values

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

Using I, We, or You in Customer Service - 9/1/20


It’s amazing how many conversations can go horribly wrong or incredibly right, not because of the use of a 4-letter word, but simply because of the use of a 1, 2, or 3-letter word – I, We, You. The incorrect use of I, We, You in conversations causes problems more Read more

Get Your Guru On - 8/25/20


You may have heard of management gurus - these people who seemed to know all and be all, to have the wisdom of 1000 leaders.  Maybe you’ve heard it in your industry as a guru in sports psychology or the master of economics or sociology or human behavior. And so Read more

Whether You Believe You Can Do a Thing or Not, You Are Right - 8/18/20


This is a famous Henry Ford quote, and the quote is all about self-belief, all about confidence. We’ve often spoken about the need to be confident and how to gain confidence, because that confidence - or the lack thereof - is imparted on the customer. But how does a customer tell Read more

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

Let the Customer Define Your Values – 4/7/15 TOW

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


Why would I let someone else define my Values? I wouldn’t, and neither should you. So don’t let the title throw you for a loop. Instead, view the statement from a different perspective.

Most organizations which try to be intentional about their Mission and Vision also try to be intentional about their Core Values – those qualities that note what’s important to the organization, how their people work together, and how personnel relate to each other and those they serve.

A company could have Core Values such as entrepreneurship, teamwork, respect, responsiveness, openness, and customer-focus. To really live those Values, they need to ensure that the customer experience incorporates many of their Values.

What I’m suggesting is that the organization doesn’t ONLY get employees together to design the experience around those Values. In addition to that part of the process, let your customers define your Values – what do those Values mean to them?

This is best done in Focus Groups, but feel free to tap into any of your Voice of the Customer vehicles to solicit input. Ask them “What does a ‘respectful’ interaction look like to you when you’re talking with our staff?” Inquire about how they define ‘responsiveness,” asking what your organization could do to be responsive to their needs and issues. Ask them what ‘customer-focus’ looks like when they’re the client.

Words can mean different things to different people, and if you want your Values (the words you use) to lead you to a great customer experience, design that experience around your customers’ definition of the words.

Let the Customer Define Your Values.

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Define Your Personal Service Standards – 3/31/15 TOW

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


Many clients are interested in our helping them develop Customer Service Standards and instilling them in their staff. Customer Service Standards are essentially documented expectations of how employees at all levels should treat both internal and external customers. The Standards note desired behaviors and attitudes of staff, and they align to the organization’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values.

But instead of waiting for your company to tell you what they expect, let’s take a step and define our own Personal Service Standards.

Essentially what I want you to ask yourself are 3 key questions:

  • What should my attitude be like, regardless of who I’m interacting with at the time?
  • What should be characteristics of my behaviors when interacting with others?
  • What should be the qualities of how I do my job and serve others, even when nobody’s looking?

To what standard do you hold yourself? What high level of attitude and actions should be just part of who you are, how you do business, and how you serve others?

Maybe the words that pop to mind are “proactive, courteous, engaged, and creative.” Maybe you’re “thoughtful, other-focused, respectful, and patient.” You could be the person who’s “organized, efficient, responsive, and solution-oriented.”

Think about what you expect of yourself. Then live to those expectations. Make the expectations you have of yourself drive you toward great experiences for those you serve.

Define Your Personal Service Standards.

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Get Engaged – 12/30/14 TOW

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


Don’t worry; there will be no pre-wedding discussions here.

When we talk about Engagement in the customer service world, we’re either talking about Employee Engagement or Customer Engagement. And since “Engagement” is a buzzword nowadays, we need to have an understanding of what it really means.

Engagement in business essentially means the level of commitment that an employee or customer has with a business – it often has an emotional component or a tendency toward positive action/participation on the part of the engaged individual.

It goes beyond caring, but it’s based in caring. To take action, to have positive emotion, to be involved and attentive, the starting point is caring about that with which you’re engaged.

But it’s more than caring. One easy way to picture an Engaged community of customers or of employees is to picture the opposite – apathy. If you had apathetic customers, you’d have to bombard them with communications, marketing, offers, and enticements to patronize your business because otherwise they just wouldn’t care.

If you have apathetic employees, when they show for work, the quality and timeliness of what they do, and the attitude they convey to others would essentially be irrelevant to them. It would be all about them, and nothing about the organization.

Organizations should want engaged customers – those customers who are inwardly compelled to be a part of the company. Organizations need engaged employees – those proactively offering ideas and making decisions in the best interest of the company and customer alike.

For Employees
As an employee of an organization, you should want to be engaged. You should want to care enough to initiate positive change, to take ownership over customer needs, to make your organization look good, and to come up with the next great idea.

Ensure your values are in sync with those of your company. Make sure your company’s vision is worth achieving. Look at your customers and co-workers, and decide whether these are individuals you want to help. Get engaged with your company, or look for an opportunity where you can get more fully engaged.

For Businesses
Create values and a vision worthy of engagement. Then, look to hire and promote those individuals who can personally align with the organization’s purpose, how it operates, and where it wants to go.

Be a part of an Engaged Community.

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