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

Pay for Patient Satisfaction?

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Federal Government proposes to make bonus payments in 2011 to Medicare Advantage plans which achieve high patient satisfaction scores.

CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick states that “The 5-star rating system helps people with Medicare make meaningful distinctions between high-performing and low-performing health plans. They also allow plan sponsors to see how they compare to other plans and encourage them to improve care and customer service, so their plans are more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries. The demonstration rewards high performers more than low performers, creating an incentive for all performers to improve.”

Essentially, funding will be based in part on patient satisfaction related to quality of care and customer service.

Can you imagine customers paying you varying amounts based on how well they feel they were cared for and how good the customer service is that you deliver?

Would that change behaviors of staff? Would leaders invest more in training, research, technology, and other improvements that enhance the customer’s experience and the employee’s ability to be GREAT at customer service? I would hope the answers to both questions would be “Yes!”

The reality is that customers are already behaving in this way. Studies have shown that customers will spend – on average – 10% more for the same product with better customer service. Studies have shown that sales can increase if the customer is engaged in a positive and productive way by employees. Studies have shown that the biggest determinant of whether or not a customer is kept is whether they feel like the company and its employees care for them.

Don’t wait for the government to pay you more for higher customer satisfaction. Your customers are already doing that themselves.

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/


Give Them a Vote

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the Seattle Times article “Starting with citizen priorities builds a better budget in Redmond,” the Mayor of Redmond, WA, wrote about the local government’s budgeting process. While that’s not normally a cause for a customer service posting, the method described in the article (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2013081400_guest06marchione.html?prmid=op_ed) WAS customer-focused.

They inquired from the citizens what was most important to them in terms of the City environment. There were 6 priorities noted, and they were outcomes-oriented (“a vibrant business community; a clean environment; greater community connections; infrastructure investments to keep up with growth; a safe city; and a responsible government.”). To address these priorities, the City began focusing on customer service – and began to solicit employee suggestions to improve operations and expenditures.

The article continues to talk on about all the good they’ve accomplished, and I’m sure those details can be debated, but I won’t go there – this isn’t a political blog.

Where I will go is to the lesson learned from Redmond. There are times when your organization (like now for many companies) cannot be all things to all people. There are times when you can’t provide every service your customers want or every perk your employees desire. There are times when you have to say “No.” But one of the best ways to prioritize is to involve the people that will be impacted by the priorities you set.

If it’s a decision about a service your organization provides, bring customers into the decision-making process.

If it’s a decision about internal operations, the work environment, or employee motivation, bring employees into the decision-making process.

It’s easier to feel more confident that you made the right decision for the stakeholder if the stakeholder was a part of the decision.

Make customers and employees part of the process in making decisions that will impact them.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Be an Everybody Business

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

Pizza…Yum! I was getting a takeout order at Hawthorne’s Pizza in Charlotte, NC, for the first time. As I walked in, the hostesses greeted me with a smile, asked how they could help, and showed me to the counter where I could pick up my order. As I approached the counter, two staff walking by made eye contact, smiled and said hello. I was greeted by an employee at the counter who asked how he could help – he smiled, confirmed my order, noted he’d get my order together and get right back to me. As I stood for a few seconds, I noticed that ALL the employees were moving, working, processing orders, taking food out to the tables…and smiling.

They were having pleasant conversations with each other and operating efficiently at the same time. Another employee walked up to me and asked if I had been helped. When the individual who was getting my order came back, he took the credit card, engaged me in light discussion, and closed the conversation with a smile and appreciation.

As I turned to walk away, another employee walked past me, made eye contact, smiled and said hello, and as I walked out of the restaurant, the hostesses smiled again, thanking me for coming in, and holding the door open for me.

I was in the restaurant less than 5 minutes, but one thing was obvious. This was an “Everybody Business.” Everybody smiled. Everybody worked efficiently. Everybody engaged me. Everybody seemed to be having fun with what they were doing and/or with each other.

When you experience an Everybody Business, you have to realize that this is not by accident. It’s by design. To have everybody operating in the same positive manner – naturally, smiling, engaging customers – that happens only because management wants it to happen. They hire staff with that attitude, train them on how to interact, and model those behaviors themselves.

They don’t leave it to chance that you’ll get good service with Employee “A”, but you could get bad service from Employee “B”. They don’t want that risk. They want to be an Everybody Business so that every customer has the same great experience.

Be an Everybody Business.

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