positive

Don’t Assume because... - 8/13/19


You've probably heard this statement growing up. Your parents said, “Don’t assume, because it makes…you look bad.” Or something like that… Recently my laptop screen died, and since it was an older laptop, I decided to go ahead and buy a new one instead of paying to have the screen Read more

Patience Leads to Positivity - 8/6/19


Thank you for your patience. That’s a statement I enjoy saying…when I am the customer. When I’m trying to learn something and I’m about to go into a process, I want to have a feel for what the whole process involves. Over the years, I’ve gotten tired of feeling like Read more

Back to Reality...for Customer Expectations - 7/30/19


Have you ever walked into a patient registration area of a hospital and seen a sign that said “if you’ve been waiting longer than 15 minutes, please see the receptionist?” Have you ever called a customer service number and been told by a recording that “the average hold time is Read more

For Excellence to Happen, Get Engaged - 7/23/19


The customer was throwing an absolute fit in the lobby. Sitting among several other customers waiting for her number to be called, she was raising her voice and letting out the occasional expletive about the lengthy wait time. An employee sitting behind the counter thought to herself: I’m going Read more

Libby Listened to Serve - 7/16/19


Libby was new to her role with the organization. She had never been a customer service representative in a call center before, but she was hired because of her attitude. She wanted to learn, enjoyed working with people, and could carry on a conversation with a wall. After going through Read more

Chris Got Noticed for All the Right Reasons - 7/9/19


Chris was working through a temporary agency, and he got a job at a warehouse. He was packaging items to be shipped out, and his shift didn't start until 7:30 a.m. Chris always got there a little bit early because of the bus schedule, and he hated just sitting Read more

What Does “No News” Mean? Here’s a Quick Story - 7/2/19


Steven was trying to make the purchase of his new used car official, so he could get license tags for his State. In order for the State to allow him to put the vehicle in his name, he had to submit paperwork to prove that the prior owner (from Read more

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

Fill ‘er Up! – 6/14/16 TOW

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


I’ve found myself watching the local and national news much less the last few years. Virtually all their news was negative or graphic or something that engendered every possible feeling that was NOT positive.

I had had enough of the negativity.

Today, I still get my news, but it’s when I want it through the source I want it, and it’s more balanced than you’ll ever see in the nightly news. I get that balance because I choose to fill myself up with knowledge and positivity.

It’s not to say that you should ignore the negative; what I am saying is that – if you fill yourself up with negatives – it’s incredibly difficult to consistently exhibit mindsets and behaviors that are positive.

As a customer service professional, positivity and knowledge are important. The customer prefers those traits, our co-workers would rather work with individuals oozing those traits, and we are generally happier, more confident, more pleasant, and more effective when we have those traits.

So look at what you review online – do you learn and feel better for having engaged with that information source? Make those external sources that which fills you up internally with positives.

Note what people you surround yourself with that provide knowledge/wisdom and positivity. Ensure that those that you interact with – as much as you can control – are individuals that bring you something that you can grow with, learn from, and enjoy.

Are the videos you watch, the messages you read, the conversations you have, and the dialogue you witness filled with negativity, anger, rudeness, divisiveness, or self-centeredness? Find interactions that make you laugh, inform your future decisions, and help you do your job and build your relationships more effectively.

You can’t control everything, but where you have control, fill yourself with knowledge, wisdom, and positivity.

Fill ‘er Up – with good!

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8 Customer Service Phrases that are Music to the Customer’s Ears – 1/26/16 TOW

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There are definitely phrases to avoid and others to adopt, especially when you’re dealing with the irate customer. But what about great things to say to the customer just in the normal routine of interacting with someone? What can we say to convey we care? What phrases are music to a customer’s ears?

Here are 8 such phrases to consider adding to your customer service lexicon:

  • How are you today? – Too often we start the conversation asking what the customer needs or what we can do for them. Let’s show some patience and get into dialogue. Ask this question and then – actually let them answer! Patience and dialogue are wonderful things to most customers.
  • You did the right thing – When a customer has taken some steps in a process that led them to you, confirm that they are doing the right thing. Affirm their action as a customer; affirm them as a person.
  • Let’s see what we can do for you – Don’t just take the information and start acting; convey an intent to find a solution even when one might not be readily apparent at first.
  • I’m happy to help you with that – A good way to get positive emotions FROM the customer is to give positive emotions TO the customer. Again, don’t just “do.” Tell the customer you’re happy to “do” for them.
  • That’s perfect! – They suggest a meeting date or a next step. They provided you with more information. You reply “That’s perfect!” This is also positive emotion, affirming them and their action.
  • My pleasure – This is a closing statement synonymous with Chick-fil-A, but the idea is a good one. It truly is a pleasure to serve someone – tell them so.
  • We appreciate your business – This may sound old-fashioned, but it better be true. For a business to succeed, they need their customers. People want to be appreciated. So let’s put those two truths together in one phrase.
  • It was great to talk with you – I often say this at the end of a call or – better yet – in a follow-up e-mail. Follow-up is not just about conveying a next step or a task to be done. It’s conveying the enjoyment of the rapport and relationship.

 
Use phrases that are music to your customer’s ears.

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Lessons from the Beast – 1/19/16 TOW

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My daughter loved the movie Beauty and the Beast. Just to set the story for everyone, it’s about a young woman – Belle – who loved to read and the Beast who loved her. Initially, the Beast imprisoned her, hoping he could get her to love him so the curse that turned him from Prince to Beast would be removed. Later he released her, and they fell in love.

Oftentimes, as customer service people, we try to find the prince inside the beast of a customer. We try to look for the good in the person ranting, raving, and being unreasonable. If all we focus on is that exterior ugliness, then we may not want to provide a solution or an answer – we may not even want to help.

But this tip isn’t about how we see the beast of a customer; this tip is about a positive we can learn for ourselves from the Beast himself – the man with the ugly exterior yet the heart (literally) of a prince.

I’m certain that most everyone reading this CSS Tip of the Week is a kind, caring person – one who wants to help others and better his or herself. And while having that pleasant, positive, and helpful inner core is great, the question is: Will our outside show what our inside is all about?

It’s not enough to be caring. We have to convey caring.

It’s not enough to work on a problem for a customer. We have to let them know what we’re doing and when it will be done.

It’s not enough to be pleasant. We need that to shine through in our face and our voice.

It’s not enough to be engaged. We need to let our eyes and questions share that interest.

We need to first know who we are and what we want to be FOR others. Then we have to be intentional about becoming that, and becoming that WITH the other person knowing it.

Show others your service side.

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