innovation

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

The Resourceful Rep – 3/16/21

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

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 resourcefulness. So, how can you become even more resourceful?

There are two primary keys to resourcefulness.  One is having the assets that you can bring to bear to address a given issue, need, or goal.  The other is having the creativity to formulate a plan or a response in using those assets.

List Your Assets

First, formulate your own list of assets.  An asset could be a subject matter expert in your company, a key contact in another division, or some other constituent or stakeholder or supervisor with a great deal of knowledge on specific topics or about specific customers.  An asset could be the knowledge base in your system.  An asset could be some past correspondence you had with a similar customer or about a similar situation.

As you can tell, the assets can generally be people, technology, or content that is categorized or organized in such a way that you can quickly find a related situation or customer type that you’ve supported in the past.  Create that list of assets so that you can more quickly meet the need of the customer.

Let Your Creativity Flow

Second, to creatively formulate the plan, you need to be able to think differently.  Let’s say that your customer cannot make their payment by the due date.  You start asking yourself: Who in my organization has expertise in dealing with situations like this and has resolved these types of issues previously?  What list of related FAQs exist?  What are some past e-mails or documents that I’ve utilized in similar situations that I can access to help this person as well?

Instead of just considering what you alone can do in this situation, expand your thought to consider who you can contact, what might be the standard answers, or what has proven successful with these types of customers or in similar situations.

To be resourceful, create that list of assets that you can bring to bear in customer situations. Then, take some of the burden off yourself by tapping into the people, technology, and communications that have helped you to succeed previously.

Use your assets and creativity to become the Resourceful Representative.

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Relieve Your Customer’s Pain

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

Disrupt yourself. Let me explain…

In the January 2011 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, David Croslin, a former HP chief technologist and current market trends consultant in Colorado, tells companies to “Be Disruptive” in their strive toward innovation. Essentially, he suggests ignoring the status quo of thinking product first or “beat the competitor” first, and instead focus on the customer first.

Referencing the mobile phone industry, Croslin stated that “They kept trying to top each other with features that most people never used” until the iPhone hit. The iPhone was more simplistic but was designed with the customer in mind. Croslin recommends fixing the “pain points” in your customer’s life.

So what does this have to do with customer service? Everything. It talks about how leaders in innovation need to focus on the customer when designing a product just like customer service representatives need to focus on the customer when responding to issues. It means that business should be all about the customer from start to finish. It means that if you’re selling, you’re selling to a customer. If you’re serving, you’re serving a customer. If you’re developing, you’re developing for a customer.

At some point, stop focusing inwardly on your own organization, stop focusing on the product, stop focusing on the competitor. Look outside your product and your competitor, and look to your customer.

Let the customer guide you. Find their pain, and find ways to relieve the pain.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

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