employee morale

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

The Gorilla Settled for Birdie

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

A take-off on a story from The Prairie Home Companion…

Vic takes his pet gorilla out golfing. They come up to the first tee, and the gorilla asks, “what do I do?” Vic says, “you see that opening between the trees? Hit the ball as hard as you can in that direction.”

So the gorilla hits the ball and it goes screaming down the fairway and lands on the green. Vic stands shocked in amazement. When he finally gathers himself, Vic hits a drive that trickles about 100 yards down the fairway. On his next shot, he hits a beautiful 3-wood about 200 yards toward the green. Left with about 50 yards to go, Vic hits a high wedge about 20 feet from the hole. When the gorilla and Vic walk up to the green, the gorilla looks at his ball and says “what do I do now?”

Vic says, “you’re supposed to putt the ball into the hole.”

The gorilla replies, “why didn’t you tell me that on the tee?”

In so many companies, the management of the organization knows the plan, they know the goals, and they know how success is defined. But when you ask the employees the plan, the goals, the mission, and the definition of success, you’re often greeted with blank stares or attempts that miss the mark.

It’s typically not the fault of the employee, it’s the responsibility of the management. If management wants to transform a culture to have a focus on what’s best for the customer, if they want to get different departments working together, and if they want long-term success, then they have to simply and clearly paint that picture over and over and over again.

Employees can “drive the green” in business if they know that’s the goal. They can hit holes-in-one in business if they know that’s the goal.

Work as a customer service leader and with managers to make sure that employees have a vivid picture of what you’re trying to accomplish and what their role is in achieving success. Help others to hit their own holes-in-one.

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

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


Life as a Call Center Rep

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

It’s great; it stinks. That sums it up.

For someone who likes to talk with others, who enjoys answering questions, educating others, and solving problems, it’s a very rewarding job. For someone who likes a different challenge every minute, it can fulfill that desire.

But for many call center representatives, there is the difficulty in trying to meet the numbers – have a low handle time, get the post-call work done quickly, take short restroom breaks – it can be frustrating.

Like with any business, frustration often results from competing priorities. You are in a customer service role to serve. You are there to help others. You are there to help guide, to respond, to defuse, to educate. But at the same time, you are there to get the work done quickly. To address the need as fast as possible without involving anyone else if at all possible. You are there to interact with as many customers as you can in your limited time during the day.

According to a Chicago Sun-Times for the article on what life can be like as a call center customer service representative, “The reps at [her] call center were expected to field calls, take down information, check files, fill out forms, flag down faxes, write notes about each conversation and more, at times viewing four computer screens at once. Three seconds after they hung up, a new call would come in. A big call board would flash with multi-colored lights indicating whether new calls were being picked up in less than 30 seconds, and if they weren’t, there’d be trouble.”

For any organization wanting to succeed in employee retention, customer retention, operational excellence, and long-term growth, there needs to be a balance. There need to be measurements of and incentives for satisfaction, loyalty, retention, repeat purchases, and new business generated from current customers just like there are measurements and incentives relating to productivity, error rates, and throughput time.

Find a balance of what you measure and reward for the sake of your people, your customers, and your business success.

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

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


Horton Hears a Stakeholder?

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Do you remember the Dr. Seuss story about an elephant named Horton who believes he hears the voices of an entire village of people (the "Whos") on a speck of dust? Only Horton could hear the Whos. All the other animals in Horton’s kingdom thought he was crazy. To keep Horton from wasting his time protecting the Whos, a mean kangaroo and some crazy monkeys tried to boil the speck of dust.

Just before the dastardly deed was to be done, a small boy from Whoville added his voice to the other Whos, and his yell enabled the Whos to be heard by all in Horton’s Kingdom. It was a little voice, but when added to the rest, it helped the Whos break through the sound barrier. It worked because every person in the village, and let me emphasize EVERY person, had a common goal.

Think about all the voices in your organization, in your business life. Are you tapping into all the resources available to you for advice, guidance, input, and resources? Are you able to get all your key stakeholders and staff on the same page, or are assignments made with the mere hope that everybody gets their job done?

Unfortunately, most companies that tout customer service in marketing, or preach customer service internally, don’t leverage their key sources of ideas – customers and staff. But you can and should tap these resources.

Survey and/or interview your customers and your employees. Ask them to reveal their minds and hearts. What do they see as the most likely changes to the business environment over the next 3-5 years? What do you need to do now to be successful then? And ask what must be done in the short run to lock-in employees and guarantee customer loyalty now so that change won’t bring lost business and lower revenue.

Use this research to learn and to create a common direction and a common focus. Make sure you’re getting all the input you need, down to the last Who in Whoville.

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

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