Government | 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

Compete for Businesses by Making Them Competitive

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the article Lakeshore and Crossroads chambers collaborate on economic development, it’s stated that “The LCEA’s short-term objectives of the business retention and expansion surveys are: 1) to demonstrate community support for local businesses by conducting personal interviews, and 2) to assist with any immediate business concerns. Long-term objectives include: 1) build capacity to sustain business growth, 2) increase competitiveness of local businesses, and 3) establish and implement a strategic plan for economic development.”

To interpret these objectives, in the short-term get to know your businesses well, get them to know you, and help them resolve problems. Be the group that breaks down barriers to local success. In the long-term, there has to be a little of a “build it and they will come” mentality, where there has to be community capacity of people and facilities for expansion. At the same time, local communities need to help local companies be competitive. And that’s where we dig deeper…

What can you control? What can you impact that makes your businesses more competitive?

Keep in mind that Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) executives can’t personally make their local businesses’ equipment, man their call center, or work on their assembly lines. When companies try to be more competitive, they want to manage costs, improve productivity, reduce throughput time, improve the work environment for their employees (since they compete for personnel), become more nimble when expansion opportunities arise, and be able to more easily work with suppliers. So how can your BRE program impact your businesses?

  • Manage costs? Think about taxes and fees, roads and infrastructure, technology needs.
  • Improve productivity? Consider workforce training resources, job postings, etc.
  • Reduce throughput time? Streamline permitting functions or – again – look at the infrastructure.
  • Improve the work environment? Improve the quality of life in the community, schools, parks, etc. Share best practices from other employers.
  • Become more nimble? Identify facilities that are currently vacant or are soon-to-be, and create strategies to match them to employer needs quickly.
  • More easily work with suppliers? Identify needs for suppliers, and develop a local business environment (and local businesses) that can provide those needed materials, products, and services.

To keep local businesses, you have to compete for those businesses. Compete for businesses by making them competitive.

Interested in gaining intelligence on your local businesses? Check out http://brebuzz.com/


What Great Customer Service Looks Like in Government

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Have you ever tried to find a store or a restaurant in the downtown of a city for the first time? Maybe it’s a Mom and Pop shop like “Bobbie Sue’s Creamery,” but you don’t know the look of the building you’re seeking. Now what would make finding the business easier? Imagine if you knew that the Creamery had a giant sugar cone on the outside with a spoon of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream in it – yum! That would be MUCH easier to find…

In customer service, the same issue arises. We’re told to be great! But the only examples we’re given are Disney, Nordstrom, and the Ritz-Carlton. So if we don’t work for an amusement park, a high-end retailer, or a luxury hotel, it’s difficult to make the connection, to have that vision of how great customer service looks.

So let’s take an example of great customer service from a municipality for government employees to consider. In the article City employee honored for going extra mile, Karen Heyduck is recognized for great customer service. And what does that great customer service look like from an individual in local government? Consider these key points from the article. Ms. Heyduck:

  • Responds to questions/requests quickly.
  • Is thorough in her response.
  • Has a positive attitude.
  • Smiles.
  • If she doesn’t yet have an answer, she tells you she’s working toward an answer.
  • Is consistent in the level of service provided.
  • Understands how to navigate processes, and helps the customer to do so.
  • Conveys confidence and knowledge without being condescending.

To be great as an individual, sometimes you have to make sure you first have a vision of greatness. Find your vision to begin moving toward it.

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

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/


Student Success Government-Style

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

Jerry Brown is all about Student Success…or is he?

In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Student Success Act of 2012. According to a press release from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, there are four major provisions:

  • Target “existing student services resources to support orientation, assessment and education planning services and lays the groundwork to expand these services as more resources become available.”
  • “Utilize a statewide system of common assessment once available, to improve consistency and efficiency within the 112-campus system.”
  • “Require colleges…to post a student success scorecard to clearly communicate progress in improving completion rates for all students and closing the achievement gap.”
  • “Require students whose fees are waived because of their economic need to meet minimum academic standards.”

If we wanted to break these down such that they apply to any college, the focus is on:

  • Ensuring first year students have a plan, knowledge, and comfort level to be successful.
  • More consistently assessing students.
  • Posting college performance metrics.
  • Expecting performance from students receiving funding.

The good of this Act is that it focuses on upfront orientation/education, transparency, competitiveness, consistency, and accountability.

The main negative is that it only does one thing that promotes Student Success – that upfront orientation and planning. That’s not necessarily a shortcoming of the Act, but it’s the reality of Student Success. Government cannot mandate or create Student Success. They can try to influence it with regulations, bills, or funding. But it’s up to the college and the student to create the Success.

And that Student Success relies on an organization truly understanding what helps each unique student to complete their education. That solution is unique to each college and each student.

So colleges may embrace these types of legislation, but the real results come from the internal process, cultural, programmatic, structural, and relationship-oriented changes that the colleges undertake.

Don’t blame or give too much credit to government for Student Success. It takes a college and its students moving toward the same goals to truly create Student Success.

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

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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


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