teamwork

Grind it out Today for a Better Tomorrow - 8/11/20


It’s been said that You Learn Perseverance by Persevering.  You are becoming mentally tougher right now.  The pain and the difficulties and the change today are making you stronger for dealing with the uncertainties of tomorrow. We’re all having to be more flexible.  We are all facing less consistency, less Read more

Increase Research for Improved Customer Relations During COVID-19


What makes a relationship? Many actions can make or break a relationship, but all solid relationships require at least two things: Communication and Caring. And customer relationships are no different in this respect. No Communication = No Connection If we don’t have some frequency of dialogue with the customer, then we Read more

Never Before… - 8/4/20


The importance of customer service is at the forefront again in our economy.  We noticed this clearly in the early 2000s when the country’s economy struggled, and we noticed it again during the Great Recession several years later.  Today, with yet another set of unexpected and extreme economic challenges, Read more

Effectively Teach the Customer - 7/28/20


The 1985 Harris and Rosenthal research project conveyed what really improves student learning based on the interaction with the teacher.  The top two factors that teachers used to increase learning were (1) The duration of the interaction with the student and (2) The encouragement of the student.  In 3rd Read more

Meet on Equal and Even Ground - 7/21/20


“To be of most service to my brother, I must meet him on the most equal and even ground.”  Henry David Thoreau wrote this in 1841, and it applies almost 180 years later in customer service. We often talk about empathy, and empathy relates to an employee having an understanding Read more

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

From Team-up to Partner – 4/21/20

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

The phrase used to be “Team-up.”  Company A and Company B are going to Team-up to address this big consumer need.

Now the term is “Partner.”  Organization A and Organization B are going to partner together to seek a resolution to this community issue.

Both of these phrases essentially deal with different organizations working together with a common goal.  But even within the same organization, the ultimate organizational success usually requires people from different areas or with different functions to “Team-up.”

So, what do you do when you’re asked to Team-up with someone else at your own company?

To Team-up effectively, here are 3 quick suggestions:

  • Help Others – When you see a co-worker with a need (figuring out some video conferencing app, understanding how to interpret a policy, or dealing with a difficult customer situation), stop what you’re doing and offer to help. Don’t simply bypass someone in need.
  • Know Your Role – Understand how your job, your skills and expertise, and your experience fit in the greater organization. Know how your actions and decisions affect others; often, what you say or the work you produce (your “Output”) is the Input for a co-worker.
  • Collaborate with Others – Be willing to meet with and work together in formulating plans, dealing with issues, and delivering services. Support what’s best for the whole group, even if it may not be your first choice.  Encourage your co-workers and give them positive reinforcement.

Before you Team-up with others, take a moment to truly understand what is expected of you. Seek opportunities to help, understand how you affect others, and work with others as a good teammate toward a collective goal.

Team-up.

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Be Generous to a Fault – 8/20/19

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People who think they’re generous to a fault usually think that’s their only fault – American Journalist Sydney Harris.

This quote reminds me of someone who views themselves as a giver – someone who is so humble that he likes to humbly tell everyone of the gifts he’s given, good deeds he’s done, and, of course, his humility.

I give, give, give, never take – Radio personalities John Boy and Billy being facetious.

It’s a great thing to SINCERELY give to others, especially in the world of customer service, but it’s also good to be a giver with co-workers. It’s not only about your team winning, but it’s about your being a winning member of a team.

Generosity gives assistance rather than advice – French writer Vauvenargues.

Now we get to the meat of what giving and generosity mean, particularly in the workplace. If you want to be a great team member, be a giver. Be generous. But to do so, there are 2 key things to understand.

First, what are your gifts and resources – that which you have to give? Think about your experiences, who you know, what you know, your skills, your personal qualities, that inventory of abilities that are above the average. What is your level of compassion and caring, your energy and passion, your will to do a great job or to help others? Before you can give a gift, lose the humility for a few minutes, and write down the answers to these questions. Create a personal inventory of your own gifts.

Second, understand that generosity is more than advice – it’s assistance. There’s a difference between telling someone what they should do (or – worse yet – should have done) and actually assisting the other person. What experience or resource can you pull from to help them help themselves? What clear direction can you point them in for them to take? What way of communicating can you use to impart your true desire to help them? How can you go beyond “should-ing” on people or simply stating a fact (“That won’t work”) to being helpful…to assisting?

Be a member of a winning team by being a winning member of your team – be generous.

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

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

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 them to us. We received the output. They complete a form, and they routed it to us. They have a complaint, and they send it to us. They make a sale, and they give the account to us. In this part of the process, we receive the output.

But we also provide the input. We take that difficult customer and sometimes escalate them to another person or area. We take that client, and we refer them to a premium services division for upselling. We work through our part of the process, and we hand off the information to the person managing the next step.

So, we receive the output, and we provide the input. As part of the process, we definitely benefit by making the process better. When we receive output that has questions or quality concerns or is not timely, particularly when this happens with some regularity, we can improve the process by professionally pointing out the problems; when we point out the problems, we should try to suggest solutions as well.

In terms of us playing the input role, we should seek the same information just recommended for you to provide to others. Contact co-workers who receive our input, and ask about our timeliness, quality, and completeness. Ask them what works well. Ask them for solutions to concerns.

If we want to deliver great customer service, we need to understand our role in the process.

Be of value to your teammates – whether you receive the output or provide the input.

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