Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 4

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence – 4/16/24

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When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help them to become more confident by taking away the fear of the unknown.

One step in the technique that we use to train our clients for these situations involves employees talking about themselves.  If you’re the person they’re interacting with to help them with their concern, it helps their confidence that things will get resolved if they become confident in you.  So, after listening to them and asking them questions about their situation, convey your understanding of their situation back to them so that they feel like you are understanding what they need.

Then…talk about yourself:

  • I’ve been working here for 10 years now, and I’m very familiar with the different types of solutions that will help you in this situation.
  • I’ve worked with several other clients over the last 12 months who had similar needs, so I’m confident we’ll be able to help you.
  • We’ve helped other customers with similar circumstances, so we definitely have some options for you to consider.
  • When I heard your story, it immediately reminded me of some other customers that we’ve helped through this process.
  • I can definitely help you with that. I’ve got a lot of experience in this particular area, so let’s talk about what we can do for you.

 
Customer service is all about serving others, conveying our understanding of others, showing some empathy.  But sometimes the best way to serve others – when they are anxious or nervous about something – is to find ways for them to feel more comfortable, become more confident.

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence.

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The Proven Value in What You Do – 4/9/24

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Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023.

In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value you provide to the organization through the customer service and great experience you provide to others.  Here are a few examples:

  • 87% of customers actively avoid buying from brands they don’t trust. You help to build the customer’s trust of your organization.
  • 60% of leaders say customer service improves customer retention. You help to retain customers.
  • 64% of leaders say customer service has a positive impact on their company’s growth. You help your organization grow.
  • 81% of customers say a positive customer service experience increases the chances of them making another purchase. You’re helping to generate repeat business.
  • In 2022, only 3% of U.S. companies were customer-obsessed, a decrease of 7% from 2021. By caring about the customer, you’re helping your organization differentiate itself from others.
  • 39% of consumers have less patience today than they did before the pandemic. You’re dealing with impatient customers so your bosses won’t have to.
  • 86% of consumers say showing empathy is powerful in building a strong relationship with the brand. When you show empathy, you’re helping the company to engender loyalty.

 
There is true value in what you do, not just to the customer, but to your organization, as well.

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A Tale of Two Texts – 4/2/24

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Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration.

She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, that meant she had to leave work mid-morning for the appointment.

Long Wait, Short Staffed

The last two times she went to the doctor’s office, she had a long wait, not getting her shot until 30 minutes after the scheduled time.  This day, she noticed there was only one person working the check-in desk and one person giving the shots (last month, there had been 2 of each), and that person giving the shots was also doing all the allergy testing. The employee was going 100 miles an hour, so Janet was not upset at him.

Janet could tell it was a staffing issue of some sort, so she asked the employee how to get in touch with the manager to discuss the wait.  Janet didn’t want to get the employees in trouble for the delay, but she wanted to voice her displeasure, and she also thought she might help the staff by conveying to the manager the negative impact on the patients with these lower staffing levels.

The employee said that the manager wasn’t available then, but Janet was welcome to text the two managers who shared weekday responsibilities.

Two Ways to Text

So, Janet texted the two managers, noting the delay, how it appeared that staffing was lower than it had been a month ago, and noted that the staff that were there were doing a really good job.  About 45 minutes later, the on-call manager replied: OK, I’ll get the schedulers to help find some help.

A few days later, Janet followed up with that co-manager to see if anything would be changing.  There was no reply.

When Janet went back to the office for her shot the following week, she encountered the exact same issues with lower staffing and longer wait times.  Again, she sent a text to the two managers, virtually the same as what she had sent the prior week except noting that this is the fourth straight week where this situation had occurred.

This time, the other co-manager replied within 10 minutes:  Good morning, Ms. Smith.  Thank you so much for your support and understanding. The staff are trying to do everything in their power to be on top of everything.  We are working on the schedule and the staffing.  For today, I’ve reached out to other team members to see if they can come in early to help with the delays.

True Story, Tip Lessons

These are actual texts from actual co-managers about actual situations that occurred in a healthcare setting.  Yet the empathy conveyed was so different.  The timeliness was so different.  A statement on what long-term action would be taken was different.  The conveyance of short-term action that had already been taken was different.

Maybe behind the scenes, the exact same action was taken or planned.  But in terms of what was conveyed to the customer, the first co-manager’s text could be interpreted as curt and impersonal.  The second co-manager’s text could easily be interpreted as personalized, empathetic, action-oriented, and strategic.

In customer service, it’s not only what we do on behalf of the customer that matters.  Often, it’s how we communicate our caring and the initiative we’re taking on behalf of the customer that matters just as much.

To provide better customer service, communicate your caring and your initiative.

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