respect

When Customers are…Jerks - 7/14/20


Some people are a little extra…uh…difficult to deal with these days. Customers may have concerns or complaints – many of which are justified. But some customers act like…well…jerks. They’re not kind or understanding or have any idea how poorly they treat others. They’re obnoxious and yet, we still have Read more

Customers Appreciate Your Kindness - 7/7/20


The 3rd grade teacher had a phrase she used with her students. She wanted them to be “kind-hearted.” It was a phrase she used over and over again; no matter what she taught, this was an overriding emphasis on how she would communicate with students and how she expected Read more

6 Common Sense Responses to Customer Service Encounters - 6/30/20


I’ve run into this personally and professionally, and it drives me batty! Sometimes there’s a lack of common sense in the customer service provided by companies. And often that lack of common sense is due to the preference of a business to provide service in a certain method, to Read more

Caring for Co-workers through COVID - 6/23/20


A recent Buffer.com study asked employees who are working remotely due to COVID-19, what was their greatest struggle. While there were many different responses, the Top 2 totaled 40% of the struggles identified - Loneliness and Collaboration/Effective Communication. When you hear something like this - that individuals working remotely are Read more

React, Reflect, Respond - 6/16/20


Sometimes you can’t help it. You gasp. You get upset. You get angry. You have this look of shock on your face. You say something defensive. You react. I love people who are in customer service roles. These are the folks that people say things to in the business world Read more

Serving the Technology-challenged Customer - 6/9/20


The IT helpdesk representative was on a call with a customer, and in trying to troubleshoot an issue, the employee said, “Let’s start by opening Windows.” The customer said “OK,” and there were 2 minutes of silence. The employee twice asked, “Are you still there?” with no response. Finally, Read more

Address the 4 P’s for a Customer-friendly COVID-19 Walk-in Experience


This is not about what is medically most effective – please see the CDC for those guidelines.  This is about how to help your customers have a great experience as an onsite visitor at your facility or storefront.  For a comprehensive approach to a customer-friendly COVID-19 experience, address the Read more

The Deeper Reason to Transform the Customer Experience - 6/2/20


Why are government offices putting up plexiglass between their staff and their customers?  Why is restaurant takeout being done in such a way that is contactless and yet still fosters engagement between the employee and customer?  Why have so many traditionally onsite businesses converted to delivery businesses? The answer is Read more

Motivating Yourself when Working Remotely - 5/26/20


For any of us who are working remotely, we are finding ourselves more and more having to be self-motivated. And while many people are naturally self-motivated, others need to have that manager who gives us the encouragement. Many of us need to have that ongoing informal dialogue with co-workers Read more

Defining Organizational Agility in a Time of Uncertainty


You may have heard references in management theory over the many decades about the importance of a business being an “Agile” organization, but oftentimes that is a word thrown out in generalities to illustrate vague points about how organizations should be managed and make decisions.  In this time of Read more

Moving toward Normalcy: The Face-to-Face Keys – 5/12/20

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

As we slowly go back to a face-to-face world, here are a few quick reminders for what positively differentiates employees who understand the importance of body language and expressions v. those who don’t.

Especially if you’re wearing a mask and serving customers, ensure your eyes are focused on the other person as opposed to the activities and technology that surround you both.  Spend one minute or two a day in front of a mirror to refresh on the kind of messages the forehead and the eyebrows convey when you’re looking at somebody. That might be all of your facial expression that the customer sees. Ensure that the smiles are visible in these other aspects of your expressions.

Maintain that 6-foot distance, but make sure you have a comfortable posture and the tension is not visible in your arms, your hands, or your shoulders.  Lean in to show you’re listening, but don’t move toward the customer.  Keep the comfort zone between the two of you.

Realize that it can be awkward and uncomfortable for the customer, just like at times it’s awkward and uncomfortable for you – having a mask on, keeping distance from the customer, having a plexiglass between you and the other individual.  But that awkwardness and the uncomfortable nature shouldn’t come across in your body language and expressions.  If anything, we need to be as proactive, gregarious, pleasant, and kind to the other person as we ever have been in order to create that rapport and establish that comfort level.

The facility itself is creating barriers to comfort, so the individual needs to go beyond what they would normally do to create that engaging encounter with the customer.

Since we’re not going to be back to normal anytime soon, be clear on those little extras we need to focus on and deliver to make sure customers are as comfortable as possible.

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5 Steps to Valuing Another’s Time – 5/5/20

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Is your time valuable?  Is the customer’s time valuable?  I would think we would answer “yes” to both questions, but what does that really mean?  It’s important, and it’s finite.

Time is precious because it doesn’t come in unlimited quantities.  We can’t go to Amazon and buy more time.  It’s important because it’s where we do our work, our play, our fun, our learning, our rest.  In customer service, if we want the customer to feel valued, we need to convey that we value their time.  But how?  Try these 5 Steps:

  • Be Prepared. Have enough organization so that you can promptly greet someone, you can find information quickly, you instantly know to which co-worker or division to refer the customer.
  • Be Efficient. Be pleasant, but limit pleasantries.  Don’t go off on tangents unrelated to the customer or their need for the sake of rapport.  Building rapport is based on a focus on the customer.
  • Be Great at Q&A. Often time is wasted because we don’t fully understand the situation or the customer.  Asking questions to expand your understanding is not a waste of time.  Jumping to a solution before you really know the issue – now that’s a waste of time.
  • Know Your Stuff. It’s hard to have an efficient conversation if we don’t know what to ask, we don’t know what resource addresses what need, what person is responsible for what procedure.
  • Tell Them. Thank them for their time.  Tell them that you want to be respectful of their time.  Sometimes the best way for a customer to feel like you value them is to tell them so.

If you want to value the customer’s time, know that time is important and it’s finite.  Build your approach around understanding what’s important to the customer and how to respond quickly, correctly the first time.

Value the customer’s time.

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Who Loves Ya, Baby? – 2/25/20

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Telly Savalas played Kojak – a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby?

So, who loves their customer?

If you want to see somebody who loves their customer, walk into a vet with your pet. Oh Bosco! I’m so happy to see you!  How have you been lately!  It’s like the dog is the receptionist’s long-lost friend or the doctor’s favorite cousin.

Congratulations, Zappos Zealot!  You’re one step closer to getting your holiday shopping done! We’ve received your order and are busy picking your gifts from our shelves as we speak. So jingle your bells, and roast your chestnuts, ‘cause we’ve got you covered this holiday season!  With Love, The Zappos Customer Loyalty Team.  Zappos must love that customer who they just sent that e-mail to…

Thank you for coming in today! Is there anything else I can get for you? Oh!  You want some potting soil for those plants you’re buying?  We have some good fresh bags in the back; let me call somebody to bring one up for you. Less than a minute later, a gentleman walks up with the bag, and the customer checks out with a dozen plants, fresh soil, and some helpful advice on how to get things growing quickly. Nice experience at Myers Greenhouse.

These are all experiences that I’ve had, and you may have had similar experiences where companies seem to love their customers.

It’s the organization that is sincerely excited to see the customer, even if the customer is a puppy.  It’s the business that is not just sharing an update on an order, but they’re sending an e-mail that’s shows their excitement to serve and conveys the enthusiasm of what you’ll do with their merchandise.  And it’s an employee that freely gives advice and goes an extra step to quickly give the customer a little something extra.

So, who loves ya, baby? These organizations and their employees seemingly love their customers.  Why don’t we take a few tips from them with our enthusiasm, respect, advice, guidance, and appreciation.

Let your customers know who loves them.

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