Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 110

Keep in Mind 3 Key Questions - 11/22/22


Customers want to be heard.  If they have an issue or need or something that requires your support, they want to be understood. When we are trying to find a resolution or fulfill a need, when we’re trying to help a customer achieve their goal, sometimes we can be so Read more

Don’t Let This Shot Affect Your Next Shot - 11/15/22


When I was a teenager, I used to play a lot of golf, and I was pretty good for my age.  I’d have a good attitude and enjoyed the game, but if I hit a bad shot, I’d get upset.  And more often than not, that one bad shot Read more

Value the Customer – Actions to Adopt and Avoid - 11/8/22


When conducting research for a local government CSS client, we interviewed and conducted surveys with many of their customers.  We analyzed the results of the research based on those who had a great experience v. those who did not.  We uncovered that there were distinct differences between customers who Read more

Appreciate to Appreciate - 11/1/22


Why doesn’t Jay, my co-worker, respond to my e-mails or get his task done on time? It’s hard to respect the delay, the incomplete work, the lack of follow through on the part of your co-worker. Why does the customer seem so harried and so frustrated? It’s hard to value the customer Read more

The Customer Can Hear Your Attitude - 10/25/22


Sherry was sitting in the lobby, waiting to be called back for her appointment.  Just off the lobby was an office that Sherry was sitting near.  The person in the office was on a phone call, but Sherry couldn’t see the employee.  She could tell it was a call Read more

How to Handle the Customer’s Error - 10/18/22


Are all of your customers perfect?  Anyone?  Bueller? Of course, customers are not perfect.  Neither are we, but let’s focus this Tip on what they do wrong and what we can do about it in a professional, positive, and productive manner: When the customer isn’t clear, you respond: Is it OK Read more

Critique Yourself before Others Do - 10/11/22


When we’re criticized, we can get defensive, push back, deflect blame to others, and focus more on defending ourselves than really listening to what the other person is saying.  And some of us who get defensive, once we allow our emotions to settle, take time to reflect on what Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Seek to Understand

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One of the best tips I can give anyone new to the world of customer service is to “seek to understand.” When you think of the phrase “seek to understand,” you realize that it focuses on one person trying to understand something else or trying to learn about someone else.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about somebody taking a complaint personally. If you take the complaint personally, you’re more focused on how this impacts you rather than seeking to understand how it impacts the other person. When you think of poor customer service, you think of an employee getting into an argument with a customer when it should be easy to avoid the argument. But it is difficult to get into an argument with another person if you are truly seeking to understand. Because seeking to understand focuses on learning from the other and rarely involves the negative emotions of anger or hostility. 

When you think about poor customer service, you think about an employee who is impatient or seems rushed. But people who seek to understand are patient, they try to learn about the other person and their situation. When you think about poor customer service, you think about the employee talking on their cell phone or who is ignoring the customer because of some personal conversation with a co-worker. But employees who seek to understand welcome opportunities to help customers with needs or issues, and they seek to understand what the specifics of those issues and needs are and how to address them.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about employees who do not understand their processes and who don’t understand their products. Employees who seek to understand try to learn what the processes are like so they can work with the customers in the processes. They try to learn what their products are all about so that they can effectively convey that information to the customers.

If you want one great overriding thought to help guide you through your day in serving your customers, Seek to Understand.

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


Don’t Lie to Me

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There’s a new television show that you may have seen called “Lie to Me”. The premise of the show is that there are police investigators who are trying to determine what happened in different cases based on how suspects and witnesses react in certain situations in responding to different questions. The investigators look closely at facial expressions, eye movement, body language, and other non-verbal factors to really determine what the individual is saying beyond what their words convey.

Occasionally after a customer service training session where we describe body language, expressions, and tone of voice, a participant will come up to me and say that this stuff seems just like that TV show “Lie to Me”. They find it very interesting what we’re conveying because they have seen this show.

Now what the investigators are doing in the television show is something that we should be doing on an ongoing basis in our business and personal lives.

They are not focusing purely on what the other person is saying, but they are also focusing on how they are saying it. They are looking at the eyes, the arm and hand movement, the facial expressions, body posture and positioning, and the directional positioning of the body during the discussion.  We need to be looking at these factors when we converse with others. Because others are conversing with us in many ways beyond the words they are conveying, and if we truly want to understand others, then we truly need to look at all different manners in which they are communicating with this.

So the next time you’re communicating with somebody face-to-face, watch their eyes closely, look at their body positioning and movement, notice their facial expressions, view when they look down or to the side or up, notice the hand movements, and begin to try to understand what they are conveying with those signals.  You’ll find yourself being a more keen observer of the other, and you’ll also find yourself becoming much more adept at handling the conversation in an effective manner.

Don’t let them lie to you.  Make sure you know what they are really saying beyond their words.


A Key Question

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Phil had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented regardless of the position. So in making that decision, they added some creative questions into the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Phil had to ask prospective employees was “Are you selfless?”  The answers that he got from applicants often made him either laugh or cry. One response was “Why do ask that? What have you heard about me?”  Another response was “Yes I can be selfless.  What’s in it for me?”

 It’s a tough question to answer if you are not a naturally selfless person. But many people who excel in customer service excel because they are selfless.  They are very good at empathizing with others’ situations. They are exceptionally good at trying to do what’s best for the customer or best for the company without adding in the third option of “what is best for me.”

People who are selfless try to do things based on others’ needs and issues and goals. And they make decisions based on what’s best for the person they are trying to serve.

 Are you selfless?

If we want to take it up a notch in our customer service mindset and orientation, we need to focus less on ourselves in conversations, and focus more on others.

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