sports

I Think I Think is Wrong - 10/20/20


I think that’s not going to be feasible.  I think we can do that.  I think you’re on the right track.  Methinks thou dost protest too much. Please forgive the Shakespearean reference, but it seems to fit well here.  When we are talking to co-workers and customers, and we’re giving Read more

Be Slowest, and Be the Best – Chick-fil-A - 10/13/20


About one week ago, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had an article that analyzed the results of a SeeLevel HX research engagement on the customer experience at fast food restaurants.  The results were seemingly contradictory.  The fast food chain with by far the overall best drive-thru experience was Chick-fil-A, and yet Read more

Connect During Customer Service Week - 10/6/20


It’s Customer Service Week…woohoo!  This week should be all about the customers we serve and the staff who serve them.  This should be about conveying we value other people, and – hopefully – having other people convey that they value us.  It’s a week about people – about us. This Read more

Temper the Tone of THE VOICE - 9/29/20


The television show The Voice is a singing competition.  The opening episodes of every season begin with individuals singing while judges have their backs to the singer.  The judges can’t see the singer, so they are evaluating the performer purely based on their voice. Oftentimes, when the judge turns around, Read more

Keep On Going - 9/22/20


Thomas Edison once said “Many of life’s failures are experiences by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” You are close to success – Keep On Going. Winston Churchill once said "If you’re going through hell, keep going."  This quote has been taken Read more

Lessons Learned for COVID Era Sporting Events


Since the sports world has begun inviting fans back to their events on a limited basis, CSS has been fortunate to work on multiple events with our sports clients.  Much of our work is fan research-oriented, where before or after events, we are engaging fans to identify expectations, potential Read more

Create a Common Definition of Customer Service - 9/15/20


Peter, Paul, and Marie are co-workers. They are all customer service representatives.  When Peter thinks of good customer service, he defines it as being friendly to the customer. “And I am friendly,” Peter says.  “That’s why I don’t know why they send me to customer service training.” Paul thinks customer Read more

COVID-19 Demand Management Strategies for Customer Service Channels


We all want demand for our products or services.  This helps us to generate revenue and to provide something of value to our customers and communities.  But customer demand does not strictly relate to products and services.  Demand also relates to communications, information, issue resolution, education, and other aspects Read more

Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance? - 9/8/20


This is a quote by Edgar Bergen.  He’s one of the most famous ventriloquists of all time, but I guess he wasn’t necessarily one of the hardest workers of all time.  By sharing this quote, I am not supporting the idea that we shouldn’t work hard…or am I? We only Read more

Reach Out More for COVID-19 Customer Retention


Ever since the Coronavirus pandemic became a reality for individuals, their communities, and their countries, it became clear that people were going to be hurting…that lives were going to be changing…that the realities of the past were going to be very different from the current and near-term future realities. When Read more

Set Time Aside – 4/19/16 TOW

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


Many of our clients struggle when changing organizational culture, impacting morale and organizational success, or getting staff to focus on what’s most important. Great ideas are created, but they often don’t become a sustained reality.

The solutions to this issue with real change not occurring or not sustaining often boil down to one key point: You have to set time aside.

Example #1 (Embedding in Education) – A CSS education client is having difficulty embedding some of its Core Values into its culture. They are communicated periodically, activities are developed for leaders to use with staff, but the culture change is slow and inconsistent. One solution that they are now undertaking involves making these Core Values a standing Agenda item for every meeting. At least 5 minutes of every meeting are set aside for some action, story, recognition, reinforcement, or activity that addresses Core Values. Best case, that Core Value agenda item aligns to the meeting goal, but in any case the values are embedded into their existing meeting structures.

Example #2 (Getting Buy-in in Government) – A local government client of ours is trying to accomplish two key goals concurrently: Raise performance and improve morale. One of the big morale issues is that front-line staff felt that decisions were made by a few leaders with no input from the staff charged with implementation. Putting the plans in place was invariably done last minute, resulted in unforeseen issues, created NO staff buy-in, and put stress on staff. The solution? Ongoing Employee Roundtables are being created; leadership is setting time aside on a recurring basis to get staff input and ideas early on when new products, policies, and processes are being considered. This creates buy-in, makes for better ideation, reduces staff stress, and decreases backend fire-fighting post-implementation.

