healthcare

Keep On Going - 9/22/20


Thomas Edison once said “Many of life’s failures are experiences by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” You are close to success – Keep On Going. Winston Churchill once said "If you’re going through hell, keep going."  This quote has been taken Read more

Lessons Learned for COVID Era Sporting Events


Since the sports world has begun inviting fans back to their events on a limited basis, CSS has been fortunate to work on multiple events with our sports clients.  Much of our work is fan research-oriented, where before or after events, we are engaging fans to identify expectations, potential Read more

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service - 9/15/20


Peter, Paul, and Marie are co-workers. They are all customer service representatives.  When Peter thinks of good customer service, he defines it as being friendly to the customer. “And I am friendly,” Peter says.  “That’s why I don’t know why they send me to customer service training.” Paul thinks customer Read more

COVID-19 Demand Management Strategies for Customer Service Channels


We all want demand for our products or services.  This helps us to generate revenue and to provide something of value to our customers and communities.  But customer demand does not strictly relate to products and services.  Demand also relates to communications, information, issue resolution, education, and other aspects Read more

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? - 9/8/20


This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I? We only Read more

Reach Out More for COVID-19 Customer Retention


Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic became a reality for individuals, their communities, and their countries, it became clear that people were going to be hurting…that lives were going to be changing…that the realities of the past were going to be very different from the current and near-term future realities. When Read more

Using I, We, or You in Customer Service - 9/1/20


It’s amazing how many conversations can go horribly wrong or incredibly right, not because of the use of a 4-letter word, but simply because of the use of a 1, 2, or 3-letter word – I, We, You. The incorrect use of I, We, You in conversations causes problems more Read more

Get Your Guru On - 8/25/20


You may have heard of management gurus - these people who seemed to know all and be all, to have the wisdom of 1000 leaders.  Maybe you’ve heard it in your industry as a guru in sports psychology or the master of economics or sociology or human behavior. And so Read more

Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right - 8/18/20


This is a famous Henry Ford quote, and the quote is all about self-belief, all about confidence. We’ve often spoken about the need to be confident and how to gain confidence, because that confidence - or the lack thereof - is imparted on the customer. But how does a customer tell Read more

Grind it out Today for a Better Tomorrow - 8/11/20


It’s been said that You Learn Perseverance by Persevering.  You are becoming mentally tougher right now.  The pain and the difficulties and the change today are making you stronger for dealing with the uncertainties of tomorrow. We’re all having to be more flexible.  We are all facing less consistency, less Read more

Sell the Facts – 4/14/15 TOW

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


If there’s one thing I’ve heard repeatedly throughout the years it’s that MANY customer service people hate to sell. I’ve also heard that great salesmen are great at “servicing” their accounts. Now as “customer service people,” we can all agree that sales people who have a service-focus should perform better. We’re wired to serve, so naturally we’d feel that sales people would benefit from some similar wiring.

But customer service people don’t like to sell. We say: “It’s pushy. It’s product-driven, not people-focused. It’s uncomfortable. It’s me-focused instead of you-focused.”

In many ways those thoughts are correct, but we have to get over those stereotypes about selling and sales people. For customer service people to be the best we can be, we have to learn how to sell.

Think of selling using a different word – persuasion. We are often giving customers options to consider. They can renew their account today or next month. They could take medicine A or medicine B. They could pay online or in-person. They could return an item or get it repaired. They could return this semester or drop out of college.

Often – as service-focused individuals – we want to offer options and provide the facts for their decision, and then we stop.

But in our gut, if we truly care about that customer with us, we often know there’s a better option. We know that customers similar to them preferred a particular alternative. We know that – based on their unique personality, their specific issues, or their personal goals – one way is better than the other.

It’s their decision, but if we really want to provide great customer service, we need to use our skills to persuade them toward what decision may be best for them.

“While there are different times when you could renew, based on your preference for that location, I recommend you renew today to lock in those seats.”

“When we’ve had patients in your situation, they preferred medicine A because there are minimal side effects.”

“When people haven’t dined with us before, we often recommend this dish – it’s our specialty and really gives you a sense of what makes this experience special.”

When you’re serving, don’t be adverse to selling – particularly if selling is simply persuading the customer to make the best decision for them.

When offering options, don’t just state the facts – sell them.

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Are You Carol or Darrell? – 3/24/15 TOW

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Carol and Darrell are reception clerks at the local eye clinic. Each had a patient – essentially the same patient – walk up to them.

Carol looked up from her computer screen and said hello to the patient. The patient said he had an appointment with Dr. Jones at 9:00. Carol said “I need to see your insurance card.” She asked whether the patient wanted to do self-pay or run it through insurance. The patient was confused and asked whether the health insurance covered eye appointments. Carol said most people know when they come in if health insurance covers eye appointments, so the patient asked if Carol could check on the system for her, and Carol said she’d check. After 3-4 minutes of looking at the screen in silence, Carol said “We’re out-of-network. What would you like to do?” The patient asked whether that mattered, and Carol said “it’s $150 self-pay, but it could be over $300 if you used insurance,” so the patient opted for self-pay. Carol completed the transaction by taking a deposit, printing the paperwork, and directing the patient to the waiting room.

Darrell stood and smiled at his patient, introduced himself, and asked how he could help the patient. The patient said she had an appointment with Dr. Smith at 9:00. Darrell said “Great! If you have insurance, I’ll pull it up on my computer for you. Do you have an insurance card with you?” Darrell looked at the card and said, “Now there are two ways patients can pay for their appointment. The first is self-pay (and Darrell noted why some people to prefer that method). The other is with insurance; I checked your insurance, and it appears that your insurance does cover one exam per year, but unfortunately, our clinic is out-of-network, which means the charge will most likely be over $300 if you use your insurance. So would you prefer the self-pay option or using insurance?” The patient said she’d definitely prefer self-pay, and Darrell responded that he’d just need a credit card for payment. Darrell completed the transaction, printed the paperwork, thanked the patient for coming in, noted that a technician named Margaret would call her name within about 5 minutes, and showed the patient where she could wait. “Is there anything else I can do for you” Darrell asked. The patient said “no, thank you,” Darrell thanked her again for coming in today. The patient smiled and walked to the waiting room.

These are two simple stories that end with two questions.

Are you Carol or Darrell? Are you Good or Great?

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Create Your Own Moments of Truth – 3/3/15 TOW

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Bonnie can run 100 miles an hour – not literally, of course. She’s a nursing assistant on a floor of a hospital, so she rarely goes into a full sprint, but she is constantly in motion. If you could watch her, you would see she’s hyper-productive. Whether it’s making the bed, dressing the patient, or taking vital signs, she’s efficient and quick.

Despite this high productivity, the patients and the co-workers never feel like she’s rushing them through or making them feel like a cog on the assembly line.

Bonnie has that innate ability to pause at just the right time and in the right way. When a patient has a need or question or comment, she looks the patient in the eye, and slows down the task. When the nurse manager has a question while Bonnie is “running” down the hall, Bonnie stops, faces the manager, smiles, and takes a calming breath. When a new co-worker is confused about the schedule or their assignment, Bonnie puts down her pen, softens her voice, and affixes her eyes on the co-worker’s papers.

As good as Bonnie is with her body language and tone of voice, she’s even better at something else. She’s better at seeing the situation.

When it comes to serving others, her eyes are always open for opportunities to engage others; the other person’s question, need, confused look, or eye contact are what Bonnie is always looking to see. She is always seeking cues for a chance to serve.

Work on the habit of looking for cues in others that there’s an opportunity to serve. When you see those opportunities, don’t let them go by.

Slow down, and start creating your own Moments of Truth.

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