Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 5

Don’t Assume Their Motivation - 6/28/22


The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time. At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader Read more

It’s Not Always About the Outcome - 6/21/22


We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.” But all those great Read more

Ask: What is your goal? - 6/14/22


Through these Tips, we’ve shared our technique about how to meet the customer’s need right the first time.  It’s a conversation – a give and take with the customer where you hone in on what their true need or concern is, seeking more clarity to more quickly get to Read more

Make it Sincerely Yours - 6/7/22


I’d like to hear more.  I’m sorry about the situation.  Resolving your issue is important to me.  We appreciate your business.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These phrases are generally well-received depending on the situation.  But we want to make sure when we’re speaking to others that Read more

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22


The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22


The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22


If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22


As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22


We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22


I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” – 12/14/21

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Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life…

They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I never got a call.  A salesperson promised what the company could do; the team that had to deliver the service could not meet the unrealistic expectations set by the salesperson.

In every situation, employees attempted to find an alternative solution. In not one case did anybody say “I’m sorry.”

That omission bugged me, and it took me a minute to figure out why.  Then it was clear – they looked for the solution without ever acknowledging the situation that caused the need for the solution.

None of these organizations acknowledged they’d done something wrong.  In not one of these cases did the person resolving the issue cause the issue, so maybe they didn’t want to admit guilt.

In situations like this, however, saying “I’m sorry” is not an admission of personal guilt.  It’s showing organizational accountability.  While I understand people don’t want to admit guilt (especially if they’re not “guilty” of anything), they could still say “on behalf of the organization, I apologize.”  By saying that, they’re not accepting personal responsibility, but they’re acknowledging that the organization caused the problem.

Some people won’t say “I’m sorry” because they feel it’s a sign of weakness.  But we shouldn’t view service recovery situations as battles where one person wins and the other loses.  Instead, we should look at it as an opportunity to save a relationship, to help a customer, to serve others, to retain their business.

It’s not a sign of weakness to admit fault.  It’s a sign of strength and humility to acknowledge an issue.

When your co-worker or your organization makes a mistake with a customer, make an apology a part of your response.

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Apply Selfless Service – 12/7/21

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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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