Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 17

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

When Contracts are Ending, Decisions are Pending

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

In the recent article Landlords must focus on customer service, landlords in Nottingham, England note how they are focused more and more on customer service. With the down economy, they’ve been forced to shorten the length of leases, which means the customer’s decision to stay or go is made much more quickly and frequently. According to Anna Kirk of King Sturge, “tenants, in the main, hold the balance of power.”

So the customer holds the power. The customer makes the decision. The customer – your revenue stream – has leverage. For a landlord, the tenant’s leverage increases as the length of the lease decreases.

Likewise, for economic development agencies who have a business retention and expansion program, when local businesses’ leases are up, that’s an opportunity for them to move.

Similarly, when a season ticket holder for a sports organization comes to the end of the season, they have to decide whether or not to renew.

The point is that – whether with the landlord, for a local municipality, or for a pro sports team – when contracts are ending, decisions are pending. Revenue streams are not permanent; you have to work to make them continue. You have to work to build relationships and value during the contract term so that you’re not having to sell so hard at the end.

Having a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month contract with a client should be looked at as a 3-month, 6-month, or 12-month opportunity to build rapport, relationship, trust, and credibility. You should be executing a plan during that timeframe to result in a renewal at the end.

So what’s your plan?

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/


Customer Service Complexity Increasing – Here’s One Reason Why

Posted on in Business Advice, Government 1 Comment

In the Environmental Ladder article “Smart Customer Service for a Smart Grid World,” the writer talks about how most call centers at utilities spend the majority of their customer interactions addressing basic questions about bills, transfers of service, payment plans, etc. But as the utilities’ technology advances such as in the use of the smart grid and real-time data and information shared by consumer and utility alike, things change.

With knowledge comes, power – right? Well the information provided to the consumer, and the choices that the information offers create questions from the educated consumer for the utility. If consumers are more educated on how to manage their power day-to-day, what their consumption is, how to modify power plans, then the more questions they can ask of the customer service representative. The consumer can request more changes; they can better challenge utility decisions.

You see, an educated customer can create work for the business. In the grand scheme of things, this is great. We want consumers educated, having more data upon which to evaluate a service or a supplier. But businesses must realize that more information means that the customer’s expectations will change, their demands will rise, their ability to compare competitive businesses increases.

So businesses need to ensure that their staff understand that the FAQs (frequently asked questions) of the past may no longer apply. And today’s questions may differ from tomorrow’s. Companies need to be more agile in understanding what customers are asking about over the past week and must have plans in place for quick training of staff or quick communications out to consumers to answer those ever-changing FAQs.

Increases in customer knowledge can create increases in complexity for the customer service staff.

Make sure your education and training of your customer service representatives is staying ahead of the education of your customers.

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/


BRE-vity is the Soul of Wit

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

Do you remember the quote from your high school literature class – “Brevity is the soul of wit”? Basically, Shakespeare meant that clear and intelligent discussion (and wit, of course) usually involves concise wording. In other words, don’t be long-winded. Keep it short. You make better points when you use fewer words.

For Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) organizations, brevity is paramount in data gathering, analysis, reporting, and prioritization. Typically economic development staff in local municipalities, chambers, or other agencies must try to stay on top of what’s going on in hundreds or thousands of local businesses. These BRE groups must do it with limited staffing and resources. So they must be focused, highly prioritized, and efficient. They must have a clear strategy on who to visit versus survey versus monitor using more passive means. They must leverage partnerships, understand when to outsource research, determine ways to gather data on local businesses in as little time as possible, and prioritize.

The analysis of all data collected needs to be as automated as possible, and reporting needs to let a few key metrics (about the company’s jobs/tax/fees impact on the community and its risk of job loss) guide prioritization, actions, and future contacts.

If you’re in an organization that is asked to manage a large client base with a small staff base, learn from BRE organizations.

Focus on how to optimize effort to maximize impact.

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/