World of Customer Service | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 8

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Does the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand is Doing?

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

In many large companies, no, the right hand does NOT know what the left hand is doing.

I had 2 web chats and a telephone call with three different individuals with the same internet service in the past week and got 3 different answers. The last answer was best, so I went with that; it will make me more inclined to “answer shop” next time I have a question or need. That creates more work for the company I call, but they’ve brought it on themselves through their inconsistency.

In the article Time Warner should rethink its approach to customer service, something similar occurs. The writer tells the story of a customer who received a letter that told him to call TWC because the discounted rate period was about to expire. So the customer called and was told that TWC couldn’t do anything until the period expired. So why did they tell him to call in the letter?

When Time Warner was questioned about all the issues that the customer had in multiple communications with TWC, their response was “These two agents had other options for better customer service and need additional training.” Nothing like blaming the employee…but the root cause was not the employee. It was the company.

More than any other company, customers have brought up TWC as an example of a company with poor customer service; it’s the long waits; it’s the technician who cut one person’s cable when trying to disconnect their neighbor’s cable; it’s the inconsistencies; it’s the 4 hour windows for appointments or the long resolutions to problems. The occasional good customer service stories we hear about TWC relate to their social media monitoring of customer service issues, so they’re apparently pretty responsive to Twitter complaints.

But for any larger company with issues, consistent issues are not usually the fault of the employees. It’s the fault of a company without a cohesive strategy focused on customer service. It’s about a company that’s too compartmentalized. It’s about a company where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

Get consistent with customer service by first getting the whole organization on the same page.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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


Do Some Root Cause Analysis on Customer Retention Issues

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

Here are comments from a Reuters article on Leap Wireless’ earnings issues:

  • Churn — or customer defection rate — rose to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent a year earlier
  • Customer retention programs did not work out as well as expected and came at a higher-than-anticipated cost
  • Customer retention in the quarter was also hurt by reduced promotional activity.

Now, let’s do a little root cause analysis. To analyze these points, think “cause and effect.”

The first bullet is an effect – customer churn is up. But what was the cause? The second bullet says that customer retention programs didn’t work. So that was the cause? No, that wasn’t the root cause because the 3rd bullet says that customer retention was hurt by reduced promotional activity.

So reduced promotional activity was the root cause, correct? No, because promotional activity is needed due to something else missing.

So what’s the real root cause? They obviously have more work to do to determine the root cause(s); it’s unclear if they’ve surveyed exited clients. I’m uncertain if they’ve researched demographics and other characteristics of the customers, their usage patterns, their plans to determine key drivers of churn. It’s not clear if they survey clients to identify retention drivers and act on that intelligence.

What is clear is that the company is losing money and losing customers. As with any company in this situation, they need to systematically identify the root cause instead of jumping from symptom (i.e., lower profitability or retention) to solutions (increased promotions).

Do some root cause analysis on customer retention issues.

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


In Customer Service, Don’t Mess with the King

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

Now that title could mean anything. By “King,” do we mean Elvis? How about LeBron James? Er…no.

Do we mean an actual King?! Close…he’s a Sir, not a King.

In the article King calls for bank culture change, Bank of England governor Sir Mervyn King stated that Britain’s banks “need a real change in culture.” He made that statement because of “excessive levels of compensation, shoddy treatment of customers and a deceitful manipulation of one of the most important rates.”

Well, these might be byproducts of the banking culture in Britain, but the question to ask whenever anyone suggests a need for a culture change is “What is the root cause of the problem?” Once you get to the root cause, you can start to determine what aspects of the culture need to be addressed.

Whether it’s a British bank or a City government, whether it’s a community hospital or a small plastics manufacturer, there are several areas to investigate for root causes when wanting to change a culture:

  • What are the organization’s mission/vision/goals? These help to determine the culture.
  • What behaviors does leadership model to staff? This impacts employee behavior.
  • How is the organization structured? This impacts decision-making and workflow.
  • How well do processes align to organizational goals? This creates the reality of whether the company can move toward its goals.
  • What incentives and points of accountability exist? This also drives employee behavior.
  • How (and who) does the organization hire, retain, fire? This creates the human fabric of the culture.
  • How does the company communicate internally and externally? This reinforces (or contradicts and confuses) what the organization is all about.

The next time you have an issue with a company’s culture, run through this checklist to begin identifying the true root causes of the problems.

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