Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 22

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

Capitol Customer Service

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The White House held a forum with dozens of CEOs last week, and the topic moved to customer service. The government was trying to learn how to be more customer-friendly, and they were particularly interested in what Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly, had to say.

Now I know many of you are thinking such things as “it’s about time!” or “isn’t that an oxymoron – government customer service?” But one particular reaction might be “why would a government agency turn to an airline for advice?”

The answer is the same reason why an airline would turn to NASCAR – the stock car racing league – for advice.

You may have heard the story of the airline that was trying to improve the speed and efficiency with which it “turned” planes at the gate. So where did they go to determine how to improve? They went and met with NASCAR pit crews to observe, talk, and learn about how they could do so much so fast so effectively in a 5, 10, or 15 second pit stop.

Kelly suggested at the forum that to satisfy customers, “It’s more important for us to be on time and have great employees…than offer frills.”

In other words, do what you do with great efficiency and great attitudes, and that’s more important in engendering customer loyalty than offering a perk or two.

The next time you’re trying to get better, to learn, to grow, don’t just look at yourselves or at an organization just like you.

Benchmark with the best, regardless of industry.

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


The Servant Mindset

Posted on in Business Advice, Government 1 Comment

A county manager talks about staff needing to have a “Servant Mindset” with the community. He is talking about government workers on the local level in tax collections, parks, social services, and the health department being servants of the residents of the community.

That’s his way of describing customer service. That’s his way of sharing his mental image of what it means to provide customer service.

To many people, this conjures up the image of someone subservient to the other, someone who defers to the other, someone dressing fancy, saying “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” and catering to the other person’s every whim. Could that possibly be the image he is referencing?

Well…yes.

We know that many government workers have a bad reputation for being slow or inconsiderate or even rude at times. And that reputation – fair or not – has to be turned around; changing that perception is not going to happen purely from some slick marketing or branding campaign. It has to happen through the thousands and thousands of interactions that occur on a weekly basis. That perception has to be changed through the reality that residents experience on a daily basis. It has to be based on each call, or e-mail, or face-to-face interaction which the community experiences. At some point, for government entities (and most businesses), reality is the ultimate determinant of perception.

So the manager strives to impact those interactions by impacting the mindset of each employee. If the employee takes the attitude that “I need to defer to the other” and “I need to dress professionally” and “I need to be respectful in what I say and how I say it,” then how that employee is perceived by the customer will improve. This mindset creates an underlying feeling in the conversation that the customer is important, they are being served, and they are being respected.

The next time your company is coming up with the next big thing to impact your perception and your brand, start first by impacting the mindset that each employee has toward their relationship with their customer.

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


When Mayors Get It Right

Posted on in Government Please leave a comment

The new mayor had taken office, and she had appeared on many different local television shows and radio shows. It seemed like every time she spoke, she spoke about the importance of retaining jobs. She spoke about the importance of keeping local businesses.

It was amazing to hear, and yet it was not amazing to hear. It was amazing to hear in the sense that very few politicians ever talk about retaining jobs. Sure, they are more than willing to promote the next new local headquarters or the company that is moving a facility to their jurisdiction. But rarely do politicians talk about the importance of retaining jobs and companies in the future.

The reason why it was not so surprising is that the local economy had lost some major employers recently, and there was an increasing sense of concern permeating the community about the loss of more jobs.

Just like with any private sector business attempting to retain clients, government entities need to have strategies focused on retaining their local businesses and local jobs. These strategies involve having an organizational structure setup that is continuously touching base with local businesses in key industries to ensure they are getting their needs met. This strategy includes ongoing research by directly contacting companies as well as more passive research where the municipalities are gathering information on local businesses about leadership changes, changes in company performance, facility changes, and industry trends. That strategy includes making sure that there are incentives in place to help with economic development for companies willing to expand and stay locally so that those incentives can fend off other jurisdictions offering relocation incentives.

It’s sad that it takes a bad economy to get politicians to talk about business retention, but if it does nothing else, it proves that every local job, every local business, and every industry impacted by local business is important.

Make sure that your jurisdiction has a sound strategy for business retention and expansion.

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