Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 10

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Apply Selfless Service – 12/7/21

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

Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process.

One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to ask prospective employees was “Are you selfless?”  The answers that she received from applicants often made her either laugh or cry.  One response was “Why do ask that?  What have you heard about me?”  Another response was “Yes I can be selfless.  What’s in it for me?”

It’s a tough question to answer if you are not a naturally selfless person.  But many people who excel in customer service excel because they are selfless.  They are very good at empathizing with others’ situations.  They are exceptionally good at trying to do what’s best for the customer or best for the company without focusing on the third option:  What is best for me?

People who are selfless try to do things based on others’ needs and issues and goals.  And they make decisions based on what’s best for the person they are trying to serve.

Are you selfless?

To take it up a notch in our customer service approach, focus less on ourselves in conversations, and focus more on others.

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Caring Goes Beyond Competence – 11/30/21

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April went to get some routine car maintenance done at the local service center.  When they finished the oil change, she paid for the service, got her keys, went to her car, and opened the door.  As she was about to enter the car, she stopped.  Somebody had obviously vacuumed the floor mats.

Bonnie went to the hospital to visit her uncle.  She went to the 4th floor and stopped by the nurse’s station to ask which room was her uncle’s.  The unit secretary said “his room is the second door on the right.  We really enjoy caring for your uncle.  He’s a sweet man.”

Chuck brought his smart phone into the store because he was having difficulty understanding how to get some of the photo features to work.  After hearing Chuck’s description of his needs, the employee asked to take a look at the smart phone and said “Wow!  I love the case you have on the phone!” 

April, Bonnie, and Chuck all were provided a service or information.  In other words, an employee competently performed a task for the customer.  But each encounter was a little special.

April had that “Unexpected Positive Event” – what we refer to as the definition of a “WOW Experience.”  Bonnie wasn’t just given directions; she was provided with a feeling that her uncle was not only being cared for clinically as a patient, but her uncle was also cared about as a person.  Chuck wasn’t just a customer with a question to be answered; something about him – unrelated to the task at hand – made the employee go “Wow!”  And that compliment made Chuck feel special.

In delivering truly great customer service, go beyond the task.  Answering a question or addressing a need – showing that accuracy and competence – is a basic expectation; it’s important, but it’s the minimum the customer expects.  If you want the customer to feel valued or appreciated, say or do that little something extra.

Caring goes beyond competence.

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You Mostly Get What You Give – 11/23/21

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It is Thanksgiving week in the United States, so let’s talk “Thanks.

There’s a saying that You Get What You Give.  And while the goal of giving thanks should not be “To receive things,” getting something positive in return is often a nice byproduct of being appreciative of others.

It’s amazing that when I thank someone for some action they’ve taken, even if it is just “doing their job,” how many times they will pause and smile…or say Thanks…or say It’s my pleasure.  Sometimes they’ll expand and say why they enjoy doing what they’re doing.  And it makes me feel good when they stop for a moment and feel appreciation, and I can see they’re pleased to hear the thanks.

In this current world of ZOOM meetings, there are times when the meeting facilitator is seeking affirmation that people understood what she said or agree with the point…but there’s dead silence.  So, if I feel their uneasiness, I will give them the thumbs up.  I’ll make sure I verbalize that their plan sounds good.  I used to silently agree without stating it, but I’ve found that there are few mind readers in the world.  If I agree, I need to verbalize that support and appreciation.  They, in turn, get the affirmation they deserve.

There have been many instances with CSS, since we are a management consulting firm, where we were brought in by a client or business partner for a project.  I try to be as appreciative as I can for them trusting me and our organization to serve them or service their client on their behalf.  Likewise, when CSS brings in mystery shoppers, research partners, or subcontractors to do some work on behalf of CSS, I’m appreciative of those folks.  I know they’ve got lives and jobs and other responsibilities and priorities, so for them to carve out some time to do work for my clients – even if CSS is paying them – their effort and interest is much appreciated.

Through all this giving of thanks and appreciation, I’ve noticed that the tone of conversations becomes much more positive.  The dialogue is much more pleasant.  The relationships seem to grow more naturally and easily, and the collaboration seems to flow more smoothly.

So, you don’t always Get What You Give, but if giving includes a lot of thanks and appreciation for others, you have a great chance to get more positive and productive days.

Give to give, and watch what you’ll receive.

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