Example #3 (Reviewing Sports Research) – We have worked with a sports client to create a Voice of the Fan research program for its events at multiple venues, but some venues (typically lower performing ones) aren’t using the data as completely as they could and aren’t participating in the post-survey debrief calls. The solution? The client now requires all venues to set aside time for the debrief calls, and the corporate staff participates on the calls. The venue staff are now ending these calls excited by what they learned, knowing how to best use the results, and aware of the retention and revenue growth opportunities available.

So what are your ongoing organizational challenges? Maybe the challenges are not being effectively addressed because time is not being consistently devoted to the topic.

Set Time Aside.

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Customerize Your Business – 8/25/15 TOW

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


Most of us have seen flow charts. You document Step A followed by B followed by C. What does the employee do first? What report do they produce? To where do they route the call?

We’ve all seen e-newsletters that go out to customers. You share what you’re doing, note great offers, and pitch the latest product.

Everyone has gone to a business website. It says what we do, it’s organized by our products/industries, and it talks in the language to which we’re accustomed (I’m guilty of having “consultantese” throughout my site).

But what if we “customerized” our businesses? Let’s take a hospital. For processes, they might say – if a family member wants to visit the newborn baby, how would they want to find the hospital? What would they want the parking experience to be like? How would they want to find out where the relative is located and how they can find the baby? How would they want staff to greet them, and what would be the best exit experience?

Consider the sports team. They’re constantly sending out the marketing mailings to season ticket holders (STH), but what if they customerized the newsletters? Imagine Brian, the STH, getting an e-mail with a Subject heading identifying information about his favorite player. The body of his e-mail addresses only those things of interest to him – the kid’s club, his favorite visiting team coming to town, and a gift coming his way for his upcoming birthday. Brian’s e-mail is all about Brian, and the e-mail comes from his personal account representative, Marie.

If you work in a government organization, imagine having a website that’s been customerized. Instead of it being about government departments and services, it’s about the resident or business. Instead of the list of options including 38 departments and agencies, it lists common questions that the typical resident may ask. Instead of it listing 3 pages of detailed text instructions on how to appeal a tax bill or submit a plan to renovate a deck, it has a simple flow using customer terms and having graphics similar to most advanced websites nowadays.

To have the best experience for your customer, remove yourself from the internal focus of most companies. View your world through the eyes of the customer for the benefit of your customer.

Customerize Your Business.

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Give Your Customers a Crystal Ball – 12/2/14 TOW

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


When conducting focus groups for a local government client recently, I found myself in many discussions with the customers of this municipality about their experience. The customers are business people, looking to perform renovations, develop property, and build facilities throughout the community.

And while many times we can define the customer experience by using words like attitude, responsiveness, respect, speed, and quality, these customers often used a different word – predictability.

To them, knowing what’s going to happen and when, knowing what’s their role v. that of the local government was vital to their success. By having a predictable process, a predictable set of roles and rules, a somewhat predictable timeframe, and a predictable manner in getting issues addressed, they could have more realistic expectations, but there were also two other benefits.

First, predictability for the customer enables them to plan next steps and timeframes. Second, predictability enables the customer to communicate with their stakeholders about what those stakeholders need to do and by when.

Going outside government, think of the hospital with outpatient surgery patients who need to know how to prep for procedures and how long they’ll take, so that they can have the friend pickup them up at the right time and help them get started on the care process at home.

Consider the sports fan going to the game and needing to know where to pick up the tickets and how long that process will take, so they can meet up with friends at a certain location and time.

Think about the elementary school parent considering moving into town but wanting to rent the apartment in the location where the best schools are zoned. They need to know what those schools are, where to move to get zoned there, how to register their child, and when they’ll get confirmation that the child gets into the desired school.

When you think about delivering the great customer experience, first think about how to make the experience predictable for the customer.

Help your customers predict next steps – give them the customer service Crystal Ball.

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