2014 | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Change on the Fly - 5/30/23


Situational service requires some advanced engagement skills.  It involves seeing each situation independent of any others, reading the moment, and changing on the fly to create the best possible customer experience and outcomes.  So, what are some keys to situational service?  Keep these guiding principles in mind: Start Open-minded: When Read more

Try an Empathy Exercise - 5/23/23


We often note that empathy is the most important quality to have in order to be great at customer service.  Empathy enables you to view people uniquely.  It helps the customer not to feel like just a number.  And the more we can view people as individuals, the better Read more

Time is of the Essence - 5/16/23


Time is precious.  There’s no time like the present.  Your time is valuable.  Timing is everything.  Children spell “love,” T-I-M-E. There are many great quotes that reference time.  And part of the reason is that time can be considered somewhat finite; at least within the day, it’s a limited resource.  Read more

Perpetuate Positivity with the Customer - 5/9/23


We’ve written many Tips on how to deal with various negative customer emotions.  Those emotions could reflect anger, fear of the unknown, upset, anxiety, or nervousness.  But instead of talking today about how to deal with their negative emotions, let’s talk about how to engender some positive emotions. We want Read more

Are You in a Position? - 5/2/23


Last week’s Tip compared Perspectives and Positions, and we noted that when people have a perspective on a given topic or issue, that’s often useful.  However, when people are more focused on their position, things can get testy. One topic we didn’t fully address last week was the definition of Read more

De-escalating Conflict in Customer Service - 4/25/23


Conflict can be very healthy and productive.  You and your customer are taking different perspectives, but if you have the same goal and you focus on what you’re trying to accomplish, the different perspectives may lead to an interesting approach or a mutually-beneficial solution. If the decision was up to Read more

Why a Home Run Swing Whiffs - 4/18/23


ACME Tree Service showed up at Nancy’s house to provide an estimate for trimming some trees.  The sales consultant looked at the trees and their proximity to the house, and he quickly wrote up a bid.  Heavy trimming on 9 trees.  Heavy price tag.  It was a quick conversation Read more

Communicate Crisply - 4/11/23


I try to make these tips around 300 words, but oftentimes I’m North of 400.  I work hard to pare down the words because I don’t want one or two core points being lost in a barrage of verbosity. Phrases like lost in a barrage of verbosity are the things Read more

Improve Co-worker Rapport to Improve the Customer Experience - 4/4/23


The movers were packing up the house.  It was a stressful time for Janine.  She was having to move her aging parents to a new city in a new State to help care for them.  The parents were leaving behind friends and a community where they’d lived for most Read more

G.A.B. – The Survey Guiding Principles - 3/28/23


You’re excited!  The company has okayed your conducting a survey, and you immediately think of a half dozen questions you want to ask every customer.  You document your questions, get input from others, and all of a sudden you have a Word document with 36 questions instead of 6.  Read more

2014 Customer Service Crystal Ball – Part 2 of Trends

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

Blog 3-5-14Did you enjoy Part 1 of 2014 Customer Service Trends? Check out the first 3 Customer Service Trends if you haven’t already. Here are the final 4 of 7 key Trends we see:

Big Data Will Be Overplayed (Just Like Social Media Customer Service Was Overplayed)

I attended a “Social Media for Parents of School Kids” meeting 4-5 years ago. The presenter – a school psychologist – told us that in 5 years e-mail would no longer exist because Facebook would replace e-mail.

Still waiting…

Social Media Customer Service was not the be all, end all, and neither is Big Data. One way to define “Big Data” is to take all the information you have on your customers and to – as much real-time as possible – analyze it so you can use it to tailor your customer interactions and target your retention/marketing/sales strategies. This topic is getting so much publicity, but the reality of its use – and how pervasive that use will be – will not match the hype.

Too many companies don’t acquire enough information on customers, or they don’t communicate well enough internally, or they don’t have a customer service/retention culture as it is; therefore, inserting systems and data – Big Data – won’t change any of that. Companies can have the best systems in the world to analyze and share data, but if companies can’t/won’t acquire data, or if they don’t break down silos, or if they don’t care about employees and the end customer, Big Data is useless. Big Data will be overplayed in 2014.

Small-to-Midsize Businesses Will Seek To Hire Octopodes

Or octopi? Or octopuses? Apparently the accurate plural of Octopus is quite controversial on the web – Google it and find out…

Companies – especially the small-to-midsize organizations, will seek to hire the customer service “octopus” – the customer service employee who can do it all…Tweet, get on the phone, be face-to-face, compose e-mails, communicate on Facebook, etc. These special individuals are those that are responsive, consistent, effective, and personable. Businesses of this size are generally too small to have dedicated resources to manage each of their customer service-oriented platforms, so they’ll need a few exceptional people who are well-versed and capable in multiple communication vehicles. This need is not as significant for bigger businesses because they can segment their service platforms simply due to scale.

