Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 97

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

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

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

Government Charges You to Wait?

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article on April 1 (no joke) about new fines and fees being instituted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The article (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cityinsider/detail?&entry_id=60331) noted how recipients of parking tickets in San Francisco are being charged $2 more, and people using the government customer service center will be charged $3 to be able to wait in line to pay tickets, purchase parking cards, or buy Fast Passes.

All this is understandable. Municipalities in California are having a particularly difficult time financially, and they need to increase revenue. So charge more for parking. Charge more for tickets.

But charge for the right to wait in line? Charge to be inconvenienced? Charge for the opportunity to buy something from you?

When I work with a client considering levying a new fee on the customer, the questions I ask include: How will this impact your relationship with your customer? How will this impact your customer retention? How will this impact the customer’s word-of-mouth? How will this impact your long-term success?

Most businesses – if they asked themselves these questions – will do everything they can to avoid increasing prices unless they can show some equal increase in value to the client.

In municipalities, the same questions are not asked, and maybe it’s because they don’t think they need to be asked. After all, where else is the customer going to go to pay a ticket, buy a parking pass, or buy a Fast Pass?

Whether you work in a municipality or a private business, before you put an additional burden on the customer, before you expect more from your customer, before you put barriers between them and your organization, think about the long-term impact.

Exhaust every opportunity to improve your organization’s performance before dumping that responsibility on your customer.

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


Hockey Team Listening to Learn…Today

Posted on in Business Advice, Sports Please leave a comment

The Chicago Blackhawks professional hockey team announced this week (http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=523044) that they are launching a new program to improve the fan experience. Chris Werner, the Blackhawks Senior Executive Director of Ticketing and Business Development stated “Quality customer service has been an ongoing priority over the course of the recent seasons. We are working hard at using different innovative methods to gather fan feedback to measure guest’s overall experience.”

This program focuses on getting fan feedback during the games. While that’s not novel, per se (many teams over the years have conducted in-game surveys), what it does suggest is that this organization understands that if it truly wants to impact fan satisfaction, it has to go to the fans and talk to fans. It has to make it easy for fans to get in touch with them. It has to be proactive and seek the input. It has to gain the information as real-time as possible.

These are all great principles for any organization to consider. Does your organization go to where the customers are (when they’re already interacting with your business) and ask for feedback? Does your organization make it easy for them to provide feedback? Do you try to gain information on the customer’s experience while the customer is…well experiencing?

Rethink your research strategies to go away from customer satisfaction surveys conducted over the phone when all your business is done face-to-face. Make sure your research strategies are not purely retrospective, when a customer’s memory cannot always be trusted.

Make sure that you’re asking and receiving real-time input from your customers today.

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


Take the Pulse

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

Organizations often have to deal with internal rumors. Maybe it’s the staff that think they’ve heard about the possibility of a leadership change or a facility relocation or a reorganization or layoffs or changes in wages or benefits.

Rumors are typically negative, often foreshadowing something that could happen down the road that people don’t want to happen. The negativity of these rumors can start to eat away at the framework of an organization’s culture, just like thousands of tiny termites eating away at the foundation of a home.

If these rumors are not dealt with, then their negative impact will grow and grow and grow to the point that the culture suffers, the productivity suffers, the service suffers, the internal relationships and the work environment suffer, and – in the end – the customer will suffer, too.

To make sure that rumors are identified quickly and acted on, and to make sure that leadership has a strong ongoing understanding about what’s going on at the staff level, one thing organizations can do is to implement an ongoing system of taking the employee pulse. These are typically very short but very frequent and ongoing surveys that focus on several key questions that are high-level indicators of employee satisfaction and morale.

If leaders want to make sure that they have some good, objective data telling them the direction of their employees’ satisfaction and morale, they need to proactively seek it on an ongoing basis (at least monthly in most organizations).

To make sure that the foundation and core of your organization are not slowly but surely being eaten away by rumors and a negative internal work environment, make sure you’re getting frequent and objective feedback from your employees.

Continually take the pulse of your people.

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