Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 104

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

Don’t Wait on Fixing Waits

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

Where do you hear the loudest customer complaints in the typical hospital of today? It’s the Emergency Room.

“Why have I waited so long?!” “Why did that person on the stretcher go back to a room before me?! I was here first!” “I’ve been here 2 hours, and nobody’s told me anything!”

These complaints are pervasive, but they also point to the impact of customer service. Remember that customer service involves processes. Customer service is part employee attitudes/skills/knowledge, and the other part is process. How long something takes, how long are the waits, how efficient is a process, how redundant are the processes, how smooth the flow of information and people is or isn’t – those are all characteristics of process.

And whereas businesses spend lots of money every year to have employees trained on how to deal with irate customers, a tactic just as valuable as that is to identify the root causes of why customers are irate and to address those root causes. In healthcare, so many of those complaints are about one thing – process.

So if you want your organization to be better from a customer service-perspective in your customers’ eyes, if you want to reduce the number of conflicts with customers which your employees have to address, then fix your processes. Find out where waits exist, the cause of the waits, the communications during the waits, and perceptions of the length of the wait time, and address them.

Many of our clients redesign departmental layouts, they change processes, they do a better job of scheduling staff to flex up/down with variations by time-of-day or day-of-week with customer volumes or arrival rates. They train staff on how to and how often to interact with customers during wait to provide updates, keep them engaged, convey they care, and – ultimately – to reduce the perception of the wait time. The clients create activities for the customers or distractions which help to reduce the perception of the wait times.

In other words, the hospitals and other organizations best at dealing with waits try to reduce wait times while at the same time reducing the perception of waits.

Wait times are a symptom of an issue with your customer service. Don’t wait on fixing waits.

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


Retention – They’re Finally Getting It

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

If you would have spoken with 10 administrators 10 years ago in the world of higher education – from community colleges to universities – you could have easily spoken for 2 hours about their priorities without student retention ever being discussed.

My, how times have changed.

It seems that more and more often, retention is discussed whenever goal-setting for enrollment is the topic.  Retention rates are part of the performance dashboards.  Retention strategies are developed with some similar planning focus to marketing strategies.

And why is there all of this focus on retention?  Because these institutional leaders – just like smart businesspeople – understand that retention means dollars.  Retention means less effort in recruitment.  Retention means less hassle in dealing with student complaints and turnover.  Retention means less change to address.  Retention means a faster path to success.

Not all educational institutions get it, however, when it comes to retention.  An organization that truly gets it understands that successful retention strategies require a great deal of research with current students on retention drivers, likelihood to stay, preferences, and satisfaction levels.  Research is required on former students to determine the true loss reasons for controllable exits.  Strategies need to have a component to look at the relationship-building structures and processes which need to be put into place to develop relationships with students and to quickly identify students at-risk of leaving.

Strategies need to be created to address internal cultural issues and priorities that currently run counter to the goal of retention.  And measurement strategies need to be adopted to ensure that issues and solutions are identified early enough to be addressed.

An education-based retention strategy needs to have the concerted effort and focus that balances internal culture with external relationship building, where all the key impact drivers of retention are measured.

Do you have a truly comprehensive retention strategy?

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


Small Errors in Service Recovery

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

 If “Service Recovery” means that we need to “save” situations where the customer is upset, irate, or complaining, then there are right ways and wrong ways to do it. While there is no one rule to deal with Service Recovery situations, many times employees can think that they are doing things the right way, and in fact there are small errors that are causing the recovery to be unsuccessful.

Think of the following actions during Service Recovery and the issues with each:

  • The employee responds to an e-mail from an irate customer by sending an e-mail back.  Whereas this may be very effective at times, particularly when the customer prefers e-mail communications, in a Service Recovery situation you want to talk to someone 2-way, on the phone or face-to-face. Because that ability to see the body language and to hear the tone of voice enables you to deal with the emotion of the situation better. Remember that e-mail does not convey emotion well.
  • The employee responds to the customer that if they have a concern, then the customer is welcome to call back. While this may seem like a positive offer, in effect what the employee’s doing is dumping the responsibility for follow-up back on the customer. Particularly in Service Recovery situations, the employee needs to take ownership over the follow-up, to convey that they care and ensure that the follow-up happens.
  • The employee hears the complaint and gives the appropriate solution, and yet the customer is still upset. This typically happens when the employee is providing an effective solution, but they are ignoring the emotional aspect of the conversation. Most customers want to be understood and to feel like they are cared for at least as much as they are having their question answered during a Service Recovery situation. Employees need to make sure they’re not so focused on the issue and the solution that they totally ignore the emotion that comes with the issue.

When determining the best way to deal with Service Recovery situations, look at the little things that employees can do wrong to determine how to tweak the technique to make sure everything turns out right. 

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