Government | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 6

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

Investigate for FACTS - 7/12/22


Sometimes the issues that we deal with don’t have an immediate resolution.  There’s unknown information and conflicting stories.  Many individuals are involved, or possibly whoever is involved is not available.  You have to investigate. For situations where you have to be clear on what occurred, make sure you’re gathering all Read more

Become a Great Teacher - 7/5/22


Are you one of those people who really liked school?  School is always made more enjoyable by great teachers and professors. Do you love sports?  Many coaches in football and basketball, in hockey and baseball view themselves as teachers…teaching the game they love to their team. True leadership is about growing Read more

Don’t Assume Their Motivation - 6/28/22


The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time. At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader Read more

It’s Not Always About the Outcome - 6/21/22


We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.” But all those great Read more

Ask: What is your goal? - 6/14/22


Through these Tips, we’ve shared our technique about how to meet the customer’s need right the first time.  It’s a conversation – a give and take with the customer where you hone in on what their true need or concern is, seeking more clarity to more quickly get to Read more

Make it Sincerely Yours - 6/7/22


I’d like to hear more.  I’m sorry about the situation.  Resolving your issue is important to me.  We appreciate your business.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention. These phrases are generally well-received depending on the situation.  But we want to make sure when we’re speaking to others that Read more

From Lament to Leading the Way – 3 Steps to BRE-Building

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

I was having a conversation with an economic development professional (a Business Retention & Expansion manager), and he was sharing his organization’s approach to retaining and growing with existing local companies. It started positively, and then the more he talked, the more he described his issues:

  • He wanted to a “real” and robust BRE program.
  • The current program was too limited to conducting site visits once/year with key businesses.
  • He wanted “to have a continual dialogue with companies.”
  • He needed to more quickly use the results of the interviews in issue-resolution for the client and community.
  • There’s no system to their relationship-building with companies. It was too much of a task-focused endeavor.

Much of what the BRE professional was lamenting is common in the industry. Too much work, and too little time. So the focus is on hitting a targeted number of site visits, helping when issues arise in a manner that’s not efficient or systematic enough, having large lag time between gathering information and acting on well thought out strategies, and getting activities done more than relationships developed.

This is common…but it doesn’t mean it’s the step to greatness.

To take that next step, even if staffing resources don’t increase, several other aspects of the program should change:

  • BRE programs need to have a mix of research activities; overreliance on site visits (the most labor-intensive data collection method) reduces capacity for issue-resolution, planning, and real relationship development. Phone/web-based surveys, and BRE News Research are efficient ways of complementing site visits.
  • Creating 12-month Touch Point Plans helps organizations build client knowledge and relationships, often without having to take a step onsite. These need to be developed/executed to make relationship-building happen on an ongoing basis.
  • Developing resource databases and detailed search capabilities such as exist in some BRE applications expedites identification of people/grants/processes/services that can be used to impact business needs and issues. These databases can also expedite the sharing of resources with the business itself.

If you’re lamenting the difficulties in moving your BRE program to greatness, take these 3 great steps.

See more BRE blog posts at: http://brebuzz.com/bre-blog-posts/


Customer Service Wisdom from a Retiree-to-be

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

When you retire, you get reflective. And with reflection, you sometimes come up with nuggets – words of wisdom.

Brenda Fraser is a County employee retiring from 37 years of service, and in the article Face of Hernando County government says customer service, good hires were keys to success, she addresses some of the difficulties in serving customers as a local government employee. Fraser noted that “The hardest part of her job has been ‘communicating to people when it was something that was not positive, communicating that the county really does care. We understand there is a problem. We’re not being cavalier.’ Frazier said she knows, from her view on the inside, that county employees care and work hard. That has made the last few years difficult, she said, as employees have been the subject of public criticism — at a time when many also feared they could lose their jobs because of budget cuts.”

There’s several key points in those words:

  • First, when something’s not positive, you must communicate with the customer about it; also, it pays to be proactive so you can have some control over what’s discussed, where and how.
  • Second, don’t just do a task for a customer and expect them to know you care. Most customers want to be treated as something that’s far more than a cog on your assembly line; therefore, you have to think beyond the task; you have to convey you care about the person for whom you’re doing the task.
  • Third, we need to be empathetic with staff. When constantly preaching about the need for great customer service that they need to deliver to customers, we have to understand that their morale impacts their attitude. Leaders need to take ownership over their role in keeping morale and spirits high since employee feelings will flow to the customers.

When you think about how to deliver great service, remember to be proactive, communicate that you care, and be a spirit-builder with staff.

Did you like this post? Here are other government-related posts:

Learn about our CSS Government services at: http://cssamerica.com/cssgovt.htm


For BRE, Get Your Hands on the Plans

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

If you deal with a customer base of businesses, you have a very specific opportunity not enjoyed by those whose customers are consumers. We’re talking about getting your hands on their plans.

As an example of this, go to this BRE Sample Surveys/Reports page, and click on “Raymond Terrace.” This includes a PDF document that provides the results of a Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) survey conducted by an economic development organization in Australia. On Pages 16-18, there are questions of local businesses asked about the companies’ business plans, succession plans, and marketing plans. It’s important for BRE professionals to know if these plans exist because that can be an indicator of potential company success or impending change – key pieces of intelligence if you’re trying to retain and grow your local businesses.

But even more important than knowing that these plans exist is for these BRE professionals get their hands on those plans. What do the plans tell you about a company’s Vision, strategic goals, anticipated changes, potential supplier needs, facility constraints, and perceptions of how much their future involves your community?

Anybody wanting to save and grow relationships with their business clients needs to think long-term. A sales mentality is often focused short-term, on getting a transaction closed. A service and retention mentality is focused on keeping who you have over time. And one of the best ways to put that long-term mindset in place is to best understand your business client’s long-term plans.

Get your hands on the plans.

For more helpful BRE information, go to http://brebuzz.com/