comfort

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

Build Your Customer’s Confidence by Building Yourself Up – 10/9/18

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


I want you to have an ego, just for a minute. I want you to brag on yourself, just for a few seconds. I want you to lose the humility, just for a little while.

Sometimes you’re dealing with a customer or co-worker that is conveying some emotions that are tough to deal with, and those emotions are not always anger and upset. Sometimes those emotions are anxiety and nervousness. They’re worried about what MIGHT happen. They are worried about what the ramifications COULD be. They’re worried about something in the future, something unknown to them.

When dealing with this emotion, sometimes it’s beneficial to talk about yourself or your organization.

After hearing the concern from the customer, restate it back to them, telling them the details you know about their situation. This way, they realize they’re not a number to you. This way, they realize that the facts and the uniqueness of their situation are important to you. This gives them a little sense of comfort that you care enough about them to know about them.

But the next step is actually about YOU. Remember, they have anxiety and fear due in part to some lack of confidence or comfort with what might happen in the future. If you can talk about yourself or your organization and let them know how you successfully navigated the waters that they are about to traverse, that can build their confidence.

“My name is Ed, and I am one of the senior representatives here at Widget World. I’ve helped many different customers go through a similar experience to what you’re dealing with, so I’m confident that we can help you.”

At this point you’ve shared enough about yourself so that they have a vision of success. You shared enough about your experience that they can picture themselves moving toward a solution. You shared enough about you that they realize that what is going on with them can be addressed successfully with your support.

When you’re dealing with the anxious or nervous customer, by building yourself up, you can build the customer’s confidence.

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Take Away Their Worry – 8/7/18

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


One summer, Janet was given a new chore. She had to take out the trash and recycle bins to the street every Tuesday night so that they could be picked up Wednesday morning. She would go out around 7 or 8 o’clock at night, take the bins out, and come back inside. As summer was about to end, it began getting dark earlier, so Janet began putting the bins out earlier.

Janet was worrying about things. She kept hearing noises and didn’t know what they were, so she decided to at least avoid the darkness when putting out the bins. Her dad asked why she kept going out earlier, and when she explained, he said that the noises were probably some small animals, and she shouldn’t be afraid.

The next week she went out a little later – when it was a little bit darker – and she heard some noises and ran back inside. Her dad asked what was wrong, and when she explained about the noises again, he got out his flashlight, and they walked out together. They heard a noise, he pointed the flashlight in that direction, and it was a squirrel. They walked a few feet and heard another noise, and the flashlight revealed a bunny on some leaves. It was a windy day, and after another noise, the light showed a small branch that had fallen.

What the dad had said a week earlier had been proven true. Janet continued her chore, and she did so at night – and she usually went out with a flashlight.

For our customers, similar to Janet, sometimes things are scary. It could be that patient’s unexpected visit to an urgent care, or possibly that a sports fan was about to make a big payment on season tickets. Maybe that resident was not used to dealing with the government on the tax issue.

If we can tell them what they’re going to experience, it can make them less worried. Better yet, it we can SHOW THEM what’s going to happen – being that flashlight – noting all the steps they could be experiencing through the process, they become even more comfortable.

When you are interacting with a customer on something that may create worry or anxiety, do what Janet’s dad did for her. Patiently describe what the experience will be like; shine the light on the path they’ll be going down to bring down their emotions.

Take away their worry.

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Unleash Your Persuasiveness – 7/31/18

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


Sometimes the facts are not enough. The customer is irate, or they don’t like the alternative you’re suggesting. You need them to do something, and they want you to do it. They need to do options A or B, and they want to select imaginary option Z.

You need to persuade them so that the right choice or a reasonable choice or the best choice for them is the one they select. So how do you unleash your persuasiveness?

Here are four (4) key points of consideration:

  • Identify what’s in it for them, or how it would benefit them. Then reference this in the conversation. The customer is more easily persuaded to take a certain action if they understand the benefit to them of taking that action. Instead of purely understanding what needs to be done and understanding why it’s beneficial to you or your organization, use a little empathy to understand what’s in it for them.
  • Model positive behaviors – nods, eye contact, smiles. Persuasion is not just about the words you use. Persuasion is something where they are feeling the positive energy associated with the option you’re promoting. They feel the confidence that you have not only in what you say but how you’re saying it. They feel a level of sincerity in the message you’re sending. You do this with your body language and tone of voice as much as you do it with your words.
  • Build their confidence by sharing successful experiences in a simple/relatable way. Let them know you’ve done this successfully with others. Oftentimes, customers come into situations with one solution in mind, and if that solution is not the one you’re suggesting, they need to be able to envision a successful outcome clearly like they’ve already envisioned that outcome using their own solution. So talk about other customers that have successfully utilized this option; talk about clients similar to them where this has worked well. Keep it simple, and make sure they can relate to the examples of success you provide.
  • Uncover their concerns with the potential solution/alternative. In the end, what you’re really doing is overcoming their fears and concerns about the option that you’re providing. So ask them why they would prefer a certain option. Ask them what in particular is causing them to hesitate about selecting a particular alternative. The more you can uncover the specific concerns, the better you can address them.

 

Unleash your innate persuasiveness!

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