team

Libby Listened to Serve - 7/16/19


Libby was new to her role with the organization. She had never been a customer service representative in a call center before, but she was hired because of her attitude. She wanted to learn, enjoyed working with people, and could carry on a conversation with a wall. After going through Read more

Chris Got Noticed for All the Right Reasons - 7/9/19


Chris was working through a temporary agency, and he got a job at a warehouse. He was packaging items to be shipped out, and his shift didn't start until 7:30 a.m. Chris always got there a little bit early because of the bus schedule, and he hated just sitting Read more

What Does “No News” Mean? Here’s a Quick Story - 7/2/19


Steven was trying to make the purchase of his new used car official, so he could get license tags for his State. In order for the State to allow him to put the vehicle in his name, he had to submit paperwork to prove that the prior owner (from Read more

Are you the Output or the Input? - 6/25/19


You’re the output and the input. Sorry to put it into such technical/industrial engineering terminology. But in a service system, we all have some role as a part of the process. First, we receive the output. Somebody has a customer that they direct to us, so that handoff is from Read more

Hear Them, and Tell Them What You Heard - 6/18/19


CSS has conducted close to 1000 research projects over the years, many of which were web-based surveys. And oftentimes, in addition to or instead of completing the online survey, respondents e-mail us directly with questions or comments – and we respond personally to every message on behalf of our Read more

It’s Decision Time. What are you going to do? - 6/11/19


Serving others is tough. Whether it’s dealing with an irate customer, having to field the same question from the 100th different customer this month, or keeping 10 plates spinning while still smiling in front of the client, it’s hard. You want to do a great job, and you’re constantly put Read more

You Do Know Jack - 6/4/19


Have you ever had a co-worker who causes more problems than they solve? Simple things they do are often, from a procedure standpoint, correct. But the way they handle situations makes them come off as indifferent. Let’s call this co-worker “Jack.” Even though certain actions by Jack may seem innocent Read more

How to Give the Right Kind of “No” - 5/28/19


In a perfect world, you never need to say “No” to the customer. But as we all know, this is not a perfect world. There are a lot of issues in the world, and there are a lot of issues in customer service. Our companies are not perfect, our Read more

Make it Crystal Clear - 5/21/19


Sometimes we communicate so well, and sometimes we don’t communicate as well as we think we do. When you’re trying to set or manage another person’s expectations, what you say may be very clear to you, but the reality is it may not be clear to the other person. Read more

Harvey Wrote the Book on Focus...and Golf - 5/14/19


In Harvey Penick's Little Red Book, the famous golf instructor provides many key tips about golf that just as well could apply to life in general. One such tip is the following: Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in Read more

Chris Got Noticed for All the Right Reasons – 7/9/19

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

Chris was working through a temporary agency, and he got a job at a warehouse. He was packaging items to be shipped out, and his shift didn’t start until 7:30 a.m. Chris always got there a little bit early because of the bus schedule, and he hated just sitting around; so he would pick up a broom and sweep the break room. He would take some Windex and clean off the tables. Occasionally he would mop up the floor or use elbow grease on some countertops.

He was doing all this while he was waiting to do the job he was getting paid to do.

One of the managers noticed him cleaning before his work started, and he asked about Chris’ background. Chris had a lot of experience in custodial services, and the manager and his peers were impressed with his initiative and the quality of his work. He moved into a role with the custodial staff and eventually became full-time.

The owner of the company noticed how the windows in the front lobby were clearer than they had been in years, and he asked around as to how that was happening. The lobby staff mentioned how they had noticed Chris working extra hard on the front windows. The owner called Chris into his office, and he just thanked Chris for the quality of the work and for making the lobby look so bright for the first time in years.

A lady who worked in the facility who had never met Chris before had noticed Chris working out in the 95 degree heat, cleaning signs and sweeping off the front entrance. He was obviously working hard to make the place look good not only inside but outside as well. The lady had never officially met Chris before, but she bought a soda and brought it to him, telling him how she noticed how hard he was working out in the heat.

Sometimes being a great team member means seeing something that needs to be done and just doing it. Sometimes it means making your company look better to others. Sometimes it means having a great work ethic and caring about your company. And sometimes it results in getting noticed – getting noticed for all the right things.

People were watching Chris, and that was a good thing.

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Inflate Your Team – 4/17/18

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I was talking with a friend recently about their job change. They’re still working in the same company, still doing the same type of technology support, but their position had been moved from a user area to the information technology department.

This person seemed happier in their job than they had ever been before. They smiled more during conversations. They seemed more relaxed and at peace. The workload was the same, the content of the work was the same, but there was one big difference – the people she worked side-by-side with every day were different.

In her other department, even if she started the day with the best attitude possible, by the end of the day her motivation was gone, she was worn out, she felt times of stress, and she often felt down.

In her new department, she ended the day with more energy, she was generally happy, the tension and stress weren’t there anymore, and she felt at peace about the accomplishments of the day’s work.

I’m sure she herself had something to do with how she felt in this new department, but just as big an impact on her were the people that she worked with in each place. In retrospect, she viewed her co-workers in the first department as Deflators. The people in her new department are Inflators.

In the previous department, staff talked negatively, didn’t plan well, made every issue a big issue, were concerned more with their own image than team performance, communicated expectations poorly, and then complained when hidden expectations were not met. These were the Deflators.

Her new department included people who were very professional, well-organized, understood their common goals, enjoyed each other’s company in fun activities like fantasy football, were happy to jump in and help co-workers, and generally functioned as a team.

Take a look back at what caused one group to be considered Deflators and the other to be considered Inflators. Then look at yourself. What impact do you have on your co-workers with your attitude, your planning, your willingness to help, and your focus on others?

Make sure you’re a model of great teamwork. Be an Inflator.

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A Customer Service Week Top 10 List – 10/4/16

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


Why is Customer Service Week important? It’s an opportunity to recognize wonderful staff, convey appreciation to customers, and reinforce the great that customer service can do for organizational success.

To that last point, here are the Top 10 ways that Customer Service Teams benefit the organization:

  1. Issue-resolution – They fix problems that are created elsewhere in the organization by addressing customer issues with company products, processes, and people.
  2. Collaboration – Customer Service Teams bridge the gaps between siloed departments to bring all the corporate tools and resources together to meet the client’s needs.
  3. Relationship-building – They grow relationships with customers, creating an affinity for the organization all while customers may be complaining about the product.
  4. Maximize Revenue – Customer Retention reduces lost revenue, so great Customer Service Teams make life easier for Marketing and Sales departments who don’t have to uncover as much new business tomorrow because of business lost today.
  5. Positivity – They create a more balanced environment of positivity, recognition, and relationship-building in organizations that would otherwise focus almost exclusively on accountability and cost-control.
  6. Long-term Thinking – Great Customer Service Teams help foster a long-term, retention-culture in organizations often overrun with short-term thinking.
  7. Continuous Improvement – They identify recurring issues, and share those with others in the organization to uncover permanent solutions.
  8. Drive Innovation – Customer Service Teams are continuously learning what issues, needs, goals, and trends customers have – and how they’re changing. These employees can serve as the “Voice of the Customer,” identifying changes in customer wants and needs that drive innovation.
  9. Competitive Advantage – Great customer service is a huge differentiator for companies, especially those where products or pricing varies little from business-to-business.
  10. Reputation – Great Customer Service Teams make your business look good. They’re often the “last impression” after a product purchase – when there’s a question, concern, issue, or need for follow-up.

Recognize the great Customer Service Teams that make your organization a greater success!

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