Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

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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