Accenture | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

When You Can’t Say “Yes to the Address” - 2/7/23


I was interviewing a frontline staff person for one of our local government clients recently as part of our CSS Training Development Process.  They described their customers and the difficult situations that they face, their tougher conversations with customers. This individual supports local events, so there’s a lot of planning involved.  Read more

How to Fix Other People’s Problems - 1/31/23


I was helping a friend navigate some healthcare processes recently, so I conducted a 3-way call with my friend and the physician practice to try to get things cleared up.  The employee I spoke with on the phone - let’s call her Katie. There had been poor communication between different Read more

What to do When You’re in the Middle - 1/24/23


Bob and Sarah are arguing, and you’re in the middle.  Bob’s an employee, and Sarah is a customer, and they have a difference of opinion.  Somehow you’re involved even though you didn’t have anything to do with the interaction in question, the complaint being addressed.  You find yourself being Read more

Is the Customer Issue an Organizational Issue? - 1/17/23


Customer retention is vital.  Most of next year’s customers are going to be those who are this year’s customers. So, the more you lose today, the fewer you will have tomorrow.  Organizations conduct research, data mine, or bring in consultants to help identify those customers who may be most Read more

Decide Who’s Driving the Bus - 1/10/23


I once heard a speech titled: Who’s driving the bus? I knew the speaker beforehand, so that made his talk extra special.  It was funny and relatable and held many words of wisdom.  The crux of the speech was that every one of us has our own facets, our own Read more

Create a Personal Vision for the Year - 1/3/23


This time of year is all about the New Year’s resolution.  We’re going to exercise or eat differently!  Then…2 months later, who knows what’ll be happening, but at least you set a goal.  For many of us, that’s progress. For businesses, that New Year’s resolution often has to deal with Read more

Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse - 12/27/22


Twitter.  When you hear that word, does your temperature rise?  Do you roll your eyes?  Do you ask: What is Twitter? From a customer service perspective, Twitter has evolved into a virtual place for consumers to complain about businesses.  For those businesses savvy enough to understand the importance of communicating Read more

2022 Holiday Poem - 12/20/22


The year is winding down. The work is still up front. We’re making that transition to close out the 12th month. We’re trying to find a balance between personal life and work. Trying to be kind to people even if they’re acting like a jerk. It’s taking all of our patience and our Read more

Open Minds and Ornery Customers - 12/13/22


We all have to deal with some crazy customers, at times.  They might be loud or sad.  Flighty or mad.  They may have unrealistic expectations or think it’s OK to skip past people in line because their need must be more important than the others.  Some are rude, some Read more

Apply These Values for Great Customer Service - 12/6/22


One of the industries where we do a lot of our work is local government.  These CSS clients are not necessarily selling a product or having the number of competitors that a lot of our private industry clients and our sports clients face.  But they need to deliver a 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/