Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 106

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

Break Your Customer Service Season into Quarters

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

A quarter is a very interesting thing. A quarter can be a form of money.  A quarter is a time period where public companies report their financials. A quarter is the portion of the pro football schedule where most coaches have divided up their season into four sets of four games each. They do this to best approach a segment of their schedule as well as analyze that segment.

To a business, when it comes to customer retention and growth, a quarter should be equally of interest.

When you are assessing the performance of your business as it relates to customer service, satisfaction, loyalty, and retention-driven growth, you need to also think of your measurements in terms of quarters. Those measures can come in the form of mystery shopping, satisfaction surveys, or focus groups. No matter in what form they come, you need to be evaluating your customer satisfaction at a minimum on a quarterly basis.

Keep in mind that customer satisfaction is driven in any organization by three factors:

  • The Attitudes, Skills, and Knowledge of the employees
  • The Processes within which the customers experience your organization
  • The Products and Services themselves.

So on a quarterly basis, you need to be assessing, analyzing, and addressing these keys to customer satisfaction and loyalty just as you would any other set of key metrics in your business.

Through the different methods of acquiring customer data as referenced previously, and including assessments of internal operational service metrics such as process times, wait times, queue times, first contact resolution, etc., you should have a dashboard of metrics that enables you to quickly see trends in satisfaction, loyalty, and growth.

If you always want to be able to make data-driven decisions that are the best for your company’s future performance, make sure you have hard numbers on such metrics as satisfaction with Attitudes, Processes, and Products.  Make sure you have hard metrics on customer retention rates or attrition rates.  Make sure you have hard metrics on average purchases per customer and frequency of visits.  Make sure you have hard metrics on referral rates from existing customers, and make sure you have hard metrics on the financial impact of each customer to your organization’s bottom line.

You need to manage the biggest component of your top line financials (the customer) at least as well as you manage all those detailed accounts on the expense side of the ledger. Create and utilize customer retention and growth metrics to help guide your company’s planning and performance improvement initiatives.

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


Act During Customer Service Week – This Week!

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The clock is ticking. We are in the middle of Customer Service Week, and there are few times during the year when the gods of customer retention look down on us and place a gift right in our lap. The gift is having a week set-aside for us to focus on two key customer groups: 1) Those clients of ours that buy our products and services and help us to stay afloat, and 2) Our key internal customers — the employees.

With Customer Service Week here, we all have the perfect excuse to reach out to our clients to thank them for sticking with us, to convey appreciation for their referrals, to ask about what we can improve, and to reignite relationships that had gone flat because you’re so busy searching for the next new customer. We have the perfect excuse to interview them, survey them, ask them questions, use them as a supplier of information to make us better. We have the perfect excuse to say “hello” without putting them under pressure to buy our services.

So much of customer satisfaction is driven by the employees. Employees convey the attitudes of whether we care or are indifferent. The employees execute the processes that result in quick turnaround or long delays. The employees do the work that makes things happen right the first time or results in errors and rework. And employees act on the communications that convey that we are responsive or that we are lax in our customer dealings. The employees have such a huge impact on the end-customer’s satisfaction that we need to model, as managers, the behaviors that we expect of these employees by treating them as we would expect them to treat their customers.

So this is a great time to recognize employees for the tremendous value they provide in our ongoing operations and our trek toward our long-term vision for success. Reward employees for staying with you and growing with you, so you don’t have to spend so much time working your HR people to death, trying to find warm bodies to replace highly skilled individuals.  This is a time to simply thank employees for making your organization look good, since to many customers the employees ARE your company.

Take action this week to appreciate your internal and external customers.

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


What David and Goliath Can Learn From Each Other

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

Customer service may be a universal term, but it does not have universal definition. Oftentimes that difference in the definition is based on the size of the businesses.  So let’s look at what the Davids and Goliaths of the business world can learn from each other.

Most small businesses are about client relationships. Relationship building is vitally important to small businesses because they don’t have large budgets for advertising and marketing; so when they get a customer, they must whatever they can to develop relationships with and keep those customers.

Next, small businesses typically have personnel who are easy to get a hold of. If you have a question or you need something, you’re typically no more than a couple conversations away from talking to the company president. When you call in, you’re often talking to somebody who has a vast knowledge of the entire operations as well.

Finally, small businesses work extremely hard to quickly resolve issues – to keep that customer.  Keep in mind that customers – based on many national studies – have a much higher likelihood of repurchase if issues are resolved and resolved quickly.

Large businesses need to do likewise. They need to focus on relationship building, not just transaction closing.  They need to make it easy for customers to get an answer to a question.  And they need to have dedicated resources who can jump on issues when they arise.

But small businesses can also learn from large businesses.

For example, large organizations who are great at customer service have strategies on how to manage customer data, track information on customer utilization of products and services, and retain and grow with those clients.

Large organizations also measure a great deal.  They want to know how the customers feel, so they do customer satisfaction surveys. They want to understand what the customer experience is like, so many do mystery shopping. They measure issue resolution rates and helpdesk inquiries.

Many large businesses also focus heavily on alignment.  They have accountabilities in place for when staff fall short of expectations as well as incentives so that employees will have some reason to exhibit the behaviors with customers that will actually achieve the organizational goals.

Small businesses need to do likewise. They need customer retention and growth strategies.  They need to track customer satisfaction, issues, and other factors so they can make data-driven decisions to continuously improve their customer service.  And they need accountability and incentive pieces in place to align behaviors of staff with organizational goals.

To improve customer service performance, sometimes it helps to look at the nimbleness and personalized characteristics of the small business as well as the structure and data-driven orientation of the large business.

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