Education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 10

When You Can’t Say “Yes to the Address” - 2/7/23


I was interviewing a frontline staff person for one of our local government clients recently as part of our CSS Training Development Process.  They described their customers and the difficult situations that they face, their tougher conversations with customers. This individual supports local events, so there’s a lot of planning involved.  Read more

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Yakima Says Yes to Retention

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Retention is vital to business growth. And retaining a customer can refer to the season ticket holder for the pro basketball team, the resident for the cable television company, the local employer for the community, and…the community college student in Yakima, Washington.

In the Yakima Herald Article, Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC) was recognized by a national non-profit organization for its great student retention rates. The semester-to-semester retention rate increased from 75% to 81%. According to Tomas Ybarra, vice president of Instruction and Student Services, "Our new student orientation is definitely bearing fruit right now. In addition to fall-to-winter retention, also seeing increases in fall-to-fall retention (a full academic year). That’s encouraging."

So once again, we’re seeing an example of organizations successful in retention focusing hard on the new customer. In most businesses, retention is most at-risk for new or first year customers. To address this, YVCC delivers an orientation course that makes students more comfortable and confident in navigating the facility and processes and enjoying the experience. The orientation helps to create the ability for a new student to have as positive an experience as a long-term student.

So what’s your retention rate? Do you know it? If not, calculate it; if it’s 80% as an example, calculate the financial impact of not having the business from that lost 20% for the next year or two or three. That will make retention much more important from a financial perspective.

So how do you quickly try to create comfort and confidence in your first time customers? View them differently from your repeat customers. Create a plan to get the first timers knowledgeable of and pleased with the experience as quickly as possible.

Learn why Yakima says “Yes” to retention, and how it makes success from the Yes.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Contractors Determine Your Reputation?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education, Sports Please leave a comment

Columbus City Schools are coming under scrutiny recently because of their bus system. Do buses sometimes pickup/drop-off late? Yes, but no K-12 system is perfect.

What has made them come under scrutiny is that the school system apparently doesn’t know how often buses are on time. Why? According to an article on dispatch.com, it’s because the service is outsourced, and the vendor doesn’t supply that information.

While the school tracks complaints (what we call “external” metrics of performance, since the data is collected from an external source – the parent), there are few internal operational metrics (like departure, arrival, on-time performance) reported within the school system.

This is a microcosm of what organizations need to be wary of when they privatize, outsource, or contract out services. Having an outside organization provide a function does not allow a business to abdicate responsibility for the quality, timeliness, or service-level of that function. To the customer, that contractor IS your business.

We’ve worked with many sports organizations, and a common issue for them is the staff who provide security or take tickets or man the concession stations or serve as ushers are rarely employees of the teams, but they often have a huge impact on the customer’s experience.

When you contract out to others, make sure you have metrics in place to measure their performance. Make sure you have processes in place to ensure their quality. Make sure you train them on your customer service standards and philosophies. Make sure you – whenever possible – have service-level agreements which require them to perform to a certain level to get full compensation.

Make sure if the contractor’s performance can determine your reputation, that you’ve done everything possible to ensure that performance is great.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Who is Your Retention Director?

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Lamar University was just nominated for an award by the State of Texas. In the article titled “Mentoring program selected as finalist for Texas Higher Education Award” (http://www.lamar.edu/newsevents/news/207_8985.htm), Lamar’s African-American Male Professional Connections Mentoring Program is in the running for the prestigious award.

There are two especially interesting points in the article. First, the person interviewed from Lamar references how the sense of community on-campus (while the individual is a student) helps to lead to long-term involvement of alums post-graduation. So that sense of community is a huge driver of retention.

Second – and equally as compelling – is a point only referenced once in the article but which is key to any successful retention program. The individual from Lamar who was interviewed is the “Interim Associate Provost for Student Retention.” That’s right, his title puts him in charge of retention.

Think about all the initiatives that organizations have underway to improve the customer experience, or to retain students, to renew season ticket holders, or to enhance customer service. The ultimate goal of each is client retention and growth. But who is truly accountable in your organization for client retention and growth? Is it a committee, a team, a group…anybody?

By having someone with the title, an accountability structure is put in place, priorities are set, resources are dedicated, time is allotted. In other words, this University must be serious.

Make sure your organization is serious about retention. Make sure you have a designated team or person who is your Mr. or Ms. Retention.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more information at: http://www.cssamerica.com/

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/