Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 16

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 the President Wanted to Mystery Shop

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

You may have read the articles that came out recently that addressed the Federal Government’s plans to call different physician practices as a prospective patient. These callers would not have asked questions for the true purpose of learning the answer or becoming a patient. These are mystery shoppers. These are individuals who call to see how certain questions are answered and how certain policies are applied.

Essentially what the Federal Government wanted to do was to determine if some physician practices are turning away patients or delaying their access to care/appointments if they do not have a preferred form of health insurance. It wanted to use these mystery shoppers to identify people who are not doing essentially what they’re supposed to be doing.

It’s interesting that many companies use mystery shopping in this “gotcha” manner. This is why so many employees are negative toward mystery shopping. They feel like it is something being done to catch employees doing wrong. Staff feel like the only reason why they’re being shopped is so they can be caught and dealt with in some kind of a punitive manner.

But mystery shopping done effectively tries to gauge consistency of service, responses, and processes across the organization, from person-to-person and facility-to-facility. Mystery shopping done right tries to identify what internal best practices exist so that they can be leveraged across the organization. Mystery shopping done right identifies organizations do great, and what organizations need to improve upon. And mystery shopping done right also includes sometimes contacting your company’s competitors to see where you have a competitive edge and where you’re falling short through the customer’s eyes.

So while we understand the Federal Government trying to identify who is doing things in the most appropriate way, we encourage you to have a broader perspective in the use of mystery shopping. Use mystery shopping to reward, recognize, find internal best practices, find areas which are opportunities for improvement, and find ways to beat your competitors.

Mystery shop to improve performance.

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/


Structured for Service?

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

Yet another company is caring about customer service, and this one is an Australian telco – Telstra. The organization is trying to get rid of its reputation for horrible customer service by – in part – creating a combined structure for its sales and service areas. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Telstra wants to “improve service, win customers, simplify processes and build new growth businesses.”

In short, it’s restructuring for the money. Who knows today if it will work for tomorrow, but the attempt has some key points that need to be addressed.

First, your organizational structure has a HUGE impact on customer service. We see this all the time with hospitals and pro sports teams alike. Two different departments talk to the same customer (i.e., patient or season ticket holder) at two different times. Does one department know what the customer just communicated to another department? Think “shift change” on a hospital unit or a handoff of a new sale to a season ticket account representative on a sports team. Is the organization structured for responsiveness and seamless communication?

The article also talks about how structures impact processes. If you’ve ever tried to get a permit to renovate a building or to add a deck to your home, you know about which I’m referring. How many different places do you have to go, people do you have to interact with, information sources you have to research to get the “okay” to do the work? The structure of most local governments emphasizes the efficiency of the siloed department above the efficiency of the overall process from the customer’s perspective.

To improve customer service, look at your structures and processes. Where do they hinder Service Excellence?

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/


The President is Pro-Customer Service – What This Tells Us

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the article Obama Calls for ‘Customer Service’ Improvements in Federal Agencies, it’s noted how the President signed an Executive Order “mandating that each agency consult with OMB to develop a plan within 180 days to improve the user experience of its customers.” At least some component of the plan involves leveraging technology for customer service improvements.

Now we could delve into the political reasons for a President addressing customer service, but that’s not the focus of this post. The focus here is what we can learn from their approach.

The government is typically not an early adopter of new business trends and technology, but the article points out that the benefit of that is that it can look at what’s worked (best practices) and what hasn’t worked in private industry to learn from the outcomes of others. So this is Lesson One – don’t rely on your own smarts when there are probably others (in similar industries or situations) who may have already blazed a trail, identified what works and what does. Find best practice organizations and learn from them.

Much of the Federal Government’s initiatives are focused on internally sharing information on the customer (i.e., you and me), becoming more integrated from a data-standpoint to become more efficient internally and consistent and responsive externally. This is Lesson Two. At some point, you have to look at all the systems, all that data that you have organizationally that relates to your customer and make sure it’s shared internally, easily accessible internally, fresh and accurate. You have to see a common picture of your customer no matter where you are in the organization.

Find best practices from others, and find a way to have all the siloed pieces of your organization sharing what they know about your customer. It can improve efficiencies, quality, and – oh yeah – customer 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/