Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by 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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