Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 12

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

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

Would Poor Customer Service Make You Run for Office?

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The article Livingston County registrar of deeds faces ‘rude’ challenge notes how a Michigan resident decided to run in an election for the Register of Deeds for Livingston County because – as part of the reason – the customer service in the department is terrible. Staff are “definitely rude,” according to the candidate.

It’s interesting to read the article because – in order to get votes – this individual is attacking the very people she would be leading. It’s also interesting that the incumbent defends herself by talking about all the process improvements she made without addressing any efforts she made to ensure that the staff themselves are customer service-oriented (i.e., to ensure they’re NOT rude).

If I tried to run for office or (for private sector companies) take over every organization that provided poor customer service, I’d be taking over a whole lot of businesses. So I’m not suggesting that what this one resident is doing is a path that must be taken, but here’s what I am suggesting.

The two candidates – in total – are correct. Customer service is about employee attitudes, processes, systems, and communications. Improving customer service is about addressing those items, but it’s also about other things.

It’s about helping the customer to help themselves. It’s about trying to determine why you get repetitive questions and determining how to reduce those questions through improved customer education. It’s about learning why you get complaints, determining root causes, and not getting those same complaints again.

Learn a little lesson from this Michigan election. Customer service is important; it could cause the incumbent their job. It could propel an outsider into a new position.

So if it’s so important, know how to manage the demand for customer service, and get into continuous improvement mode.

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


Linked at the Hip – Business Retention and Long-term Thinking

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

If you care about winning a battle, focus on today. If you care about winning the war, think beyond tomorrow.

In far too many businesses, companies focus too much on today’s battles. They get so immersed in making this one sale, in closing this one transaction, in getting through these operational steps, that they find themselves with the same one sale, one transaction, and one step-orientation the next day.

So what’s the problem with that? The problem is that caring almost exclusively about today doesn’t help you to plan for tomorrow, to think strategically, to think long-term, and to succeed long-term. It doesn’t help you to research, study, and anticipate what you customers will do, how the environment will change, and what your competitors will do.

This conundrum is no different in the world of economic development. Too many communities are too focused on new business acquisition and don’t invest enough resources or planning on how to retain and grow the companies already located in their jurisdiction. This is where effective Business Retention & Expansion programs come into play.

Communities that care about the long-term, realize it’s not all about the hunt, the new business, the relocation. It’s about keeping what you have and growing them. It’s about having strategies to ward off other jurisdictions recruiting their businesses. It’s about becoming as vital to the businesses as the businesses are to the community.

Mooresville, NC economic development groups created ‘Moving Mooresville Forward 2017’. According to a recent article, the strategy has 5 key initiatives:

  • Business retention/expansion/acquisition
  • Creating an environment for small business growth
  • Workforce development
  • Transportation planning
  • Creating a business environment and quality of life that fosters individuals’ and businesses’ desire to stay.

Note how these initiatives are focused mostly on what you currently have – your businesses, your environment, your employees, your infrastructure, your quality of life. Mooresville realizes that it must create an environment that fosters retention and expansion, and that same environment would be of interest to companies seeking relocation options from elsewhere to Mooresville.

When you want to succeed for the long-term, plan how to enhance, retain, and grow what you have instead just focusing on today’s sale, today’s transaction, and today’s task.

Check out our BRE News Research Services: http://cssamerica.com/cssbrenews.htm

Listen to our latest podcast episode on “Delivering the WOW Experience!”

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


The Good, the Bad, and the Needed of Municipal Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The Tulare County (California) government has launched a new customer service program. According to Fifth District Supervisor Mike Ennis in the article County unveils customer service program, “Customer service is the lifeblood of any successful business, including local government. Thousands of residents utilize Tulare County services every day. These residents expect and deserve great customer service.”

We’ve worked on improving customer service for local municipalities for over ten years, and we’ve seen the Good (a county IT department going from “worst to first” in customer service), the Bad (employees who bring bad attitudes into training because “it’s not like the residents have a choice”), to the Needed (municipalities lacking customer service standards and plans) of municipal customer service.

And as with many businesses, when organizations do start to focus on customer service, the first thing they think about is training. While training is important, it should never be the totality of a customer service program. The ultimate goal of any customer service program is to provide consistently high levels of customer service to internal and external customers.

To gain that comprehensive focus, training is important – it creates a baseline definition of core expectations, principles, and service skills for employees. But the consistency comes from having a customer service vision defined, having management model the way, having organizational structures, incentives/accountability systems, processes, measures, communication plans, and ongoing reinforcement all aligned toward that vision.

When you think of creating a “customer service program,” don’t just fallback to training as a panacea. Ensure you’re doing all you need to do to truly create a culture of customer service.

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/