discreet

A Hair-Cut Above...and Below - 2/11/20


After going to the same barber for more than a decade, I decided to leave.  The customer experience went down, and the price went up.  For my last several visits, I was the one who was driving the conversations – when I could get a word in edgewise between Read more

When Employees Fight Over a Customer - 2/4/20


There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment.  A feeling of “you are my most important customer” and “I cannot wait to serve you” brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant.  But that’s not the only Read more

LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers - 1/28/20


They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers. Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many Read more

When Jack Gave Arnie a Tip - 1/21/20


Jack Nicklaus may have been the greatest golfer ever.  Many think that Arnold Palmer was the most important golfer of the 20th century.  These two greats were contemporaries, so they became competitors and friends all at once.  And when somebody who is one of the greatest of all time Read more

Make it Abundantly Clear - 1/14/20


Becky was laying in her hospital bed and staring at the whiteboard on the wall.  It had a room number, the room’s phone number, and the date.  It had the pictures of the pain scale, with happy-to-sad faces and ratings from 0-10.  It noted when the last meds were Read more

Become the Wishing Well - 1/7/20


When you don’t know if the next step will solve the customer’s problem, give hope a chance.  If you’re not certain how things will progress on their project, give hope a chance.  If you want to end the conversation by having them feel positive, even if uncertain, give hope Read more

Why Silence is Golden - 12/31/19


In the world of customer service, to begin finding a resolution, sometimes we have to initiate conversation. To keep things moving forward, oftentimes we have to proactively engage in discussion.  To have effective dialogue, we need to avoid those long periods of dead silence. But don’t let those truths of Read more

2019 Holiday Poem - 12/24/19


There is joy absolutely everywhere, Sometimes you just need to look for it. There are birds and babies. There are flowers and sweet older ladies. You just have to look for them. People hold doors open for others, with smiles. There are days when you can see for miles. You just have to look for them. There Read more

Encourage the Customer - 12/17/19


Everybody sing with me:  Feelings, whoa whoa whoa, feelings… Excellent old song, and be thankful that I’m just writing the words and not singing to you.  While not all of us are comfortable with discussing feelings, feelings are an important part of the customer experience. No, you can’t make someone feel Read more

Hearing is Believing - 12/10/19


“I just want to be heard.” When I work with clients whose customers are the community, this is a phrase I’ve heard far too often from residents.  For retail businesses and other industries where there are many choices, often customers will take their business elsewhere instead of complaining.  But with Read more

A Discreet Twist on Confidentiality – 1/5/16 TOW

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


HIPAA. If you’re in healthcare, you know what that means – HIPAA is all about information privacy. If you’re a parent with a child going to college, you’re probably familiar with the laws protecting your child from having to share their school information with…you!

If you’re in a financial-oriented or retail (or most other) type of business, I’m sure your company is concerned with keeping social security numbers and credit card numbers confidential.

Confidentiality and privacy are embedded in many big corporate initiatives, policies, and laws. But let’s take a twist on confidentiality that’s not simply a governmental or organizational requirement – instead, it’s a component of great customer service.

When thinking about how to best provide service to your clients, consider the term “discreet.” Being discreet with client information means keeping the information and their concerns private unless absolutely necessary. It means respecting them and the details of their situation. It means not sharing the client’s details with others for the sake of sharing; it means appropriately using and sharing the information only for the benefit of the customer.

View “discreet” as holding difficult conversations with customers in a more private room. It means not repeating personal information like their cell phone number, hotel room number, or e-mail address loudly for other customers to hear. Discreet requires that we’re aware of our surroundings and aware of the responsibility we have to be professional and respectful of client-specific information, issues, emotions, and needs.

What does “discreet” mean to someone in your business, and how does that present itself differently when talking with the customer on the phone or face-to-face? In your business, when should you be discreet in sharing one client’s information with other clients or with co-workers?

Take a twist on confidentiality. Be discreet with the customer and their information to provide the best customer experience.

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