social media

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

2014 Customer Service Crystal Ball – Part 2 of Trends

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

Blog 3-5-14Did you enjoy Part 1 of 2014 Customer Service Trends? Check out the first 3 Customer Service Trends if you haven’t already. Here are the final 4 of 7 key Trends we see:

Big Data Will Be Overplayed (Just Like Social Media Customer Service Was Overplayed)

I attended a “Social Media for Parents of School Kids” meeting 4-5 years ago. The presenter – a school psychologist – told us that in 5 years e-mail would no longer exist because Facebook would replace e-mail.

Still waiting…

Social Media Customer Service was not the be all, end all, and neither is Big Data. One way to define “Big Data” is to take all the information you have on your customers and to – as much real-time as possible – analyze it so you can use it to tailor your customer interactions and target your retention/marketing/sales strategies. This topic is getting so much publicity, but the reality of its use – and how pervasive that use will be – will not match the hype.

Too many companies don’t acquire enough information on customers, or they don’t communicate well enough internally, or they don’t have a customer service/retention culture as it is; therefore, inserting systems and data – Big Data – won’t change any of that. Companies can have the best systems in the world to analyze and share data, but if companies can’t/won’t acquire data, or if they don’t break down silos, or if they don’t care about employees and the end customer, Big Data is useless. Big Data will be overplayed in 2014.

Small-to-Midsize Businesses Will Seek To Hire Octopodes

Or octopi? Or octopuses? Apparently the accurate plural of Octopus is quite controversial on the web – Google it and find out…

Companies – especially the small-to-midsize organizations, will seek to hire the customer service “octopus” – the customer service employee who can do it all…Tweet, get on the phone, be face-to-face, compose e-mails, communicate on Facebook, etc. These special individuals are those that are responsive, consistent, effective, and personable. Businesses of this size are generally too small to have dedicated resources to manage each of their customer service-oriented platforms, so they’ll need a few exceptional people who are well-versed and capable in multiple communication vehicles. This need is not as significant for bigger businesses because they can segment their service platforms simply due to scale.

A New App Called “The Butler” Will be the Hottest App in the World

Have you heard of it – “The Butler?” Neither have I. It doesn’t exist, but it’s coming…

We hadn’t heard of Twitter 10 years ago, and we hadn’t heard of Facebook 20 years ago. Most of us hadn’t heard of Microsoft 30 years ago. So something that doesn’t currently exist or few of us know today – “The Butler” – is coming. My hope is that it’s a self-serve app (not a search engine like Google or an application like Siri). Instead, it’s an app where I load in (or link) the names of my cable company, bank, phone provider, and other random online orders/accounts.

I can then – with the touch of the app or a simple voice command – tell “The Butler” (I’ll call him “James”) to complain to X Telecomm company that my cable is out. I can ask James to check on the delivery status of those flowers I ordered for my wife. I can determine my account balance. I can get the pharmacy on the phone. I ask a question or convey an issue (regardless of the company) – and my voice is heard by the company, or the answer is provided.

By this time next year, there will be a HOT customer service app that we do not know today. I hope it’s The Butler.

What’s Old Will Always be New

Essentially, customer satisfaction is about those one-on-one relationships and moments of truth. In that respect, the future of customer satisfaction will be the same as the present. The main difference is the path companies will take to get there. Never overthink customer service. In the end, it’s about you and me – the 1-on-1 – conveying we care while we meet needs and address issues…

To learn more about how to improve customer service in a changing economy and world, visit our NEW website at http://cssamerica.com/home/


NASCAR Lessons…and Beyond – Engaging Fans with Social Media

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Let’s learn a little fan engagement lesson from NASCAR. In the Bleacher Report article NASCAR Drivers, Wives and Twitter: Is NASCAR the Most Active Sport on Twitter?, the writer notes about the relatively extensive level of access that NASCAR fans have to drivers – in everything from pit road access to autograph signings to the use of Twitter.

We’ve done enough research with our pro sports clients to know that a certain percentage of season ticket holders (STHs) have a strong desire for that engagement with or proximity to the athletes. But why do they want it? That’s a question to ask.

You can’t setup too many 1-on-1 dinners with your Dwight Howard and one of your season ticket holders. You can’t setup too many Putt-Putt competition between one of your long-term STHs and your Jason Verlander. You can’t have your Aaron Rodgers sit-in on too many STH book clubs.

So back to the question – why do STHs want access? If you can understand the STH’s goal, maybe there are some alternatives you can suggest.

To many STHs, the “why” is about the experience, it’s about relationship, it’s about feeling like you’re in-the-know or part of something special.

Social media can help with this. It’s not the direct 1-on-1 relationship they might desire, but it’s much more of a direct interaction than a fan reading a journalist’s article or a marketing e-mail from the team. So, use social media to accomplish at least two relationship-building objectives.

First, provide more direct/personal insights from your players and executives. Getting to know these individuals as being more “real” helps to foster relationship-building. That’s why the husband/wife aspect of the NASCAR Twitter approach has such great appeal.

Second, use Social Media to track key STHs, monitoring what is going on in their world, their lives. You can use this to identify ways to be proactive with them, sending them a congratulatory note to strengthen the relationship (if they changed jobs) or asking a question to enhance your STH-intelligence (if they mention they’ve moved) or sharing an offer to increase sales (if they say they have friends coming into town during a time where there’s a home game).

Use Social Media to build STH relationships by letting them into your world and by learning a little more about theirs.

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

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/


Before Getting into Social Media Customer Service, Do This

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

Why Social Media Customer Service? Because if you’re not in it, you’ll be left behind…no, that’s not credible. Because everybody wants their customer service through Twitter or Facebook…uh…no they don’t. Because in this day and age, all your customers are constantly in Social Media…well, not really.

In your personal life, I sure hope you don’t do things for the sake of doing them. You don’t quit your job to create a startup just because all your buddies are doing so. You don’t drop out of college because Gates and Jobs did so. You don’t skydive without a parachute because someone told you what “an awesome rush” it is.

When you do something significant in life or in business, do it with a purpose.

Getting into Social Media Customer Service is no different. Companies who are investing in consulting, resources, and technology to get into Social Media Customer Service typically do it for several reasons including (1) To protect their brand, (2) To reduce cost/unit of providing customer service, (3) To be more responsive, (4) To meet their Social Media-savvy customers where they’re located and/or where they’ve purchased, (5) To improve retention and sales.

You have to have a reason to enter Social Media Customer Service, because the people, process, technology, and cultural costs will be expended upfront before the benefits are realized down the road.

One aspect of Social Media Customer Service that everyone should agree on is this – get your current customer service processes, policy, and training in place and effective before you migrate them to Social Media. If your back office support functions are slow and of poor quality, Social Media will just speed up how quickly the customer realizes those shortcomings. If your people are poorly trained, Social Media creates more real-time interactions where that training is less masked by slower Q&A processes. If your policies are unclear, Social Media will facilitate the spread of misinformation more quickly.

Before diving into Social Media Customer Service, get your current customer service house in order.

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/