Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 107

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

Understanding the “Community” Aspect of Community College

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

When most people think of college, they think of going to an institution to learn. They think of the classes and the schoolbooks. They think of teachers and the classroom environment. In the world of community colleges, life is no different. However, when you think of the term “community college,” at some point we need to focus on the word “community.”

The word “community” is important because the community college typically supports a relatively small geographic region. It typically supports a population of people in close proximity.  What is said about the college, what is believed about the college can be transmitted from person to person very quickly in a community.  And so much of the success of community colleges is the success (or lack thereof) of that word-of-mouth – the conversation that takes place between family members and friends and co-workers about what experiences are like at a community college.

And that word-of-mouth is important.  It’s important because it helps to either raise the profile in a positive way such that people are drawn to the college, or it can bring down the general perception of the college such that individuals are unwilling to even give the college a chance.  And the perception that led to that word-of-mouth is often a perception in the mind of existing students who potentially could drop out or come back for additional courses. The perception is in the mind of potentially qualified employees who are considering where to work. If they hear great things, then they might apply for a job. If they hear awful word-of-mouth, then they may go elsewhere. So the perception that the community has of the community college can impact volumes, revenues, retention rates, and the ability to acquire and retain highly qualified employees.

Community colleges need to make sure they understand the drivers of the perception that others have of the institution, they need to understand how to develop relationships with the community, they need to understand how to create a culture of responsiveness and customer service, and they need to make sure that they are measuring this perception and acting on trends over time.

Make sure that the community has a positive perception of your organization.

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


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Tough Questions

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

We have worked with several business retention and expansion organizations (BRE) that support local municipalities and economic development associations over the years.  These BRE groups are charged with trying to retain and grow local jobs.  In order to be successful, these organizations need to have some information in advance of what could happen to local jobs, of what could happen to local facilities, of what could happen to local employers.

So with our BRE clients, we suggest that they conduct surveys, if possible, on an annual basis. These surveys are either online, via the telephone, or via in-person interviews where local business leaders 1-on-1 are providing information. The information they provide to the BRE staff includes their thoughts on the local business climate, trends in their industry, and their current company’s financial performance. But one key set of questions that also needs to be included relates to business retention. In other words, if you are a business retention and expansion organization wanting to be proactive in retaining and growing local jobs, you need to have intelligence that enables you to look into the future.

Every survey, every tool, every instrument that is trying to garner intelligence for BRE organizations needs to make sure it is asking the basic and tough questions that it should:

  • How likely is the business to relocate in the next 12 months?
  • What leadership changes are expected over the next 1 to 2 years?
  • If facilities are leased, will those leases come due in the next 12 months?
  • Are you being recruited right now by other municipalities?
  • What change in the number of jobs are you expecting locally over the next 12 months?

If organizations truly want to live their core mission, they need to be willing to ask the tough questions.

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


Fast, but Not Fast Food

Posted on in Business Advice, Carolinas Please leave a comment

Customer service is not all about the eye contact, the smile, and the “soft” aspects of the personal interaction. They are very important, but process is also important.

The restaurant world is a tough business from a customer service perspective, because it has many characteristics of a manufacturing environment as you’re processing the food and getting it out, and timeliness is of the essence. One restaurant chain seems to get it when it comes to process. At least the particular location that I frequent of Monterray’s Mexican restaurant is excellent in their service delivery process.

You walk in and you immediately see where to check-in.  You get waited on quickly; typically within 30 seconds, somebody is leading you to your table. As you are being seated, a second employee is walking up behind the host or hostess with chips and salsa, so that the minute the hostess walks away, you are already eating free chips. The drink orders come quickly, the server frequently comes to you in a non-pushy way to check on your readiness to order. No matter what you order, the food comes out fast — all the time it comes out fast. It’s hot, it’s fresh, and it’s very very good. But this blog is about process, not food quality.

When the chip basket looks nearly empty, the next thing you know it’s been refilled. The water is constantly getting refilled. The check comes quickly, and it’s convenient to pay as well.

We never ask about the training, the processes, the systems, or the internal communications that happen over and over and over again between employees during a typical night at the restaurant. But we know they must be standardized, because the service is so consistent. We know they must work, because the service is so quick. We know employees must be confident in understanding their roles, because the flows between encounters with the servers and other employees in the discussions we have are always seamless.

Monterray’s is a great example of how big an impact an effective customer service process can have on the customer’s experience.

Do your processes help or hinder your customer’s satisfaction?

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