corporate culture

Challenges Create Opportunity, People Create Change - 4/20/21


There are so many great things that have been said over the years about overcoming challenges, pushing aside the roadblocks of life, dealing with difficulties.  And these are important points of discussion because challenges are all around us.  There are challenges with our personal health or in our personal Read more

The Passive Predicament - 4/13/21


The employee is speaking to you.  Do they have that look in the eyes like they’re hanging on your every word, like they’re processing, interpreting, and getting ready to quickly respond to your key points and questions?  Or do they have the look of somebody in the 2nd hour Read more

Regain Lost Motivation - 4/6/21


For many of us over the last 12 months, our home has also become our workplace.  Our work interaction has been 2-dimensional through the computer screen as opposed to the 3-dimensional experiences we’re used to with co-workers and customers. We are all motivated in our own unique ways.  Some are Read more

The Answer is Right, but the Service is Wrong - 3/30/21


Maggie was irate.  The gift she ordered needed to be received by the 20th of the month so she could give it to her cousin for his birthday.  It was the 19th, and Maggie couldn’t find any shipping update online, so she called the company.  The employee said “Oh!  Read more

Question Everything, but What’s the Question? - 3/23/21


The new leader joins the organization, and she decides she wants to question everything.  She wants employees to question everything.  Why have we always done it this way? Why do we continue to do it that way? Is this the best way to work? Sometimes it’s a great management Read more

The Resourceful Rep - 3/16/21


One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is Read more

Be Proactive like a Pro - 3/9/21


We constantly work with clients, encouraging them to become more proactive with customers.  Don’t just be reactive, waiting for the customer to ask questions or to complain.  Instead, go to the customer, anticipate their needs, suggest something to them. But many of us, frankly, don’t know how to be proactive.  Read more

Find One Unique Thing - 3/2/21


Many of us are not in a position to develop long-term relationships with our customers.  Our encounters are often one-time only with a customer - very brief and likely to be our only time chatting with this individual. And even though there may not be a long-term professional relationship developed, Read more

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - 2/23/21


Should I stay or should I go?  That’s not just a classic song by The Clash.  It’s also the question customers ask more and more, especially during difficult economic times. A recent study in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that 50% of North Carolina businesses are concerned with how to Read more

Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service - 2/16/21


Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water Read more

How to Sustain High Patient Satisfaction

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

In the article Hospitals struggle with pay based on patient satisfaction, the article notes how hospitals are undergoing many efforts to improve customer service and the patient experience since a portion of their reimbursement is based on patient satisfaction. There is talk of lattes, valet parking, and noise reduction. Nice tactics and perks, but it’s still a struggle to make a noticeable improvement.

So why the difficulty? As with any business, to succeed in a hospital-wide initiative on a sustained basis, several aspects of the organization need to be consistently addressed:

  • Leadership buys in to the effort, preaches, and walks the talk.
  • The organization dedicates resources to the effort.
  • Management and staff are hired, trained, incented, and held accountable for how well they deliver on the initiative.
  • Processes and organizational structures support the ultimate goal.
  • The organization communicates internally and externally to promote the objectives and successes.
  • The business truly knows how it’s doing – it measures, measures, measures – listening to the voices of the customers and employees.

It’s never easy to get everybody on the same page, going in the same direction. But since that’s necessary to ensure high levels of patient satisfaction, hospitals need a comprehensive, intentional, documented strategy for patient satisfaction success.

Don’t keep pushing tactics and perks to create a customer-focused culture. Address these core components of sustainable success.

Interested in improving your hospital’s patient satisfaction? See more at: http://cssamerica.com/csshealth.htm


Does the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand is Doing?

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

In many large companies, no, the right hand does NOT know what the left hand is doing.

I had 2 web chats and a telephone call with three different individuals with the same internet service in the past week and got 3 different answers. The last answer was best, so I went with that; it will make me more inclined to “answer shop” next time I have a question or need. That creates more work for the company I call, but they’ve brought it on themselves through their inconsistency.

In the article Time Warner should rethink its approach to customer service, something similar occurs. The writer tells the story of a customer who received a letter that told him to call TWC because the discounted rate period was about to expire. So the customer called and was told that TWC couldn’t do anything until the period expired. So why did they tell him to call in the letter?

When Time Warner was questioned about all the issues that the customer had in multiple communications with TWC, their response was “These two agents had other options for better customer service and need additional training.” Nothing like blaming the employee…but the root cause was not the employee. It was the company.

More than any other company, customers have brought up TWC as an example of a company with poor customer service; it’s the long waits; it’s the technician who cut one person’s cable when trying to disconnect their neighbor’s cable; it’s the inconsistencies; it’s the 4 hour windows for appointments or the long resolutions to problems. The occasional good customer service stories we hear about TWC relate to their social media monitoring of customer service issues, so they’re apparently pretty responsive to Twitter complaints.

But for any larger company with issues, consistent issues are not usually the fault of the employees. It’s the fault of a company without a cohesive strategy focused on customer service. It’s about a company that’s too compartmentalized. It’s about a company where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Get consistent with customer service by first getting the whole organization on the same page.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Sample “Direction of the Team” Letter

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

There are many reasons why fans stay and why they go – it’s not just about wins or the high profile player. It’s not just about the weather or the visiting team. For many fans, whether they remain fans or whether season ticket holders renew is based on the Direction of the Team. Particularly when there’s a change in ownership, worsening performance on the field or in the arena, or some significant change in personnel, many fans want to see some reason for hope. They want to know the Direction of the Team.

Last week, Houston Astros General Manager – Jeff Luhnow – wrote this “Direction of the Team” letter to season ticket holders (STHs). Check it out…

In short, he’s empathetic about the poor season, talks about lofty future goals, and tries to connect those dots with personnel moves being made. But one interesting thing he addresses is corporate culture. Although a large part of the reason for the letter is to convey hope and retain the STHs, one of the main ways to get the Direction he wants for the organization is to get everyone to experience winning, experience success. Even if this culture-building activity is starting in the minor leagues, Luhnow realizes that a change in mindset is required to truly change performance, and he realizes that changing a culture is a longer-term process.

So what’s the Direction of Your Team, or Your Business, or Your Organization? Clearly articulate it. Identify your “today,” and identify the desired tomorrow.

Define those activities that connect the dots between today and tomorrow, and make sure you intentionally change the culture at the same time.

Interested in improving your organization’s performance? Check out our Sports Industry Services! http://cssamerica.com/csssport.htm