service recovery

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

Don’t Let the Customer’s Bad Attitude Dictate Yours

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service 1 Comment

The customer called the service center, and the telephone answering system picked up.

“Thank you for calling ACME Wireless Systems Inc. If you’re in a really good mood, please press 1. If you’re upset but rational, please press 2. If you’re really irate, please press 3.”

Do you ever get the impression that companies want to deal with happy customers but don’t want to deal with unhappy customers? It’s as if the employees smile if the customer smiles, but if the customer’s unhappy, the employee gets a bad attitude himself.

Let’s look at this from the customer’s perspective. I’m angry, so would I rather talk with somebody who’s angry or somebody who’s in a good mood? I have a better chance of getting my emotional level down if I’m dealing with someone empathetic with my situation, someone on more of an even-keel emotionally, someone who listens and lets me talk about my frustration.

What I don’t like is someone who cuts me off mid-sentence. What I don’t appreciate is someone who doesn’t take responsibility. What drives me crazy is someone who is defensive. What is non-productive is someone who lets their emotions drive their attitude in a service recovery situation like this.

We always say that delivering high-quality customer service can be tough, especially when presented with a complaining customer. But these are the times that separate the best from the rest. These are the situations where employees truly committed to the customer shine, because in the face of a complaint or an irate customer, they still know how to take the customer’s perspective, to try to keep the customer, to try balance the needs and wants of the customer with the needs and wants of the business.

Check your attitude when faced with the complaining customer. Use these situations as times to shine!

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Time to Go Back to School

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

For most of the United States, this is a time when students are going back to school. But when we refer to students, whether they be college kids or the elementary school age children, we need to keep in mind that the students are not going back to the same grade. Last year’s 3rd graders are now 4th graders. Last year’s college freshmen are this year’s sophomores. The students are moving on and moving up.

So when kids go back to school, they’re going back to learn more advanced information.

In our business world, we also need to constantly go back to school. But it’s not to get refreshed on what we already know or retrained on information where we’ve already been trained. It’s to learn advanced techniques, tips, skills, philosophies, and business practices.

In customer service, there are so many different techniques which you can learn and apply daily. But for those who need more advanced training if they have become near-experts on the basics of customer service, one area to focus on is reading the personality of your customer. Since many of our conversations with customers are quite short, and since we’re conveying so much information or responding to the request or complaint while engaged with a customer, to be able to – at the same time – tailor how you interact with the customer to their unique personality type is a feat where only the best at customer service consistently excel.

One way to build up this aptitude is to start categorizing the personality types of the customers you encounter most frequently. Identify the 2-3 most encountered personality types, determine how to identify these types of individuals during conversations, and determine a few behaviors or phrases that you can utilize when interacting with these particular personality types. Getting to know the types of customers you interact with and the keys to interacting with them are great steps to take if you want to be even better at customer service.

Go back to school.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/


Be Vigilant in Tough Times

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

When the economy is bad, and people are hurting, the stories that seem to bubble to the surface in the news are often those that focus on government. When somebody’s mad, the one large entity that people direct that wrath toward is often the government. We might define government as a local municipality, state government, or the federal government. But in any case, problems that are minor which may have been overlooked in the past are now front page news.

There are some obvious reasons for this. When the economy is bad, people’s purse-strings are tightened, and their scrutiny of every individual dollar is heightened. Oftentimes the dollars that are not in one’s control or which seem to rise during bad economic times are those dollars spent on government services – real estate taxes, utilities, sales taxes, personal income taxes, etc.

So during these times, governments have to be hypersensitive to the feelings of their customers – the residents and businesses. They need to make sure that when issues arise they jump out in front with proactive communication plans that not only target the media but which also target individual customers one-on-one. Since the media is more than happy to jump on a negative story and milk it for all it’s worth during times like these, government entities have to determine ways to influence the perceptions of the public in a more one-on-one manner, more directly. They cannot rely on reactive responses to the media; they need to have proactive communications and plans targeting their customers directly.

There is a need to be vigilant during the tough times in getting your message out, because if government organizations – or any organizations for that matter – are in reactive mode when issues arise, loss of control of the message can be a loss of the positive image of the brand that the organization has worked so long to nurture and develop.

Focus on the one-on-one, and be vigilant in your proactive communications during the tough times.

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