Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 108

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

What is Your Post-Exit Strategy?

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

Every year, professional sports teams lose season ticket holders.  These season ticket holders exit the organization because of a myriad of reasons.  With the economy like it has been over the last 18 months in particular, professional sports teams are losing season ticket holders at an alarming rate.  Many pro sports organizations deal with these issues by ramping up their advertising and marketing efforts.  Many others chalk up the losses to a bad economy, but few of these organizations really have a strategy targeted at these former season ticket holders.

These ticketholders have left; so what is your strategy post-exit?

Some of the best sales prospects your organization can have are former customers. You already have a great deal of intelligence on your former customers. You already know their likes and dislikes, their preferences, what’s most important to them, key demographic information, and their purchase history. Well, at least you should know all this information.

The two things you don’t know are two pieces of information that can make you a lot of money very quickly. The first piece of information is the specific reason or reasons why they left. This is where you avoid making broad assumptions about the season ticket holder base, and you look specifically at each one to determine why they left. You would probably be shocked to find out why the individual season ticket holders left even though you might be able to guess broadly about the major reasons why season ticket holders left. By knowing why they left, it helps in future conversations to help get them back.

The second piece of information that’s vital is their likelihood of future interest in your products and services, or as pro sports teams focus, on tickets. You have to know what level of interest they have and in what type of individual game ticket, a mini plan, or some form of full season plan. Without this information, you don’t know enough to have an efficient sales pitch with a former client.

So what is your post-exit strategy?

With our pro sports clients, it includes conducting Exit Interviews in a soft form with the season ticket holders to gather intelligence about these key pieces of information. And then to use the results of that research to both apply to current season ticket holders to best retain them but also — in the hopes of increasing revenue — to make targeted sales pitches at the former season ticket holders.

Your lost season ticket holder is one of your greatest sources of future revenue. Have a strategy for getting them back.

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


With Customer Service in the Education Industry, Perception is Reality

Posted on in Business Advice, Education Please leave a comment

Our company has conducted literally thousands of mystery shops in the Education industry, everything from an elementary school to a four year university. And one thing we have noticed consistently is that when it comes to customer service in Education, perception is reality.

When you don’t respond to e-mails in Education, they perceive you’re non-responsive. When customers or parents or students are forced to wait long periods of time without having the wait acknowledged, they perceive that they are not important to you. When the customer has to complete the same information on multiple forms, they feel you’re inefficient. When they leave you a voice mail, and you don’t respond two or three days later, they feel like you don’t care.

Maybe you are organized, maybe you do care, maybe you are responsive, maybe you are organized.  But from the customer’s perspective, you’re not.  And if the customer – whether that be a student or parent or family member or even an internal customer or co-worker – perceives something, then to them it is a reality. And when those people are making decisions about whether to recommend you or not, they are making the decision based on their perception.

When they’re making a decision about whether to talk bad about your organization or you personally in front of others or whether to talk positively, they are making that decision based on their perceptions. When they are recommending you to others or recommending that others go elsewhere and avoid your educational institution, they are basing their recommendation on their perceptions of your organization.  And if they are deciding to attend your school or go elsewhere, if they are deciding to pay tuition or just delay some payments for a while, they are basing these decisions on how they feel about, how they perceive your organization.

For educational institutions, if you want to improve what others perceive about you, you need to be measuring it and taking it seriously.  Because in the decisions people make, it doesn’t matter what you do or what you intended to do as much as it matters what they perceive about you and your organization.

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


Know the Needle You are Trying to Move

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

For governmental enterprises, there oftentimes are services being provided for which there is little or no competition such as:  How somebody applies for food stamps. What the process is for somebody to pay their annual business taxes. What needs to be done to change an address on a vehicle that somebody owns.

These are all services or processes that government agencies deliver in which they have no competition.

In most organizations outside of the public sector, a strong reason to try to improve your customer service is because it leads to higher client retention and helps to stave off the competition. But in some government agencies the question can be asked “why do we need to care about customer service, since we have no competition?”

If that question is even being asked, then it is probably because you have a management team that does a horrible job of conveying the importance of customer service to its employees. But that’s a topic of another blog posting. For today, let’s talk about why customer service matters to government. First of all, customer service is not just about the smiles and the eye contact. Customer service is also about process.  And anybody who understands great customer service realizes that the most efficient and effective processes typically accomplish both goals of saving the organization money and delivering a high quality, consistent experience to the customer. So the first reason to care about customer service is to realize that by delivering service in a highly effective way for the customer, organizations typically also provide more cost-effective delivery of services.

Let’s also look at it from a positive side relating to employee attitudes. Employee attitudes are another characteristic of customer service along with processes. Much of how a customer feels about their experience is related to the attitudes of the employees who engage them.

As an employee, if you think about working in a department that has horrible customer service, you’d envision yourself dealing with constantly complaining customers, having to deal with waiting rooms where there is a huge backlog of customers, having too much work to do in the time to do it, and having slow manual processes to work with to deliver those services. Everybody in your department is putting out their own fires, so they won’t help you; other departments are too focused on themselves, so they won’t help you either. It’s an environment that if you work there, your stress would be high, your workload would seem to be increasing, there would seem to be no flow to the work, people would be saying nasty things about you or your department, and your co-workers would be testy when interacting with you. It would be a lousy work environment.

But imagine working in an environment where the processes were very efficient, and things got done right the first time. Imagine that the customers only had to fill out their information once and that the waits were shorter, and therefore the complaints were fewer. Imagine knowing how to deal with irate customers because you’ve gone through some great customer service training, so you’re very comfortable in those situations.  Imagine people saying great things about your department and thanking you for your service.  And imagine your co-workers and other departments jumping in to help and being sincerely supportive of you and having great attitudes when working with you.

There is a personal benefit to great customer service. This applies in any industry, but it’s especially important to talk about and understand in the government sector.

Move the customer service needle to improve your organization’s efficiencies, the customer experience, and your own personal work environment.

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