Accenture | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

When You Know More Than They Do - 7/19/22


It was 95 degrees outside.  That’s not too bad when you’re inside and enjoying the air conditioning; but when Rachel’s A/C went out, in came Rachel’s worry.  Luckily, she knew the company to call, and a technician from Acme HVAC (fake name, real company) came out the next morning. Rachel Read more

2 of 3 Customers Switched Providers – Did Yours?

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

A recent Accenture consulting research study noted that 2 out of 3 consumers worldwide “switched providers in at least one industry in the past year due to poor customer service.” In addition, “Forty-four percent of consumers said their expectations today are higher than they were just a year ago.”

Boiling these two key points down to a quick conclusion, you could say that today’s customers expect more, and they are highly likely to leave if you don’t meet those expectations.

So what do you know about TODAY’S customers? Don’t just think in terms of surveys you conducted on customers 2 years ago or market research conducted 4 years ago or focus groups you did 18 months ago. What do you know about the customers you have TODAY?

Older information from past customers about previous experiences in a different time can lead to faulty decisions for tomorrow.

Any organization that wants to continue to learn, to improve, to grow, to succeed has to – at the same time – continually communicate with and learn about their customers. What do they expect out of their experience? Why are they a customer? Why would they leave? What competitors are they considering or already patronizing? What makes them loyal to you, or what WOULD make them loyal to you?

Ensure you have an ongoing customer research strategy that provides you with the fresh intelligence you need to retain and grow with TODAY’S customer.

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/

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


Another Great Example of “Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill”

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In Halifax County, Virginia, the retiring Executive Director of Social Services, Betty Wells, reflected on her career. She’s quoted in the Gazette-Virginian article about how she viewed her job. Ms. Wells stated “I see my job as being one that I hire the staff that I think will be the best providers of customer service. Then train them to do their job, let them do their job, expect them to do their job and to do it in a professional way. The employees who work here try to treat everybody the way we would want to be treated.”

In a short statement, she described several keys to great customer service. First, hire people with a propensity to deliver great customer service. Don’t assume every prospective employee enjoys interacting with others, enjoys serving others, would rather meet the need of an individual than complete an administrative task. You’ve got to hire for the right attitude. It’s a lot easier to train someone in a skill than to re-wire someone’s attitude.

Second, formally train the staff – don’t just put them with a co-worker for a day of on-the-job training. Invest in creating a certain high standard of performance from your new staff. I used to work with Accenture (then Arthur Andersen) in the management consulting division. They sent all new hires to a college they owned in Illinois for 3+ weeks to train them in the skills they needed, the work ethic they desired, the culture they wanted, and the method of performing work they expected. While you may not have the time or funding available for 3 weeks of training, you need to devote enough training to ensure high productivity, adherence to key processes, high quality, and an understanding of the culture from Day 1.

Third, tell staff what you expect of them. Many staff complain (when they get their evaluations at year-end) that they didn’t know what was expected, or they didn’t know they weren’t meeting expectations. The more clear you are with your expectations of staff, the better the staff will meet them.

Finally, apply to Golden Rule of customer service to your job. Most recurring customers care how they’re treated, and more than 2/3rd of lost customers leave because they perceive you’re indifferent. You want others to care about you and your needs; treat others likewise.

Learn a little about customer service from this social services leader.

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

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