Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 18

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

Another Great Example of “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill”

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In Halifax County, Virginia, the retiring Executive Director of Social Services, Betty Wells, reflected on her career. She’s quoted in the Gazette-Virginian article about how she viewed her job. Ms. Wells stated “I see my job as being one that I hire the staff that I think will be the best providers of customer service. Then train them to do their job, let them do their job, expect them to do their job and to do it in a professional way. The employees who work here try to treat everybody the way we would want to be treated.”

In a short statement, she described several keys to great customer service. First, hire people with a propensity to deliver great customer service. Don’t assume every prospective employee enjoys interacting with others, enjoys serving others, would rather meet the need of an individual than complete an administrative task. You’ve got to hire for the right attitude. It’s a lot easier to train someone in a skill than to re-wire someone’s attitude.

Second, formally train the staff – don’t just put them with a co-worker for a day of on-the-job training. Invest in creating a certain high standard of performance from your new staff. I used to work with Accenture (then Arthur Andersen) in the management consulting division. They sent all new hires to a college they owned in Illinois for 3+ weeks to train them in the skills they needed, the work ethic they desired, the culture they wanted, and the method of performing work they expected. While you may not have the time or funding available for 3 weeks of training, you need to devote enough training to ensure high productivity, adherence to key processes, high quality, and an understanding of the culture from Day 1.

Third, tell staff what you expect of them. Many staff complain (when they get their evaluations at year-end) that they didn’t know what was expected, or they didn’t know they weren’t meeting expectations. The more clear you are with your expectations of staff, the better the staff will meet them.

Finally, apply to Golden Rule of customer service to your job. Most recurring customers care how they’re treated, and more than 2/3rd of lost customers leave because they perceive you’re indifferent. You want others to care about you and your needs; treat others likewise.

Learn a little about customer service from this social services leader.

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/


Translate Customer Service into Business Success

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

As one state’s economic engine shifts into new industries and out of the growth industries of the past, relocation incentives are – as usual – a big point of discussion. How much should this state spend in incentives to get out-of-state businesses to build plants, move jobs, and relocate headquarters to this state?

While such incentives are common practice nationwide, some members of governmental think tanks believe that such incentives are overweighted toward new corporate recruitment. As Mr. Robert Atkinson, former Executive Director for the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington stated, “the [faster growing cities] don’t recruit companies. They grow them.”

How does this point relate to your business? Ask yourself, how do you retain your current customers? And more pointedly, how do you GROW your existing customer base? For local municipalities, it means investing in existing businesses so that it’s more cost-effective for companies to remain in their current locations than to relocate.

Translation for your business: Make your company of such value to the customer, that there is no significant financial reason to choose a competitor.

Also, smart municipalities work to strip away regulations and procedures that are burdensome to businesses while still maintaining a solid quality of life for individuals.

Translation for your business: Make it easy for the customer to do business with you. Strip away those policies and process steps that make it inconvenient to purchase your products and services. Make it easy for them to know how else to utilize your products and services. Then make it easy for them to purchase your products and services.

Finally, these municipalities try to get the businesses to become part of the fabric of their communities, strengthening the personal ties with the companies’ employees.

Translation for your business: Create personal relationships with customers that the best marketing collateral and slickest sales pitch cannot overcome.

Translate customer service into business success.

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/


Give Them a Vote

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In the Seattle Times article “Starting with citizen priorities builds a better budget in Redmond,” the Mayor of Redmond, WA, wrote about the local government’s budgeting process. While that’s not normally a cause for a customer service posting, the method described in the article (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2013081400_guest06marchione.html?prmid=op_ed) WAS customer-focused.

They inquired from the citizens what was most important to them in terms of the City environment. There were 6 priorities noted, and they were outcomes-oriented (“a vibrant business community; a clean environment; greater community connections; infrastructure investments to keep up with growth; a safe city; and a responsible government.”). To address these priorities, the City began focusing on customer service – and began to solicit employee suggestions to improve operations and expenditures.

The article continues to talk on about all the good they’ve accomplished, and I’m sure those details can be debated, but I won’t go there – this isn’t a political blog.

Where I will go is to the lesson learned from Redmond. There are times when your organization (like now for many companies) cannot be all things to all people. There are times when you can’t provide every service your customers want or every perk your employees desire. There are times when you have to say “No.” But one of the best ways to prioritize is to involve the people that will be impacted by the priorities you set.

If it’s a decision about a service your organization provides, bring customers into the decision-making process.

If it’s a decision about internal operations, the work environment, or employee motivation, bring employees into the decision-making process.

It’s easier to feel more confident that you made the right decision for the stakeholder if the stakeholder was a part of the decision.

Make customers and employees part of the process in making decisions that will impact them.

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

Check out our new customer service book at http://www.amigreatat.com/