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

Seek to Understand

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One of the best tips I can give anyone new to the world of customer service is to “seek to understand.” When you think of the phrase “seek to understand,” you realize that it focuses on one person trying to understand something else or trying to learn about someone else.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about somebody taking a complaint personally. If you take the complaint personally, you’re more focused on how this impacts you rather than seeking to understand how it impacts the other person. When you think of poor customer service, you think of an employee getting into an argument with a customer when it should be easy to avoid the argument. But it is difficult to get into an argument with another person if you are truly seeking to understand. Because seeking to understand focuses on learning from the other and rarely involves the negative emotions of anger or hostility. 

When you think about poor customer service, you think about an employee who is impatient or seems rushed. But people who seek to understand are patient, they try to learn about the other person and their situation. When you think about poor customer service, you think about the employee talking on their cell phone or who is ignoring the customer because of some personal conversation with a co-worker. But employees who seek to understand welcome opportunities to help customers with needs or issues, and they seek to understand what the specifics of those issues and needs are and how to address them.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about employees who do not understand their processes and who don’t understand their products. Employees who seek to understand try to learn what the processes are like so they can work with the customers in the processes. They try to learn what their products are all about so that they can effectively convey that information to the customers.

If you want one great overriding thought to help guide you through your day in serving your customers, Seek to Understand.

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


Don’t Lie to Me

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There’s a new television show that you may have seen called “Lie to Me”. The premise of the show is that there are police investigators who are trying to determine what happened in different cases based on how suspects and witnesses react in certain situations in responding to different questions. The investigators look closely at facial expressions, eye movement, body language, and other non-verbal factors to really determine what the individual is saying beyond what their words convey.

Occasionally after a customer service training session where we describe body language, expressions, and tone of voice, a participant will come up to me and say that this stuff seems just like that TV show “Lie to Me”. They find it very interesting what we’re conveying because they have seen this show.

Now what the investigators are doing in the television show is something that we should be doing on an ongoing basis in our business and personal lives.

They are not focusing purely on what the other person is saying, but they are also focusing on how they are saying it. They are looking at the eyes, the arm and hand movement, the facial expressions, body posture and positioning, and the directional positioning of the body during the discussion.  We need to be looking at these factors when we converse with others. Because others are conversing with us in many ways beyond the words they are conveying, and if we truly want to understand others, then we truly need to look at all different manners in which they are communicating with this.

So the next time you’re communicating with somebody face-to-face, watch their eyes closely, look at their body positioning and movement, notice their facial expressions, view when they look down or to the side or up, notice the hand movements, and begin to try to understand what they are conveying with those signals.  You’ll find yourself being a more keen observer of the other, and you’ll also find yourself becoming much more adept at handling the conversation in an effective manner.

Don’t let them lie to you.  Make sure you know what they are really saying beyond their words.


A Key Question

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Phil had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented regardless of the position. So in making that decision, they added some creative questions into the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Phil had to ask prospective employees was “Are you selfless?”  The answers that he got from applicants often made him either laugh or cry. One response was “Why do ask that? What have you heard about me?”  Another response was “Yes I can be selfless.  What’s in it for me?”

 It’s a tough question to answer if you are not a naturally selfless person. But many people who excel in customer service excel because they are selfless.  They are very good at empathizing with others’ situations. They are exceptionally good at trying to do what’s best for the customer or best for the company without adding in the third option of “what is best for me.”

People who are selfless try to do things based on others’ needs and issues and goals. And they make decisions based on what’s best for the person they are trying to serve.

 Are you selfless?

If we want to take it up a notch in our customer service mindset and orientation, we need to focus less on ourselves in conversations, and focus more on others.

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


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