Business Advice | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 99

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

Own the Problem

Posted on in Business Advice, Education, Healthcare, Sports Please leave a comment

Personnel in a college athletics department were interviewed about the low attendance this season for basketball games. They discussed the reasons for it. ‘It’s the economy’s fault.’ Valid reason. But the student attendance is down, too. ‘It’s the players fault for not being more a part of the student body.’ Possibly valid. ‘It’s also the student leadership’s fault – they’re not doing a good enough job of getting the students excited about basketball.’ Possibly valid.

What’s interesting about these three reasons discussed is that none of them were the fault of the athletics department. Or put more politely, none of these were directly controllable by the athletics department.

So this implies one of two things. Either the athletics department has no impact whatsoever on attendance or they have an impact, but there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. They’re perfect.

This is the problem in organizations where the product is the most important thing. In sports, it’s the play on the court. In hospitals, it’s the clinical care. Too many people in these types of organizations feel that the product is not only the most important thing; it’s the only thing.

If this were true, why do athletics departments have “fan relations” positions? Why do pro sports team have “season ticket holder account representatives?” In hospitals, why are employees taught customer service skills?

Why? Because there should be some impact, some value, some effect from the efforts of these people.

If you’re in an industry where you don’t control the ultimate product, focus instead on what you DO control. And take more ownership over making an impact than did this one college athletics department.

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


WANT to be Good

Posted on in Business Advice, Carolinas Please leave a comment

We used to lease office space at an executive office suite. This was a national company, and when you lease from them, you get a fully furnished office, phone and mail service, and staff available to help with projects. And while the office suite had a great location and beautiful furnishings, there was always something wrong with it.

We have many projects where we need support – keying data, making calls, assembling information for mailings, etc. And it seemed like every time we asked for support (support that we paid an hourly fee to receive), we got pushback, delays, apathetic attitudes, or poor/incomplete work.

It was SO frustrating. This service could have been great for us and for them – great for us in that we only paid for the labor time when we needed it, flexing up and down as the workload fluctuated. It was great for them in that they earned more money. We were being provided with poor customer service, and to make matters worse, their call handling began to fade. They would misroute calls that should have been sent to our office or patched through to our cell phones.

In short, we left.

We interviewed several other executive office suite companies, and settled on Office Suites Plus (www.officesuitesplus.com) – where we’ve been 7 years in Charlotte, NC. All that the other place wasn’t, Office Suites Plus is; they love the projects, they constantly smile, they handle the calls and requests effortlessly, and – if there is an occasional error – they apologize, and we move on.

But one of the best aspects of Office Suites Plus is that when staff turnover happens, they always seem to find someone with a great attitude. You might say they have a gift of hiring people who are not only pleasant but who WANT to help you, who WANT to make sure you have a good experience. But I’ve been in business long enough to know it’s not a gift – it’s an intention.

To consistently hire good people who do good work with good attitudes and who understand what good customer service is all about, a company must WANT those qualities and look for those qualities in the first place.

You need to WANT to deliver good customer service to consistently succeed.

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


Educate on Profits

Posted on in Business Advice, Education 1 Comment

Peter Waller, Chief Executive Officer of Corinthian Colleges, was speaking about the recent performance of the organization in terms of its financials late last year (http://seekingalpha.com/article/186144-corinthian-colleges-inc-f2q10-qtr-end-12-31-09-earnings-call-transcript). And one of the key areas he addressed as a part of that discussion was the improvement in student satisfaction.

Before I go further, what this CEO did was to link (early on in his conversation) financial performance to student/customer satisfaction.

To put meat behind his belief in the cause/effect relationships between these two measures of performance, he noted several major initiatives focused on driving increases in student satisfaction such as: ‘Major increases in faculty development, increased investment in student services personnel, investments in new technology in the classroom, and increased wireless bandwidth at the campuses.’ He stated that "We will continue to focus on creating an outstanding experience to students at every campus and every program. We believe that if our students are satisfied and find value in our services; we will continue to grow and ultimately create value for shareholders."

This is a leader who understands the link between satisfaction and financial performance. He measures that link. He invests in those things which should drive up student satisfaction, knowing how that impacts business success. He gets it.

Many leaders discuss the importance of customer service. But do they measure it? Do they make strategic decisions which may – short-term – cost money or require resources? Do they change operations, processes, and people to improve student or customer satisfaction because they understand the link to profits?

If the answers in your organization are "No, No, and No," then your leaders may need to gain a better understanding of what truly drives long-term success.

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