A New App Called “The Butler” Will be the Hottest App in the World

Have you heard of it – “The Butler?” Neither have I. It doesn’t exist, but it’s coming…

We hadn’t heard of Twitter 10 years ago, and we hadn’t heard of Facebook 20 years ago. Most of us hadn’t heard of Microsoft 30 years ago. So something that doesn’t currently exist or few of us know today – “The Butler” – is coming. My hope is that it’s a self-serve app (not a search engine like Google or an application like Siri). Instead, it’s an app where I load in (or link) the names of my cable company, bank, phone provider, and other random online orders/accounts.

I can then – with the touch of the app or a simple voice command – tell “The Butler” (I’ll call him “James”) to complain to X Telecomm company that my cable is out. I can ask James to check on the delivery status of those flowers I ordered for my wife. I can determine my account balance. I can get the pharmacy on the phone. I ask a question or convey an issue (regardless of the company) – and my voice is heard by the company, or the answer is provided.

By this time next year, there will be a HOT customer service app that we do not know today. I hope it’s The Butler.

What’s Old Will Always be New

Essentially, customer satisfaction is about those one-on-one relationships and moments of truth. In that respect, the future of customer satisfaction will be the same as the present. The main difference is the path companies will take to get there. Never overthink customer service. In the end, it’s about you and me – the 1-on-1 – conveying we care while we meet needs and address issues…

To learn more about how to improve customer service in a changing economy and world, visit our NEW website at http://cssamerica.com/home/


2014 Customer Service Crystal Ball – Part 1 of Trends

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

Blog 2-25-14What Customer Service Trends do we predict for 2014? Well here are the first 3 of 7 key trends we see:

We’ll Learn to Rekindle the Fire in 2014

What does that mean? No I’m not talking romance in the world of customer service, although there could be an uncomfortable emotional engagement in this particular trend…What I’m speaking of is face-to-face customer service via the web. If you haven’t seen the new Kindle Fire commercials, they involve someone holding a Kindle tablet, clicking a button to contact customer service, and having a pretty customer service representative appear for a video chat.

The attraction of the video chat is that people prefer a two-way conversation, particularly when dealing with an issue, and it’s easier to understand someone and communicate with them if you can see them. Plus, with the Fire technology, they can see your tablet and highlight information for you.

This trend toward video customer service will move forward slowly though. Beyond the obvious tech issues involved in any widespread rollout, there’s also the creepiness factor of people talking face-to-face without any idea of what they might do in this personal yet physically detached conversation. Another point to consider is where are you going to find people pleasant to talk to, to look at, with good body language regardless of the situation, and who are knowledgeable/smart enough to serve this CSR role? It won’t be easy, and they will be WELL paid.

We Will Realize that We are All the Same

A Healthcare client of ours has an issue with their security staff in the Emergency Department. The head of security believes the sole role of his staff is security, busting the bad guys, keeping the peace, etc. And while that’s the main role, these staff are stationed at the entrance of the Emergency Department, and they are the first person that walk-in patients encounter. So they need to have some communication skills, some knowledge of protocol and procedure, some customer service-orientation.

When I say “we are all the same,” what’s meant is that in 2014 there will be a more holistic approach to customer service – albeit slowly again. This approach includes the act of serving customers being viewed as a mission and taught throughout all levels of an organization rather than the activity of a separate “customer service department.” So watch out if you’re in technology, security, or facilities management – you are customer service, too!

We Will Become Infographics

Have you heard of Infographics? They’re essentially a pictorial representation of something – think Instagram with words and numbers…or a 1-page PowerPoint. It conveys information simply, graphically – hence the name – and it grabs your attention. Generally speaking, as people begin to like to see and absorb information in a certain way (think about surfing the web on a smart phone or sharing pictures on Facebook), that way gets co-opted by “gurus” to apply to their world.

Now imagine a 1-page Infographic for assembling a ceiling fan instead of a 40-page document in small print. Imagine instructions, information, directions, etc. being conveyed in Infographic format instead of a detailed narrative or text-heavy format. I predict we’ll see this trend as well.

What do you think of these first 3 trends? What is your Crystal Ball telling you? Share a comment today!

Check out Part 2 of 2014 Customer Service Trends

To learn more about how to improve customer service in a changing economy and world, visit our NEW website at http://cssamerica.com/home/