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

Take the HCAHPS Test

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Will the government be getting into healthcare with the proposed healthcare reform legislation? That’s probably not the best question to ask, because the government is already in healthcare in many ways. I’m sure we’re all familiar with Medicare and Medicaid, but since this is a customer service and retention-related blog, have you heard of HCAHPS?

The government is already in healthcare in the customer service/satisfaction aspect of the business. The federal government has required that hospitals survey patients using standardized tools to gauge satisfaction with multiple areas of the patient experience including communication, responsiveness, information provided, processes, etc. Then this information is posted on the internet for any current or prospective patient to review to compare one hospital to another.

What if this approach related to other organizations? What if two retail stores had their customer satisfaction ratings posted side-by-side? Or maybe you could compare all restaurants in your region in an evaluation – side-by-side – of key characteristics of the food, the environment, the price, the customer service. How about comparing 3 banks or 4 car dealerships or 5 animal hospitals or 6 grocery stores?

If you were one of those retailers or restaurants or banks or grocery stores being objectively compared for all your current or prospective customers to see, how would you do?

It’s a scary proposition, but if you’re not willing to consider it, believe me, your customers make this evaluation every day.

Think of this as the HCAHPS test. How would you objectively compare on key characteristics of the customer experience with your competitors? If you have no idea, then you might want to consider mystery shopping, having a research firm such as ours to shop your organization…and your competitors.

Make sure you know how you measure up.

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


Capitol Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The White House held a forum with dozens of CEOs last week, and the topic moved to customer service. The government was trying to learn how to be more customer-friendly, and they were particularly interested in what Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly, had to say.

Now I know many of you are thinking such things as “it’s about time!” or “isn’t that an oxymoron – government customer service?” But one particular reaction might be “why would a government agency turn to an airline for advice?”

The answer is the same reason why an airline would turn to NASCAR – the stock car racing league – for advice.

You may have heard the story of the airline that was trying to improve the speed and efficiency with which it “turned” planes at the gate. So where did they go to determine how to improve? They went and met with NASCAR pit crews to observe, talk, and learn about how they could do so much so fast so effectively in a 5, 10, or 15 second pit stop.

Kelly suggested at the forum that to satisfy customers, “It’s more important for us to be on time and have great employees…than offer frills.”

In other words, do what you do with great efficiency and great attitudes, and that’s more important in engendering customer loyalty than offering a perk or two.

The next time you’re trying to get better, to learn, to grow, don’t just look at yourselves or at an organization just like you.

Benchmark with the best, regardless of industry.

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


The Servant Mindset

Posted on in Business Advice, Government 1 Comment

A county manager talks about staff needing to have a “Servant Mindset” with the community. He is talking about government workers on the local level in tax collections, parks, social services, and the health department being servants of the residents of the community.

That’s his way of describing customer service. That’s his way of sharing his mental image of what it means to provide customer service.

To many people, this conjures up the image of someone subservient to the other, someone who defers to the other, someone dressing fancy, saying “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” and catering to the other person’s every whim. Could that possibly be the image he is referencing?

Well…yes.

We know that many government workers have a bad reputation for being slow or inconsiderate or even rude at times. And that reputation – fair or not – has to be turned around; changing that perception is not going to happen purely from some slick marketing or branding campaign. It has to happen through the thousands and thousands of interactions that occur on a weekly basis. That perception has to be changed through the reality that residents experience on a daily basis. It has to be based on each call, or e-mail, or face-to-face interaction which the community experiences. At some point, for government entities (and most businesses), reality is the ultimate determinant of perception.

So the manager strives to impact those interactions by impacting the mindset of each employee. If the employee takes the attitude that “I need to defer to the other” and “I need to dress professionally” and “I need to be respectful in what I say and how I say it,” then how that employee is perceived by the customer will improve. This mindset creates an underlying feeling in the conversation that the customer is important, they are being served, and they are being respected.

The next time your company is coming up with the next big thing to impact your perception and your brand, start first by impacting the mindset that each employee has toward their relationship with their customer.

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