customer experience

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

It’s Decision Time. What are you going to do? - 6/11/19


Serving others is tough. Whether it’s dealing with an irate customer, having to field the same question from the 100th different customer this month, or keeping 10 plates spinning while still smiling in front of the client, it’s hard. You want to do a great job, and you’re constantly put Read more

You Do Know Jack - 6/4/19


Have you ever had a co-worker who causes more problems than they solve? Simple things they do are often, from a procedure standpoint, correct. But the way they handle situations makes them come off as indifferent. Let’s call this co-worker “Jack.” Even though certain actions by Jack may seem innocent Read more

How to Give the Right Kind of “No” - 5/28/19


In a perfect world, you never need to say “No” to the customer. But as we all know, this is not a perfect world. There are a lot of issues in the world, and there are a lot of issues in customer service. Our companies are not perfect, our Read more

Make it Crystal Clear - 5/21/19


Sometimes we communicate so well, and sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we think we do. When you’re trying to set or manage another person’s expectations, what you say may be very clear to you, but the reality is it may not be clear to the other person. Read more

Harvey Wrote the Book on Focus...and Golf - 5/14/19


In Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the famous golf instructor provides many key tips about golf that just as well could apply to life in general. One such tip is the following: Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in Read more

Stop Rolling Your Eyes - 5/7/19


Most of our customer service tips offer advice and guidance. But advice and guidance is useless if the individual receiving it is not willing to listen, learn the theory behind it, and try to apply what they’ve heard or learned. I’ve personally facilitated hundreds of training sessions with clients over Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Employee’s Dilemma - 4/30/19


Last week we looked at the dilemma that many companies face – When there is an issue that is going to happen, should they tell the customer? This week, let’s address that same question from the employee’s perspective. I personally experience employees struggling with this question when I’m in Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Company’s Dilemma - 4/23/19


I have a lot of clients that struggle with this question, both at a company/strategic level as well as an individual representative level. When there is an issue that is going to happen, should you tell the customer? This week we’re going to address the question at the Read more

Customer for Life – The Final Step - 4/16/19


Two weeks ago, we addressed the Third Step of keeping a Customer for Life: Address what will keep them. Now, we’re sharing the Fourth and Final Step. To have a Customer for Life, you have to grow your relationship with them. While the 3rd step is the Read more

Less Ego, Better Customer Service – 8/2/16

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week 1 Comment


Tonya was a relatively new radiology tech at the hospital. She had been out of training and into her routine for months, and she was very confident. She could get a clear scan (“pretty” is what she calls them), a picture easy for the physician to read.

But this situation was different She couldn’t get clear pictures with the ultrasound, and it was starting to take some time. She kept searching for the right angle, and it just wasn’t working. So Tonya turned to the patient, smiled, and said “I’m going to get another tech to help so we can get this wrapped up for you.”

She left the exam room and came back about a minute later with a co-worker – her supervisor. The supervisor introduced herself to the patient, continued with the scan, and offered advice to Tonya on how to more quickly get the desired scan.

Shortly, the patient left, Tonya had learned some new tips, and the staff were on to the next patient.

Tonya could have kept working on her own, as her ego could have kept her from asking for help. Instead, she had a sense for how the process was going and how it was going to continue. She had a sense of the patient’s patience, but she also didn’t want to abuse that patience with an excessive procedure.

She knew that the best customer experience would involve a quicker completion, so she took the steps needed on the patient’s behalf.

Don’t let ego get in the way of good customer service. Ask for help.

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Cut Time in Half to Double the Customer Satisfaction – 7/26/16

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


At a speech I once gave to a local business association, one of the members offered a customer service horror story. He called a local physician practice and wanted to speak with his doctor. They put him on hold, and he waited through several rings. His wife told him to hang up the phone, but he decided to count rings. Finally, 187 rings later, someone answered the phone.

As a customer in any business, I want to get a person on the phone as quickly as possible. I want to pay for an item as quickly as possible. I want to fill out as few papers as necessary to complete a transaction. Consider the following aspects of customer interactions with your business. Make an effort to cut each of the following in half:

  1. The number of computer screen flips to enter a transaction – Simplifies work for the employee and speeds the process.
  2. The number of questions asked to open an account – Simplifies effort to the customer and speeds access to your business.
  3. The number of menus on a phone system – Expedites access to your sales representatives.
  4. The amount of time to take an order – Speeds closure of a transaction.
  5. The length of a proposal or contract – Simplifies decision-making to more quickly close business.
  6. The length of time to reply to a phone call – Shows responsiveness and allows customer to take next action.
  7. The percentage of time that you speak during a customer service call – Helps you learn more about the customer and establish better rapport.

Cut these in half, and watch your customers’ satisfaction levels rise with quicker and easier access to you and your services.

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The Wedding Crasher – 7/19/16 TOW

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In theory, the wedding photographer is invited, stays on the periphery, gets the candid shots, and takes excellent wedding party/posed pictures as well. That is what Mary experienced at her wedding – the photographer visited the site of the wedding and reception beforehand, met with the bride-to-be, discussed plans, timing, and locations. She scoped out photography angles, lighting characteristics, and got a sense for the theme and colors of the wedding. The wedding was beautiful, and everything was captured wonderfully by the photographer.

Mary’s sister Maggie had a different wedding photographer – this individual spoke to Maggie on the phone a couple times before the wedding and “didn’t have time” the week of the wedding to scope out the locations and plans with Maggie. Instead, he visited the wedding and reception sites a couple weeks earlier on his own.

On the day of the wedding he showed up – just 15 minutes before the ceremony – wearing his bright red shirt and tie – which stuck out like a sore thumb with the earth tones and white colors of the wedding. He continually moved during the ceremony to get the right shot – often distracting those in attendance, and he took way too many pictures – at least it appeared that way because of how much he was in the middle of all the activity.

He was as much of a wedding crasher as he was a wedding photographer.

When the pictures came back, there were several good, but too many were posed, too many had lighting issues, certain features of the reception location were missed, too many relatives and friends were not included, and – therefore – Maggie thought his fees seemed too high.

Sometimes the best experiences are made that way by talking to the customer first – what do they want, what do they expect, and how do they define success? Sometimes your planning process helps you paint a prettier picture with your product.

Don’t simply deliver a product. Engage the customer beforehand to see the desired experience through their eyes.

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