Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 15

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

Why Train to Retain in BRE…

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The University of Tennessee has created a course called “Business Retention and Expansion in Tennessee.” While that’s not the most creative course name (kind of like my company, Customer Service Solutions, Inc. isn’t the most creative name…), it clearly indicates what this course addresses – retention and growth of your existing businesses. The course touts statistics such as “79 percent of all new jobs in the state in 2009 resulted from the expansion of existing business and industry.” That stat could apply to most any business – most of your revenue comes from existing clients.

So economic development organizations should have strategies, research, and training to be intentional about that business retention and job growth. Unfortunately, many communities make assumptions about retention such as:

· “We have no control over whether businesses stay or leave, whether they expand here or elsewhere.”

· “Nobody would leave our community.”

· “If there was an issue, the business leader would call me.”

· “I know everybody and everything going on in the community; so I’ll know if there’s something that’s an issue to a local business.”

These are all assumptions – assumptions that can get a community in trouble. And these assumptions apply to anybody who is managing accounts just like BRE representatives manage relationships with multiple local employers.

You have to believe you can make an impact. You have to understand that businesses might leave. You have to be proactive and not assume that businesses are going to contact you in time to help them. And you cannot assume you know all that’s going on in your local businesses.

Local economic development agencies need training and guidance in how to build relationships with local employers, how to proactively reach out to them, how to respond when needs and issues arise, and how to grow their jobs base.

Don’t make assumptions about retention and growth. Get the training, research, and strategy development you need to succeed.

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/


The Single Biggest Key to Retention and Expansion

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

You’re the customer. Do you feel that I care about you?

That’s it…that’s the key to retention. Making that person feel that you care about them. There are many ways to do this, but I’m going to go beyond the obvious discussion of eye contact, body language, tone of voice, and the words you use.

This is about strategy. This is about understanding that when the customer makes the decision to go to a competitor, they’re usually driving down the road, they’re doing a search on Google, they’re reaching for the yellow pages (yes, some people still do that), or they’re at their kitchen table. In other words, when they make that decision to leave, they’re often not in front of you.

So this strategy is about relationship building. As an example, I always like to discuss economic development organizations who are trying to keep local employers through their Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) programs. They’re great examples because these organizations have little direct control over the decisions of the local businesses, and those businesses aren’t going into the “BRE Store” 3 times a week, so the BRE professionals must know how to establish relationships with local businesses by going to the local businesses. They must meet with them, or send surveys, or send information of value, or send “marketing/sales/retention-focused” materials, or e-mail and call the business leaders.

This all needs to be part of a 12-month Touch Point Plan – a strategy you efficiently and systematically design and execute each year. Anybody in any business that depends on retention and growth with existing businesses needs a 12-month Touch Point Plan. You have to develop a plan to proactively “Touch” your clients even when they’re not in front of you. You have to take control over keeping the relationship going, keeping yourself top-of-mind, conveying you care.

We’ve taught many executives in professional basketball and professional soccer how to create these plans because their account representatives are having to manage hundreds of relationships and the resulting millions of dollars in lifetime revenue. Likewise, BRE representatives are maintaining relationships with businesses that employ thousands of staff, invest millions of dollars, and provide a significant tax and fee base for the local economy.

How do you create a plan? Well first determine 3 key types of touches:

· Pull – Information you request of them through surveys.

· Value Push – Information you provide that is simply valuable to the recipient and would address their retention drivers.

· Growth Push – Information you provide that would help them to grow their relationship with your organization.

Then build 3-4 of each touch type into a 12-month Touch Point Plan.

The key to retention is simple to identify, but the plan to retain must be created and executed in a strategic manner. So what’s your plan?

Interested in more information about Touch Point Planning? Go to: http://www.cssamerica.com/csstpp.htm

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

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

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


Business Retention & Expansion – The Process That Drives Your Top Line

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In news articles that come out on a daily basis, business retention and expansion successes are touted. Oftentimes, these articles announce an expansion of a plant, consolidating functions from other locations to the local facility, or moving into a larger local facility.

But for all these good things to happen, they don’t simply occur on their own. Most local municipalities today have (or fund) an economic development organization to help drive these successes. Many of these EDOs have a dedicated Business Retention and Expansion program. We work with several BRE organizations and have identified some of what makes for a great BRE program. Review these keys, and apply them to your business:

· BRE organizations need to be great at quick issue resolution. Can you efficiently link your customers with somebody who can resolve them, or how quickly can you resolve issues yourself?

· The best of BRE Programs view their role as relationship-building. They define and execute 12 month Touch Point Plans to continually pull/push information to local business to learn about them, understand their retention drivers, and look for growth and partnering opportunities.

· BRE organizations need a focus on efficiency. Just like most account representatives in business today, BRE representatives have too many clients to truly know all deeply and personally. They have to prioritize communications, touches, and retention efforts for maximum staff time efficiency and maximum retention and growth of jobs

Learn from the Business Retention and Expansion leaders, and use these keys to continually develop client relationships and grow your community and your business.

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

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