indifference

Are you the Output or the Input? - 6/25/19


You’re the output and the input. Sorry to put it into such technical/industrial engineering terminology. But in a service system, we all have some role as a part of the process. First, we receive the output. Somebody has a customer that they direct to us, so that handoff is from Read more

Hear Them, and Tell Them What You Heard - 6/18/19


CSS has conducted close to 1000 research projects over the years, many of which were web-based surveys. And oftentimes, in addition to or instead of completing the online survey, respondents e-mail us directly with questions or comments – and we respond personally to every message on behalf of our Read more

It’s Decision Time. What are you going to do? - 6/11/19


Serving others is tough. Whether it’s dealing with an irate customer, having to field the same question from the 100th different customer this month, or keeping 10 plates spinning while still smiling in front of the client, it’s hard. You want to do a great job, and you’re constantly put Read more

You Do Know Jack - 6/4/19


Have you ever had a co-worker who causes more problems than they solve? Simple things they do are often, from a procedure standpoint, correct. But the way they handle situations makes them come off as indifferent. Let’s call this co-worker “Jack.” Even though certain actions by Jack may seem innocent Read more

How to Give the Right Kind of “No” - 5/28/19


In a perfect world, you never need to say “No” to the customer. But as we all know, this is not a perfect world. There are a lot of issues in the world, and there are a lot of issues in customer service. Our companies are not perfect, our Read more

Make it Crystal Clear - 5/21/19


Sometimes we communicate so well, and sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we think we do. When you’re trying to set or manage another person’s expectations, what you say may be very clear to you, but the reality is it may not be clear to the other person. Read more

Harvey Wrote the Book on Focus...and Golf - 5/14/19


In Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the famous golf instructor provides many key tips about golf that just as well could apply to life in general. One such tip is the following: Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in Read more

Stop Rolling Your Eyes - 5/7/19


Most of our customer service tips offer advice and guidance. But advice and guidance is useless if the individual receiving it is not willing to listen, learn the theory behind it, and try to apply what they’ve heard or learned. I’ve personally facilitated hundreds of training sessions with clients over Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Employee’s Dilemma - 4/30/19


Last week we looked at the dilemma that many companies face – When there is an issue that is going to happen, should they tell the customer? This week, let’s address that same question from the employee’s perspective. I personally experience employees struggling with this question when I’m in Read more

Should you tell the customer? The Company’s Dilemma - 4/23/19


I have a lot of clients that struggle with this question, both at a company/strategic level as well as an individual representative level. When there is an issue that is going to happen, should you tell the customer? This week we’re going to address the question at the Read more

You Do Know Jack – 6/4/19

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


Have you ever had a co-worker who causes more problems than they solve? Simple things they do are often, from a procedure standpoint, correct. But the way they handle situations makes them come off as indifferent. Let’s call this co-worker “Jack.”

Even though certain actions by Jack may seem innocent and not intended to convey indifference, the customer could walk away feeling negatively. Here are some of those actions to be wary of when Jack’s engaged with a customer…

Jack knows the answer to the question, so Jack interjects while the customer’s talking….or…maybe Jack quickly ends the conversation after providing an answer (but before he confirmed they got their need met)….or…Jack might talk exceptionally fast to the customer. These could all be innocent actions, but they could all convey that Jack’s impatient. Jack’s rushing the customer. Jack’s trying to get to the next call or move this customer along.

When the customer makes a complaint, Jack makes it ABUNDANTLY clear that he is not the one responsible. He knows that others were involved with that issue, and he was NOT part of the situation. These may all be facts, but what they do is they focus the conversation on who’s to blame and the fact that Jack’s DEFINITELY NOT to blame. In the end, the customer is usually complaining because they have an issue and they want a solution. Jack’s moved the focus to one of absolving himself of responsibility instead of focusing on the customer and their solution.

Finally, Jack gets a request through e-mail or social media, via the website or the phone. It’s obvious this is a request that another area of the organization handles. So, Jack tells the customer that they will need to call the other department or go to the website to find the answer. What Jack’s suggesting is accurate, but it’s not entirely helpful. The customer will think Jack cares more about getting back to “his work” than connecting the customer to the right person or getting to the specific answer.

Do you know Jack? If so, I’m sorry. Overcome the perception that you’re indifferent by not being like Jack.

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Avoid the Greatest Tragedy in Customer Service – 8/28/18

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The greatest tragedy is indifference.

That statement is attributed to the American Red Cross, and it applies to the world of customer service as well. The first requirement for consistently great customer service is caring about those you’re serving, and caring and indifference are polar opposites.

It’s tough to be indifferent and do what’s best for the other person. It’s difficult to be indifferent and to understand the other’s situation. It’s a challenge to be indifferent and to anticipate the other’s needs.

The know nothings are less of a problem than the feel nothings.

The author of this quote is unknown, but it ties into the first quote. To care, to avoid indifference, it helps to feel for the other person. But not all of us are the emotional type; not all of us are “touchy feely.” So how do we convey we care, how do we avoid indifference, how do we deliver great customer service if we’re not big “feel” people?

Take a cognitive approach. Think of the opposite of indifference as “making a difference.” What can you do to make the other person’s day easier? What one thing can you do to make them more comfortable? What one question can you ask to find out what’s most important to them? What can you do to move them one step closer to a goal? What one thing can you tell them that will make a process more clear or make them a little more confident?

To avoid indifference, think of that one little extra you can provide.

Avoid the perception of indifference by making a difference.

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Your Future Differentiator – 7/25/17

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We’ve all seen it. Maybe we’ve all done it. But it’s a harbinger of things to come. Actually, it’s a microcosm of what’s already here.

You’re in an elevator, and a person walks in – may or may not look at you – and is staring intently at their smart phone. They look up just fast enough to ensure their floor’s button is hit, and then they’re back to their phone.

You’re walking down the street or at the mall, and as you do your window shopping you notice that you’re spending as much time dodging people who are so intently focused on their phone that they assume everyone will just get out of their way. Or maybe they don’t care if they bump into you. Or maybe they don’t realize they’re walking by hundreds of people – because people are secondary to the feed on the phone or the latest notification or the latest picture of a dessert that a friend posted on social media.

I was watching a golf tournament recently where fans were behind the ropes as famous golfers walked right past them. The fans were so busy looking at their phones and filming the golfers that they didn’t make eye contact with the golfers, they didn’t say “hello” or “good luck” or “the sky sure is blue.” They didn’t engage the person that was a foot away from them because they’d rather just take their picture and post it on social media.

This looking down, this lack of engagement is an habitual obstacle for many who want to shine in the business world, but the good news is that their obstacle is a future differentiator for you.

People who are more focused on the phone in the hand than the human in front of them are not learning how to engage in a 1-on-1 personalized fashion. They’re not learning about body language and tone, they’re not learning how to make someone else feel important – more important than a 3 by 5 inch inanimate object.

These individuals – and we all know them, are related to them, or may be them – are largely good people, but they’re not developing a key skill of customer service: Making the person in front of you seem like the most important person in that world.

Your future differentiator is your ability to ignore your phone or your tablet. It’s your ability to engage others personally and professionally in dialogue – making the individual more important than the technology.

Become great at ignoring the technology when engaged with others, and become a star communicator in the eyes of those you serve.

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