customer service

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

Use the Actions of Empathy - 4/9/19


I firmly believe that the most important personal trait of someone in customer service is empathy. If empathy is understanding the other person, then it’s very difficult to truly serve someone that you don’t understand. Particularly when they’re upset or irate, being empathetic and getting them to Read more

Customer for Life – The Third Step - 4/2/19


Two weeks ago, we addressed the Second Step of keeping a Customer for Life: Never let a relationship go stale – keep the communication going. Now, we’re sharing the Third Step. To have a customer for life, you have to address what will keep them. Read more

Facial Recognition is the Future of Customer Service - 3/26/19


According to a recent New York Times article, facial recognition is the future of retail customer service. A trend in technology for retail businesses is to utilize facial recognition technology in order to better know who is entering your business. The idea is that if somebody within Read more

Customer for Life – The Second Step - 3/19/19


Two weeks ago, we shared a Customer Service Tip on how to get (and keep!) a Customer for Life. We addressed the First Step, Knowing what you need to know about the other person. Now, we’re sharing the Second Step. To develop a relationship with anyone, there has to Read more

Employee Runs for a Dog Run - 3/12/19


I was never a Boy Scout. I mean in the literal sense, but also somewhat in the figurative sense, but I digress. After years of telling myself that I needed something to help my dog get exercise outside without worrying about him trying to dig under a fence and Read more

Customer for Life – The First Step - 3/5/19


This should be the goal, right? That our clients today will be our clients tomorrow and well into the future. That their loyalty grows, their business with us grows, their referrals grow, and it is all part of a relationship that grows and develops over time. But what’s the Read more

Retrain Your Brain - 2/26/19


Admit it. You thought about it. You thought: Why in the world did the customer try to assemble that before reading the instructions? Why would they drive all the way down here instead of just checking the website? Why would they go through the drive-thru when they can deposit using Read more

Look Up, or Look Out! - 2/19/19


The clerk called out “next in line!”, and Frannie went to the counter. “Can I have your name?,” the employee asked, but she stared at her computer screen while asking. Frannie stated her name, the time of her appointment, and noted the reason for the appointment. Staring at the screen, Read more

Dealing with the Treasure Hunter – 1/10/17

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


The customer is asking you question after question after question. They’re engaged and pleasant, but they’re turning what’s normally a 30 second quick talk into a 3-minute conversation.

It’s easy to get impatient with these customers because they’re taking up more of your time than normal. It’s easy to get frustrated because they’re firing question after question at you, and you have TONS of other work to do, so many other customers to serve.

What’s going on?

You’re dealing with the Process Customer. They want details. They want realistic expectations. They want the treasure map to their desired pot of gold.

To deal with these customers most effectively, consider them to be like a Treasure Hunter. They want the map. They want the clues. They want to know the potential pitfalls to avoid and the clearest path to take. It’s all about getting to the treasure, and they don’t want you to tell them just the next step. They want the map – with all its clues and paths and steps detailed.

Handle them this way. Tell them your understanding of their goal. Note the next steps, who will do what and by when. Give them a (process) map or a checklist of ALL the steps. Then confirm they understand the plan before you wrap up the conversation.

With these Treasure Hunters, you also have to be conscientious about telling them when steps have been accomplished, when action has occurred, when roadblocks have been encountered and overcome – in other words, be proactive with status updates.

So why are we handling these Treasure Hunters in this manner? Because the more you build their expectations with clarity and the more you build their comfort, then the more you’ll build their confidence.

And the more clear, comfortable, and confident they are, the less they’ll be contacting you and your co-workers repeatedly for updates, with questions, and with concerns.

When encountering a Process Customer, treat them like a Treasure Hunter.

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Be a Good Teammate – 1/3/17

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For few people in customer service, the customer experience always and solely is dependent on just them. More typical is for employees to rely on I.T. to keep the systems up and running. Staff rely on co-workers to offer suggestions and strategies to help inform decision-making. Oftentimes, staff have to work together to resolve issues or to deliver on a customer need.

In short, we’re teammates, and we need to be good or great teammates. The better we work together, the more efficient is the organization, the more harmonious are our internal relationships, and – oh by the way – the more satisfied are our customers.

But what does it mean to be a good teammate?

One strong definition to consider is this: A good teammate makes others around them better.

And how is that done? Think about football players trying to motivate each other to make a comeback; think about community members working together to build a home for those in need; think about nurses, doctors, and aides working in a hospital to care for a patient.

Good teammates have a sense of the psyche of their co-workers. Who needs encouragement? Who needs a gentle boot to the fanny (figuratively speaking, of course)? Who needs to be more self-aware? Who needs to be asked for their input?

Good teammates enable the success of others. Reply quickly to requests for help. Give clear, specific, documented communications. Do your part of the job by the deadline, and communicate it’s done.

Good teammates don’t intentionally put co-workers in a bad spot. Share information that may help the other. Don’t aggravate a customer that might complain to one of your co-workers. Do things right the first time with customers so co-workers don’t have to clean up your mess.

For 2017, think about how to be a good teammate.

Make others around you better.

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2016 Holiday Poem – 12/20/16

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

There are a thousand things to consider, a thousand things to do
And as we get near year-end, our focus should be just a few.

Just like the thanks at Thanksgiving that we all seem to share
Our priorities should be on the who, definitely not on the where.

We travel and visit; we shop and we wrap.
We rush over there, and we run to buy that.

But the who of the that and the who that is there,
Is the what’s most important at this time of year.

Please take time to refresh yourself in the presence of those
Who love you and care for you in the way that you choose.

For in the coming year, we’ll be asked to serve others
So we need time to rest and be cared for by brothers (and mothers).

Enjoy your time away, let the full mind settle to dust
May your holidays bring great joy and rest with those whom you trust.

Hoping you rest, recreate, and get renewed and inspired during a happy holiday!

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