it. There are birds and babies. There are flowers and sweet older ladies. You just have to look for them. People hold doors open for others, with smiles. There are days when you can see for miles. You just have to look for them. There Read more

Be Habitually Great at Customer Service – 5/8/18

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


“It takes 21 days to form a habit.”

Actually, I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve heard that statement many times. It’s based somewhat on the timeline, but it’s also based on the premise that habits can be formed simply by intentionally repeating the act. You make something second nature by making it a first priority for a period of time.

In customer service, we don’t always perform perfectly; some things we should do or say are not top-of-mind, not the way we were raised or trained. Therefore, we need to write them down, put a sign on our desk or door, a post-it on our computer or on the dashboard of our car, an e-mail reminder we send ourselves, a statement written on the white board, a note taped to the fridge.

However you remind yourself, however you keep something top-of-mind, use that vehicle to reinforce some desired action, and do it for – as they say – at least 21 days.

But what are those habits you want to form? Here’s a list of core customer service habits where we’ve seen employees lacking over the years:

  • Using the customer’s name frequently in conversation.
  • Talking with the customer – keeping them engaged – when you’re working on the computer or looking through files.
  • When they’re waiting onsite, touching base with them every 10-15 minutes with updates.
  • Telling the co-worker to whom you’re transferring the customer about the customer’s situation so that the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves.
  • Ensuring you end the call or appointment or meeting confirming that the customer got their need met and understands next steps.
  • SMILING!
  • Thanking the customer multiple times during the encounter.
  • Responding to e-mails and voice mails no later than the next day.
  • Putting away your phone when you enter a meeting or you’re on a call.
  • Looking away from your computer when you initially engage the customer.

 
While some of these may sound basic, rarely will you find employees who consistently do these activities in their customer encounters. That’s because they are not yet habits. To be great at customer service, you have to at least be really good…consistently!

Be Habitually Great at Customer Service.

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Inflate Your Team – 4/17/18

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I was talking with a friend recently about their job change. They’re still working in the same company, still doing the same type of technology support, but their position had been moved from a user area to the information technology department.

This person seemed happier in their job than they had ever been before. They smiled more during conversations. They seemed more relaxed and at peace. The workload was the same, the content of the work was the same, but there was one big difference – the people she worked side-by-side with every day were different.

In her other department, even if she started the day with the best attitude possible, by the end of the day her motivation was gone, she was worn out, she felt times of stress, and she often felt down.

In her new department, she ended the day with more energy, she was generally happy, the tension and stress weren’t there anymore, and she felt at peace about the accomplishments of the day’s work.

I’m sure she herself had something to do with how she felt in this new department, but just as big an impact on her were the people that she worked with in each place. In retrospect, she viewed her co-workers in the first department as Deflators. The people in her new department are Inflators.

In the previous department, staff talked negatively, didn’t plan well, made every issue a big issue, were concerned more with their own image than team performance, communicated expectations poorly, and then complained when hidden expectations were not met. These were the Deflators.

Her new department included people who were very professional, well-organized, understood their common goals, enjoyed each other’s company in fun activities like fantasy football, were happy to jump in and help co-workers, and generally functioned as a team.

Take a look back at what caused one group to be considered Deflators and the other to be considered Inflators. Then look at yourself. What impact do you have on your co-workers with your attitude, your planning, your willingness to help, and your focus on others?

Make sure you’re a model of great teamwork. Be an Inflator.

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Peer Recognition Made Easy – 4/10/18

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There may be one manager in the department. There may be one supervisor over your division. Those individuals may see you interact with customers, but usually your conversations with your customers are out of the sight of leadership.

Every day you make a difference, and often you’re working side-by-side with co-workers who are also making a difference. So, if we rely only on leadership to recognize us, we’re losing out on one of the greatest sources of recognition – our peers.

A Quick Story – The client called their account representative, Beverly, with a request about the monthly lawn service they were scheduled to provide. Beverly offered some suggestions to the client, noted that Jeremy would be onsite the next day and could provide more information, and shared how knowledgeable Jeremy is on this particular topic.

Jeremy delivered what Beverly promised, and the client sent a thank you e-mail to Beverly, noting and appreciating Jeremy’s patience and information shared. Beverly then routed the kudos to Jeremy and his supervisor.

It was simple.

The employee heard something positive about a co-worker, and let the co-worker know. The employee experienced a co-worker going above and beyond, and she simply shared that information with him.

Beverly could have just heard the compliment, but she took an extra few seconds to share that compliment with others in the organization. This form of peer recognition is exceptionally easy – all you have to do is to share what you hear positively with that co-worker and potentially with their supervisor.

Many of us appreciate being appreciated, but for many of us all the appreciation comes solely from the fulfillment of doing your job well or the occasional but all-too-rare accolades we receive from supervisors. If instead we take on an attitude of appreciation and a desire to point out the positives of peers, we’re filling up people with accolades by simply passing on the positives that the customers share.

Make peer recognition a part of your everyday job. Simply pass along customer kudos.

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