Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

Redefine “Access” to Treat Customers Special - 11/29/22


One of our clients puts on major events throughout the country.  When we conduct post-event surveys, many of the attendees rave about the access they had to certain entertainers, locations in the venue, parking lots, or even information.  Others decry the fact that they lacked that access. This does pose Read more

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22


Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22


When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22


When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22


Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22


Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22


Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22


When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

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

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid – 11/8/22

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When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who felt valued and those who did not feel valued by the organization.

Empathize v. Defend. When the customers felt like the organization was listening to them, trying to understand their situation, trying to learn about their unique issue or goal or concern, the customer felt valued.  When dealing with an issue, if the customer felt like the employee was more focused on defending themselves or the policy or the procedure, the customer felt devalued.

Proactive v. Reactive. When the employee would suggest alternative options or provide a follow-up call to the customer, when the employee would share information about next steps, the customer felt valued.  However, if the customer had to reach out or they’d never hear from the organization, the customer felt devalued.

Work Together v. Win a Debate. When there was a need to be addressed or a goal to be achieved, if the customer felt like the employee was trying to figure out a way that they could work with the customer to identify a game plan, the customer felt valued.  When the customer felt like the conversation lingered too much on what facts were correct and which were incorrect, who was right and who was wrong in a particular situation, the customer did not feel valued.

Find Solution v. Deflect Blame. When the issue needed a resolution, if the employee was focused on figuring out what would work best for the customer, the customer felt valued.  However, if the customer felt like the employee was more focused on making sure they were not held responsible for the issue, the customer felt devalued.

Avoid being defensive, being purely reactive, debating the customer, and focusing on deflecting blame.

To help the customer feel valued, empathize, be proactive, work together, and find a solution.

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Appreciate to Appreciate – 11/1/22

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Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time?

It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker.

Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated?

It’s hard to value the customer when they’re late for the appointment, they’re not being respectful of you, or they didn’t bring in the information they were told that you needed.

Appreciate – Two Definitions

There are two core definitions of the word appreciate, and they go hand-in-hand.  One definition, essentially, is to understand.  You appreciate (understand) the situation, or you appreciate (understand) the position in which the other person finds themselves.

The other definition is to value, to respect, to have gratitude for the other.

Oftentimes it’s hard to value, respect, or have gratitude for somebody that is not doing their part, that is conveying a certain negative attitude that does not seem appropriate for the situation.

To help us avoid allowing that perception of the other person to negatively impact our own attitude, sometimes it helps to try to understand them…to try to appreciate the situation…to try to appreciate the position that they’re in at this moment.

The more we ask questions, listen to their words, and watch their body language – being inquisitive about their situation – the more we understand.  And the more we can understand somebody and begin to empathize with somebody, the easier it is to respect them, the easier it becomes to thank them, the easier it is to value them.

Take the time to appreciate what the other person is going through.  It helps us manage our emotions, and it can help us to appreciate them that much more.

Understand to Respect.  Appreciate to Appreciate.

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The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude – 10/25/22

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Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call because Sherry could hear only one voice.

The words of the employee were not clear because of the distance, and Sherry wasn’t the nosy type, so she didn’t listen too closely.  Yet, the call was interesting.  The employee was interesting.  Sherry’s perceptions were interesting.

All Sherry could discern was the tone of the employee’s voice.  But the tone was positive.  There were occasional laughs.  It wasn’t non-stop talking or non-stop silence.  Sherry could tell there was a good flow to the conversation.  The employee’s tone seemed to fluctuate, but it never got too loud.

Sherry began to draw conclusions from what she heard:  The employee seems pleasant, seems like a good listener.  They’re polite and have a good sense of humor.  The employee’s definitely interested in hearing what the other person has to say.  They’re not reading a script; instead, the employee is very conversational.

Who knows if Sherry’s conclusions are correct.  But it’s what Sherry perceived about the employee, felt about the employee.  And those conclusions, perceptions, and feelings were based solely on the employee’s tone-of-voice.

We often cite the statistic that studies have shown that – on phone calls…

86% of what one person perceives about the other’s personality is based on that person’s tone-of-voice.

Only 14% is based on the actual words.

Believe the stats.  When talking with others, keep in mind that the customer can hear your attitude through your voice.

Let your tone convey the perception of you that you hope to create.

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