Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Taking the BRE Pulse

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Blog 5-15-18In the recent article Annual ‘Take the Pulse’ business survey underway, the Chester County Economic Development Council promoted the launch of its business retention and expansion survey.  The CCEDC COO noted that “This annual survey is a tool we use to identify emerging trends and issues in our local economy. Coupled with other outreach programs like Engage! and our industry partnerships, we feel like we can really be proactive in addressing the needs of Chester County businesses.”

While the CCEDC is a somewhat large-scale economic development organization, conducting such surveys isn’t something that requires unlimited resources or time. It requires three (3) primary characteristics:

  • First, relationships with businesses that have been developed over time and will result in those companies being open to sharing their perspectives and plans.
  • Second, BRE representatives having an understanding of the link between community economic development goals and how research can help to foster broad-based strategies as well as business-specific Retention and Growth efforts.
  • Finally, a well-designed BRE survey that gives you the key attributes to prioritize those big picture initiatives and also uncover risks and opportunities with existing businesses.

For business retention and expansion programs that have limited resources, keep in mind the vital role that research plays in your efforts to retain and grow jobs with existing businesses. Work to  become systematic about acquiring the kind of intelligence that could help your community grow.

Interested in BRE Services?  Check out:  http://cssamerica.com/government/bre-news-research-services-brebuzz/ 


Government Opinions Driven by Bad Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

blog-10-3-16Have you ever had an issue with your water bill?  How about the appraised value of your home?  Concerned you’re overtaxed?  Did the building inspector fail to show up as planned?  Did the City leave your yard in a mess after digging up a water line?

These are all negative situations with local governments, but they don’t have to be entirely negative experiences.  There are 350 million people in the U.S., and local governments interact with all of them, so there are going to be issues, but often opinions of the government are not formed based on the issue itself.  Opinions are largely formed based on the employee’s reaction to the complaint.

In the article Water bills: City Council ‘displeased’ with customer service, numerous complaints about customer service at the City are noted.  However, although the situations dealt with unexpectedly high water bills, the complaints that rose to the level of City Council were about the City’s handling of the issue.

Customers complained that their issues were “ignored and brushed off by city employees” and “employees have (had) a short temper.”  And one Councilman noted “The thing about customer service is, if you have one bad experience, that’s what gets out.”

Unfortunately for local governments, their reputation for serving the community isn’t determined similar to many private sector businesses who try to “delight” the customers or create the “WOW” experience.

Reputation is created in the responses when questions and issues arise.

What is your organization’s response plan? How do you deal with the irate customer or the complaint?  How are staff trained, and what tools are they given to rectify the situation?

Don’t just focus on the creating the WOW.  Create a plan and an organizational personality that shines greatest when the complaints come flooding in.

Interested in learning how CSS supports local government customer service?  See more at:  http://cssamerica.com/government

 


What We Can Learn from IRS Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Blog 1-19-16In the article Report: IRS customer service lacking, the author shares the woes that customers/taxpayers have when working to get questions answered and issues resolved.  And while many people have heard customer service horror stories about the IRS, what’s most interesting about how the article is constructed is that the premise of poor customer service is based on data.

Only about 33% of callers can get through to the IRS.  Call hold time tripled from 2010 to 2015.

The IRS complained that this was due to budget cuts and increased demand for services because of Obamacare and other initiatives. And while all that may be true about the Federal Government, there is a lesson for every business as well.

What are those true operational measures that are indicators of customer service performance?  What if you identified those internal measures and (gasp) had to report them publicly?  I’m not talking about “97% customer satisfaction” as Geico touts.  I’m talking about real objective internal measures that get at processes and quality.

What is the hold time, the abandon rate, and likelihood of being transferred?  What is the quality of information provided in written correspondence, and how long does it take to get to the customer?  What did your business tell the customer to do and in what timeframe, and did it meet those expectations?  What is the reality of your customer experience as viewed through a Mystery Shopping Program, and did the Shop results mirror what management THOUGHT was the real customer experience?

Take a step back, and imagine if all your internal metrics were made public.  How would it make your business look to the customer…and to your competitors?

Put your measures and your customer experience through this reality check to find opportunities to raise your customer service performance.

Interested in improving your customer experience?  Visit the Customer Service Solutions website.


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