secret shop

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

To Assure, Ensure You Do This - 2/9/21


Vince Lombardi – famous professional football coach – became a big hit on the speaker’s circuit during his time coaching.  He applied many of his principles in football and life to business, and one of his great business quotes is:  Confidence is contagious and so is lack of confidence, Read more

Great Customer Service is Up to Great People

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

There’s a lot at play in the customer’s experience – it’s the phone system they wade through, the website that gives them directions, the signage that helps them navigate the store front, the process for returning an item. But what’s most at play in customer experiences it the interaction, the 2-way dialogue between employee and customer.

In the Southern Business Journal article It’s the customer! Learn to see service from patrons’ vantage point, the author quotes a sales manager at the “Wright Do-It Center” that says one of the keys to “great customer service for her store is hiring the right staff members — finding friendly, outgoing and positive people. New employees go through extensive customer service training, she says, and management tries to look for opportunities to reinforce what staff has learned.”

In other words, the best CRM system, the best phone system, the best website, and the best process need the best of employees to make it all work. They discuss the use of “secret shoppers” to assess performance and identify improvement opportunities. They address surveys to research customer preferences. But whatever needs to be changed or improved in the customer experience, it comes down to people designing the change. People implementing the change. People delivering the higher level of service.

No matter what your organization does to improve customer service, remember that it all starts with people. Try to hire, train, motivate, and otherwise enable employees to become great at customer service.

Identify the criteria you use to hire people, how you evaluate them, how you hold them accountable and motivate them to grow, how you tap their knowledge to understand the voice of the customer, and how you use their talents to constantly improve customer experience.

Don’t get so caught up in investing in the latest technological advance or marketing scheme that you lose sight of the key to it all.

To keep and grow with your customer base, keep and grow your best talent first.

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

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Secret Shopping to Uncover…Great Customer Service?

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

We’ve done enough secret shopping for our clients to know that employees are not happy to learn that they might be shopped. It’s tough to get evaluated, and it’s especially tough when the evaluator is some mystery person. But in the article Secret shoppers reveal best in customer service, a mystery shopping engagement in California results in…awards!

The secret shoppers identified eight residents who provided exceptional service, and the eight individuals were rewarded with certificates and prizes.

This is the part that many organizations forget when they do research – whether that research is a customer satisfaction survey or a mystery shopping engagement. The goal is not just to see what you can do better, but it’s also to celebrate success. We often talk about redirecting people when they do poorly and reinforcing what they do right. It’s not about punishment; it’s about improvement. And one of the best ways to improve is to highlight (and then replicate) success!

We have a hospital client which we meet with quarterly to review patient satisfaction survey results and create Action Plans for the upcoming quarter. Well over 60% of the Action Items listed deal with sharing positive results with staff, recognizing customer service stars, and celebrating success.

So when your organization does research, remember that’s it’s not about the “gotcha” moments. It’s about finding opportunities to improve and opportunities to reward and recognize.

Get shopped to highlight great customer service.

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

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


With Customer Issues and Complaints, It’s All About Speed

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Fast…Do it fast…Make them feel like you’re moving at light speed…Make them feel like there’s continuous action…

When you’re dealing with a complaint or a customer issue, a key to retaining (and even increasing business with) that customer is speed.

Studies have shown that if you resolve an issue of a customer, they will tell 5 people about the great work you do. If you resolve issues quickly, you have an 82% chance of repurchase v. only 54% chance of repurchase if you resolve it slowly. So speed aids retention to the tune of 28%!! Speed.

It takes a lot for some customers to complain; so if they care enough to complain, convey you care, too, by acting to resolve that issue fast.

Tell them you want to help them. Tell them what you’re doing to address the need. Give them status updates along the way. Ensure your organization has communication and service delivery processes in place which are speed-oriented and geared toward service recovery situations.

Evaluate how you handle these situations. Look internally, and test externally with mystery shopping, but assess, and improve.

When it comes to Service Recovery, find a need for speed.

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

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/