Customer Service Tip of the Week | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

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

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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A Story of Willie and Aubrey – 2/8/22

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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 the shop.  Aubrey was greeted immediately by Willie, the shop owner.  Her first words were “Hi, I’m Aubrey Matthews.”  That’s all she had to say.

Willie was immediately excited, as he recognized the name and instantly knew that this was a long-distance customer.  They had never met, but Willie was so excited to meet Aubrey face-to-face and to talk.  They chatted and walked around the store together.  Though Willie had never met Aubrey and never heard her voice, he instantly knew who she was – a treasured customer.

Willie cared enough to know Aubrey’s name, her preferences, her “story.”  It made a huge impression on Aubrey, and Aubrey bought several items that day as well.

Now, what’s the lesson?

When you interact with a customer, don’t just think about their order or issue – think about THEM.  Who is the person you’re speaking with – what’s their story?

When you complete a call or transaction, document some of the personal side of the customer (Were they rushed, emotional, have some upcoming event?  What did you learn about them personally?).

When you then initiate a contact with a customer, don’t just consider the issue or service you’re going to discuss, consider the characteristics of the customer you’ll be talking with, as well.  Don’t view it as “Company” and “Prospect.”  View it as Willie and Aubrey.

Engage the customer as a unique individual.

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