Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 3

When You Can’t Say “Yes to the Address” - 2/7/23


I was interviewing a frontline staff person for one of our local government clients recently as part of our CSS Training Development Process.  They described their customers and the difficult situations that they face, their tougher conversations with customers. This individual supports local events, so there’s a lot of planning involved.  Read more

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a Read more

Change Management – Facts about Past Decisions Reduce Fear about Future Decisions

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Change can result in fear.  Particularly where change is thrust upon someone very suddenly, it can create shock or disbelief.  Sometimes that change is not something an organization can plan for; it therefore cannot adequately prepare its employees for what’s ahead…at least initially.

In this COVID world, Change Management is about dealing with the unknowns, but still developing a plan for the future.  It’s about managing organizational strategy for the long-term, while still developing an agile mindset and approach in the near-term.  It’s about dealing with employee emotions and continually trying to motivate them, while at the same time having the disadvantage of not having them in a room with you to gauge their feelings, gauge their expressions, and gauge many of their behaviors.

“Providing facts about how past decisions were made…enable employees to understand how decisions will be made in the future.”

 

So, organizations need to create their own Change Management model that coincides with the Change Management model for its employees.

 

Talking with Employees about the Change that was Made

For this conversation, let’s focus on the early stages of organizational change.  After having made the immediate and necessary adjustments in staffing, expenditures, and operations to offset lost revenue and inflows, the organization needs to begin explaining in some clear and objective detail why that needed to happen.  Particularly for those that are still with your organization, employees need to understand the facts behind the action, because facts are something concrete that enable employees to more logically accept decisions that were made in the past and understand how decisions will be made in the future.

Let me repeat.  The reason to explain to current employees in some detail and factually why recent decisions were made is so they feel like they understand that future decisions will be based on facts and objectivity, and they know the criteria for those decisions.

More Facts about the Past, Less Fear about the Future

In other words, you’re not only creating a dialogue with staff by explaining details on the “why” of the changes, but you’re also addressing their fear of the unknown by at least helping them to understand a process and a list of criteria that you might go through in the future to make similar decisions.

When you’re thinking about the importance of Change Management for an organization and how that relates to employee communications, don’t underestimate the importance of being open, dialogue-oriented, and factual about the reasons for the past change.

Help employees to more objectively understand how decisions could be made moving forward.


Developing Fan Relations During COVID-19

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

As sports teams and organizations across the world are gearing up to start play without fans, these same organizations are also determining what that fan experience is going to be when fans start attending again.  Many sports organizations are focused on locking in revenue from existing fans – keeping those season ticket payments coming in on schedule – or more operationally looking at how the facilities and the fans can be kept safe and healthy.

But there’s a middle ground between today (when teams are trying to lock in revenue) and that time when the first fans walk back into the arenas.  That gap between the financial rush now and the facility rush weeks or months from now is a huge gap in time.  That gap needs to be filled with relationship-building efforts.  That lapse in onsite engagement is something sports organizations need to view strategically as an opportunity to learn more about their fans, develop relationships with their fans, and provide value to their fans.

“Sports organizations need tailored Touch Point Plans to individual fans and fan types right now

 

We’ve provided fan retention consulting and research services to sports organizations since the early 2000s, and we’ve found that too often sports organizations get stuck in the mindset only focused on sales and marketing, exclusively using push communications.  But this COVID-19 world requires a longer term mindset.  It requires an understanding that relationships need to be built even when that fan is not experiencing the event itself.
 
Sports organizations need tailored Touch Point Plans to individual fans and fan types right now.  Those Touch Points should be minimal on sales and marketing, and instead maximizing focus on providing information of value and asking customers questions so you can learn about them, their mindset, and their situations.

Get to know your individual fans better now, at this moment.  Get to know how they’re feeling and how those feelings are trending over time.  Understand their anticipated behaviors, and begin addressing those barriers to return…now.  Don’t create your operations in a vacuum, and assume that an open facility will be filled with the same fans that were there months ago.  Get moving on Fan Relationship Development.


Reduce Their Anxiety Leading Up to Their Return

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

Building customer comfort and confidence in going to your facilities is a process which has a lot of similarities to the technique we train clients on to reduce customer anxiety.  From a tactical perspective, when you’re interacting with somebody who is anxious or nervous, you want to get them more comfortable and less worried about their situation or what’s going to happen.

Convey your understanding of their situation, so they realize they’re not a number – instead, they feel you view them as an important individual.  Tell them a little bit about yourself and the experience that you’ve had in dealing with similar situations – you’re building their confidence in you.  Next, explain a process or what an experience is going to be like.  Oftentimes anxiety or worry are about fear of the unknown.  By explaining the next steps and the timeframes, your role v. theirs, the unknown becomes known.

“To create customer comfort, make the unknown known

 

Finally, end with appreciation and positivity.  This whole 1-on-1 interaction technique applies to your broader strategy of building customer comfort and confidence.

Here’s the Strategic View:  Communicate with them over time to maintain the relationship leading up to their return visit.  Provide some empathy of their situation, and detail what you and your organization are already doing to ensure that your employees and – most importantly – the customers themselves are safe and healthy.  Explain all the steps that you’re going to take next to prepare to provide a great (and safe) experience.  And thank them in advance for their return and their trust in you.

Build comfort and confidence from your customers by leaning on our successful technique for reducing customer anxiety and worry.