Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 6

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

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

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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 feelings and those accomplishments relate to outcomes.  And all too often, we do not control the outcome.

I did the best I could.

Sometimes we have to give ourselves some grace.  We have to realize that we’re not in control of the customer, our policy, our product, our facility, and oftentimes our process or the attitudes of our co-workers.

But there’s nobody in more control of us, than us.

So, if we do the best we could at preparing for the situation through training and practice and reading and learning and listening to others, we can feel good about that.  If we do the best we could in trying to understand the customer, we can feel good about that.  

If we think of potential solutions and we engage the customer and others to try to figure those out, if we tap into what our systems and our policies and our procedures have to offer, we can feel good about that.

The ultimate outcome or the feelings of others are things that we cannot control.

So, if we want to feel good personally regardless of the outcome, we need to do the best we can.  We can feel good about the effort and the actions, and not feel bad because we couldn’t create the perfect outcome.

Do the best you can to prepare and to engage and to try to help.  And instead of feeling bad about the outcome, try to feel a little bit better about the effort you put in preparing for that moment and putting that preparation into practice.

Feel good that you did the best you could.

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Ask: What is your goal? – 6/14/22

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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 the right solution.

But sometimes we start by wanting to offer our solution, thinking that’ll move the conversation along.  Sometimes we’ve heard some customer statements so many times in the past that we make assumptions that this customer’s situation is the same.  Sometimes we just ask close-ended questions, and we miss certain key details because we don’t ask the question in a way that uncovers those little nuances.

In other words, we are human, and sometimes we don’t handle the conversation as effectively as we should.  We have the best intentions, but the conversation doesn’t have the best outcomes.

So, when you’re thinking about uncovering the customer’s need, try to start more broadly, asking key questions before you narrow down to the specifics of the situation.

What’s important to you?  What is your goal?  What are those issues or concerns that you need resolved the most?  What are those one or two priorities for the future?  How are you hoping things will be different 6 months from now than they are today?

By asking these broader questions, it not only gives us some information, but it also helps us to frame our follow-up questions.  Because we understand what is top-of-mind for them, we can tailor our questions to get more details so that we can help them achieve their goals.

In addition, if we understand their goals, we can continually relate our solution back to how it will help them achieve their goals.  In other words, it’s easier to get them to buy-in to our solution because we’ve tailored it to address their priorities

To meet the needs right the first time, use broad-based questions to give them an opportunity to share, then align what you suggest to what they said.

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Make it Sincerely Yours – 6/7/22

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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 we avoid speaking like we’re just reading a script.  Oftentimes, the best word to describe how you should deliver this message is to deliver it Sincerely.

Now, what does sincerely really mean?  How can we be sincere, say something sincerely, and come across with sincerity?

Sincerity conveys that you are speaking the truth.  It suggests that that issue is important to you, that you are truly sorry, that you really do appreciate the customer’s business.

To sincerely convey a message is to impart to the other person that what you’re saying comes from the heart.   It conveys that what you’re saying is genuine – the words and emotions you’re conveying are real.

So it’s about speaking the truth…from the heart.

And sincerity avoids falsehoods, feigned concerns, condescension, or the impression that you are saying one thing but mean something else.

Go beyond the words with a customer, include a sense that you truly believe what you say, and convey you care for the other person and their situation – Make it Sincere.

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