communication

Customer Service Experts have a Presence - 7/20/21


Standouts in the sports, entertainment, business, and political fields are sometimes said to have “an air about them.”  Unfortunately, that definition of air sometimes is perceived as an air of superiority or an air of condescension or something that doesn’t always have the most positive connotations. Well, the greats in Read more

It’s Not You, It’s Them - 7/13/21


George Costanza - from the Seinfeld television sitcom - broke up with someone he was dating and told her “It’s not you, it’s me.”  It’s a famous line, and I’ve heard it used many times in humor, but I have a customer service twist on that comedic line. It’s not Read more

Use Your Customer Service Freedoms - 7/6/21


We’re only a couple days past Independence Day here in the United States.  So it may be a good time for us in the customer service world to think about our freedoms, to think about what we have the liberties to do, to reinforce how this all plays out Read more

Who are Your Best Customers? - 6/29/21


A major medical supply company called Medline is in the process of being acquired.  It is an organization that has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly over the last decade.  It is currently a family-owned business, and the member of that family that serves as President of the organization Read more

Why Did They Walk Away? - 6/22/21


Granted, the drive-thru line was long, but Cynthia thought it would move pretty quickly.  After almost 10 minutes of only moving up one spot, she drove away. Benny was on hold, but the system didn’t tell him for how long.  Then he looked at his watch; 5 minutes later he Read more

And YOU get a Thanks, and YOU get a Thanks… - 6/15/21


Yes, Oprah Winfrey gets her first shout-out in a CSS Customer Service Tip of the Week!  She’s famous for many things – one of which was giving out presents to everybody in her audiences.  She would happily proclaim:  And YOU get a gift, and YOU get a gift, and Read more

It’s Right to Note “That’s Not Right” - 6/8/21


TJ was doing some construction work for the homeowner, and he noticed something unusual about the paint texture on the storm door that he was about to install.  The homeowner had purchased the door, and when TJ was getting ready to install it, he noticed that the door had Read more

Respond to Negativity in Kind, or Respond Kindly - 6/1/21


An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.  It seems like that’s what makes the world go ‘round nowadays.  You yell at me, and I yell at you.  Then you yell louder, and I yell louder.  And all that cacophony just pushes us further and further apart. In Read more

Tailor to the Type - 5/25/21


Every customer is different.  We need to look at each customer as unique, because they feel that they and their situation are unique. But even when you have that individual focus, there are a few basic philosophies of great customer service that apply to certain customer types: If they’re upset, listen. If Read more

The Problem with “No Problem” - 5/18/21


The man asked for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage, and she said: That’s not a problem! The customer walks into the bike shop wearing a cast and notes that the new bike he just bought had brakes that failed and that need to get fixed. The employee responds:  No problem. The Read more

Consider Lack v. Lag – 9/8/15 TOW

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


The assumption that we can make about an organization when we hear that there are “communication issues” is that there is a lack of communication. Management did not tell staff about changes. Certain departments are not communicating with other departments about what’s going on with customers. Co-workers are not communicating with each other about basic scheduling or day-to-day operational points.

And while the assumption that communication issues relate to a lack of communication is usually true, in many organizations the bigger issue with communications is the lag in communications.

The staff find out about policy or procedural changes, but the time they find out is when they’re given notice that they need to implement those changes. Without input into the decision to make the change or how the change would be implemented, and without knowing why the change is instituted, the employees are left with the responsibility of implementing something in a very short period of time without the benefit of planning it into their work schedule.

Sometimes the marketing department is rolling out some new messaging to their clients and prospective clients, and they share that information with the customer service area. But unfortunately they share that with the customer service area at the same time that they launch the messaging to the customers directly.

Employees schedule days off weeks in advance, or they take breaks. Although they do tell their co-worker, sometimes they tell them that they’re going to be off on Friday when it’s Thursday evening. Sometimes they mention that they’re taking a break as they are walking out the door.

The point is that it’s not only important to communicate, but it’s also important to think about the timeliness of communication and the impact of the timeliness on others. When you’re evaluating whether or not to share information with others, strongly also consider how soon you can convey that information.

Bring co-workers into the loop earlier to eliminate the lag in communications.

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