success

Customer for Life – The Second Step - 3/19/19


Two weeks ago, we shared a Customer Service Tip on how to get (and keep!) a Customer for Life. We addressed the First Step, Knowing what you need to know about the other person. Now, we’re sharing the Second Step. To develop a relationship with anyone, there has to Read more

Employee Runs for a Dog Run - 3/12/19


I was never a Boy Scout. I mean in the literal sense, but also somewhat in the figurative sense, but I digress. After years of telling myself that I needed something to help my dog get exercise outside without worrying about him trying to dig under a fence and Read more

Customer for Life – The First Step - 3/5/19


This should be the goal, right? That our clients today will be our clients tomorrow and well into the future. That their loyalty grows, their business with us grows, their referrals grow, and it is all part of a relationship that grows and develops over time. But what’s the Read more

Retrain Your Brain - 2/26/19


Admit it. You thought about it. You thought: Why in the world did the customer try to assemble that before reading the instructions? Why would they drive all the way down here instead of just checking the website? Why would they go through the drive-thru when they can deposit using Read more

Look Up, or Look Out! - 2/19/19


The clerk called out “next in line!”, and Frannie went to the counter. “Can I have your name?,” the employee asked, but she stared at her computer screen while asking. Frannie stated her name, the time of her appointment, and noted the reason for the appointment. Staring at the screen, Read more

Know the Customer’s Value Proposition - 2/12/19


I’ve written about how it’s important to build up your co-workers when talking to customers. When the nurse is getting ready to send the patient down to radiology, she lets the patient know what great work and great care that the radiology tech provides. When the teller contacts a Read more

Paint a Picture, Take a Picture - 2/5/19


Many of us are visual learners. In order for us to understand the concept, we need to be able to see the concept illustrated. And by seeing the concept illustrated, I’m not just talking about taking something that somebody says and merely typing it into an email. I don’t Read more

Recipe for Reputation Rehab - 1/29/19


As another corporation is trying to recover from self-inflicted reputation wounds, it is seeking to get back in the good graces of consumers. It’s laying out a 6-point plan to improve its performance, but – in the end – publicizing this plan is also about rehabilitating its reputation. Read more

Don’t Dwell on the Customer Crazies - 1/22/19


Whether or not you’re a fan of Duke University basketball, you may have heard of the “Cameron Crazies.” This is a nickname for Duke fans that attend home games in Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. One of my friends was one of those Cameron Crazies. He was Read more

Retain through Responsiveness - 1/15/19


In a recent Bloomberg article about online retailers, there’s a story about a women’s cosmetics customer who used an online app to order some items. She waited weeks for the delivery after it was shipped to the wrong address, and she had great difficulty in getting the issue resolved. Read more

When It’s Definitely Okay to Fail – 2/23/16 TOW

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


Do you ever encourage failure? Do the leaders in your organization say “please fail?”

While rarely – if ever – should failure be the goal, fear of failure can lead to mediocrity. Avoiding the potential for failure can lead to inaction. And in a competitive world, it’s ironic that mediocrity and inaction eventually lead to that same failure that a company (or individual) is trying to avoid.

I heard a basketball coach recently mention that success in the game is built off many failures in the practices. In a business sense, success in serving a customer is often built off trial and error in a company’s “practice sessions.” A successful journey toward a goal often involves healthy conflict and creative ideas tossed aside for even better ideas.

It’s okay to fail in a company’s practice sessions. It’s okay to have healthy conflict and toss good ideas aside for better ideas.

Those failures are what make greater success possible.

What are your company’s practice sessions? Are they role-plays on customer situations? Is it user-testing of a new web portal? Is it piloting a new process or approach to serving customers?

What are your company’s idea-generation sessions? Are they robust enough that there’s conflict and deep, thought-provoking discussion? Are enough ideas being generated that the good can be set aside for the better, and the better tabled in favor of the best?

Identify in what you need to succeed as an organization. Then create opportunities to practice possible situations. Develop and debate ideas to move toward the best solution.

Create opportunities to fail so that you can move closer to success.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


Build Your Customer Service Energy – 12/29/15 TOW

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


I am NOT a high energy person. It started late in college when my mom actually had me tested for anemia because I complained about being tired. First of all, I never knew there was such a test. Second, I learned it doesn’t pay to complain. I was hoping it was just a case of being a Senior in college and having a few too many late nights, but it turned out to be just who I was…and am.

Although I’m fairly laid-back, when I give a speech or facilitate a workshop on customer service, culture change, or client retention – participants invariably compliment me on my energy level.

But how can this be?

Maybe it’s adrenaline, but – even if it is – it’s adrenaline that comes from being with people I sincerely want to help, people whose questions and concepts make my synapses fire! It’s about engaging others in dialogue, in conversation – it’s about getting to know others to the point that you want to help them.

Maybe you’re not the highest energy person, and all the espresso and 5-hour ENERGY shots won’t help you sustain energy with customers. Instead, take a different approach.

View an interaction with a customer or co-worker as an opportunity to sincerely help someone. It’s an opportunity to engage with a unique and often very interesting person. It’s a situation where you’re having an intellectual discussion or personal conversation – it’s dialogue and engagement.

Each “Moment of Truth” is an opportunity for you to help others, learn a little more about the world, and share a little of yourself with the world.

Almost irrespective of the topic, each interaction is one of life’s little moments – and those little moments and the opportunities that they provide to engage others are energy-building opportunities.

Use the opportunity of the engagement to build your customer service energy.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


Teach People How to Teach You – 7/7/15 TOW

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


I was privileged to be at a school district’s leadership conference recently, and a portion of the morning activities included a student panel talking about their experiences (good and bad) during their time in the school system.

One of the students – a high schooler who was blind – noted his frustration when he entered middle school because the teachers didn’t know how to teach someone who couldn’t see. So the student decided that at the start of each semester, he would write a letter to the teachers that told them how to teach him.

Imagine that – a student telling a teacher how to teach him – incredible story and brilliant idea by this young man; the idea enhanced his learning and the experience for the teachers as well.

This is a story from which we can all learn a lesson.

Maybe you don’t have the greatest boss in the world – they’re not great at asking what you need to be successful, or they’re not the best at growing your professional skills and getting the most out of you.

Find ways – a letter, a chat over coffee, an informal sit-down meeting in a conference room – to tell them about how to best work with you for their benefit, your benefit, and the benefit of the company and customer.

Let’s look at a different application of this story. What could you learn by asking the customer how you can best help them? Instead of telling them that you’ll send an e-mail follow-up, ask how they’d like you to communicate with them. Instead of mapping out your own relationship development plan, ask what’s the best way for you to learn about them to ensure you best know their needs and goals. Instead of telling them how they can learn more about your products, services, and customer service resources, ask how they’d like to learn about them.

Learn from this inspiring student – teach others how to teach you.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page