customer service

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

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

The Resourceful Rep – 3/16/21

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

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 resourcefulness. So, how can you become even more resourceful?

There are two primary keys to resourcefulness.  One is having the assets that you can bring to bear to address a given issue, need, or goal.  The other is having the creativity to formulate a plan or a response in using those assets.

List Your Assets

First, formulate your own list of assets.  An asset could be a subject matter expert in your company, a key contact in another division, or some other constituent or stakeholder or supervisor with a great deal of knowledge on specific topics or about specific customers.  An asset could be the knowledge base in your system.  An asset could be some past correspondence you had with a similar customer or about a similar situation.

As you can tell, the assets can generally be people, technology, or content that is categorized or organized in such a way that you can quickly find a related situation or customer type that you’ve supported in the past.  Create that list of assets so that you can more quickly meet the need of the customer.

Let Your Creativity Flow

Second, to creatively formulate the plan, you need to be able to think differently.  Let’s say that your customer cannot make their payment by the due date.  You start asking yourself: Who in my organization has expertise in dealing with situations like this and has resolved these types of issues previously?  What list of related FAQs exist?  What are some past e-mails or documents that I’ve utilized in similar situations that I can access to help this person as well?

Instead of just considering what you alone can do in this situation, expand your thought to consider who you can contact, what might be the standard answers, or what has proven successful with these types of customers or in similar situations.

To be resourceful, create that list of assets that you can bring to bear in customer situations. Then, take some of the burden off yourself by tapping into the people, technology, and communications that have helped you to succeed previously.

Use your assets and creativity to become the Resourceful Representative.

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Bring Warmth During Winter – 12/29/20

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

Winter is upon us.  Now, winter can mean different things to different people in different regions, but just the word conjures up cold.  It conjures up visions of snow.  It conjures up feelings of wind and lack of warmth.

Although some of us may like the cold at times of year or around certain seasons, we don’t like the cold at the start of a conversation.  And oftentimes, customer service representatives can come off as being cold right at the beginning of a customer conversation without ever meaning to do so.

The customer makes their request, and this is how the employee responds:

  • What’s your account number?
  • What’s your name? What’s your phone number?
  • To confirm your account, I need your mother’s father’s wife’s daughter’s maiden name…spelled backwards.

 
While all this information might be valuable, there is typically little warmth associated with the words.  There’s virtually no communication of wanting to help that person or caring about that person’s needs that’s conveyed through the phrases used by the employee.

By simply responding to a request with a few key words or phrases, the conversation can start much warmer, much more pleasant, and take no more time than 1-2 seconds additional.  How about starting with:

  • I will be happy to help you with that request.
  • We can definitely address that for you.
  • I can help with that right away.
  • Great! That’s something I can take care of for you.

 
Simply sprinkle a “happy” or a “definitely,” a few “for you” expressions or “I can help” into your initial response to the request, and the tone and warmth of the conversation will start in the right direction.

Bring warmth to the beginning of your customer conversation.

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2020 Holiday Poem – 12/22/20

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

When in the role of customer service,
We are wired to give and give.
It’s built into our DNA.
It’s simply the way we live.

In order to give to others,
We need to find ways to give them their fill.
We need to pour empathy and openness into them.
To serve, we need to have that will.

But we can’t fill others to the point that we’re empty.
We cannot give if we’re down to the last drop.
We always need to find a new reservoir.
We need to make sure that the cracks and leaks will stop.

One of the greatest ways to refill our bucket
Is to have our share of hope.
One of the greatest ways to rebuild our energy
Is now within our reach and scope.

As you’re going through the holidays,
And you’re thinking about what is next,
Take hope in a healthier new year.
Take hope in lesser stress.

Take hope in more joys and successes.
Take joy in more rest and peace.
Take joys in a 2021
That should be better than this year, to say the least.

So, realize this is the time to fill your bucket.
This is a time to shout HOORAY!
For these holidays are a precursor
To what we hope to be better days.

Happy Holidays!

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