acsi | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The New Burger Experience - 7/16/24


Floyd loves a good hamburger. Any chance he gets to try a new spin on an old standby, he takes it. Recently, a burger joint opened near his house, and Floyd was very excited! It was owned by and named for a world-renowned chef, so it had to be Read more

Boost Customer Happiness - 7/9/24


There’s a cooking show that a friend of mine watches, and the premise is all about reverse engineering food.  They may take a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, analyze it, and determine the ingredients just by tasting it.  Then they figure out a recipe.  The cook will try to make Read more

Brainstorm to Better Yourself - 7/2/24


I’ve led enough sessions with clients on continuous improvement topics to have solid experience on how to lead ideation exercises, brainstorming to develop new ideas.  Oftentimes these sessions start with the right question; the first answers may not be the ultimate solution, but they can serve as a jumping Read more

The Power of the Pause - 6/25/24


When I’m facilitating a meeting, and it feels like it’s going off-track or the discussion is going a little longer than it should, I may say something like “let me pause the conversation so that…” or “let’s pause just for a minute and consider…” I don’t like the word STOP. Read more

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

Beat the Worst at Customer Service

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

The American Consumer Satisfaction Index was released with its latest findings on customer satisfaction across multiple industries, but if we look at the 15 worst companies in America for customer service, we’re not looking at as many industries as you might think – largely social media, telecommunications, utilities, and the airlines came up short.

In fact, the article The 15 Worst Companies For Customer Service notes that the worst 14 are all from these four industries. Does this mean that customer service is just about the industry, not the company? No, it just suggests that companies in certain industries don’t prioritize customer service.

The Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIns of the world don’t see (or value) how customer service impacts their bottom line. Airlines care about retention, but they haven’t universally seen the financial link between customer service and retention/revenues. Utilities and Telecoms have a legacy of lack of competition, so why provide great customer service if the customer has nowhere to go?

So what’s the common thread? These individual companies don’t see, quantify, value (however you want to describe) the link between customer service and financial success. Either they don’t realize the financial impact of the business they’re losing, or they don’t understand the cost of poor service. Either way, they’re not seeing the link.

So if you care about customer service and you care about your organization, here’s the key point. Before you sing the praises of investing in, focusing on, and striving for great customer service, take the time to identify the true revenue being lost, costs being added, profitability being harmed by poor customer service.

To beat the worst at customer service, start by putting a dollar figure on the benefit of being great at customer service.

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/


Common Issues Among “10 Most Hated Companies…”

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

While the American Customer Satisfaction Index may not use the word “hated,” the author of the Examiner article did. Essentially, the 10 companies noted are the lowest rated by the ACSI. They include PEPCO, Delta, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Charter, US Airways, United Airlines, American Airlines, MY SPACE, and Facebook. So it’s Airlines, Telecomm/Utilities, and Social Networking…oh my!

With these 3 industry types, there should be some common issues, and there are several. Some of the most prevalent points are poor customer service, not even doing the bare minimum a customer would expect like keeping systems functioning, billing or fee-based issues, and excessive waits.

So the lessons are clear:

· Set expectations with customers, and meet at least the most basic level of these expectations.

· Charge what you said you’d charge, don’t raise rates without a good reason, and convey the good reason if it exists.

· Have processes that work – don’t bill incorrectly, don’t make the customer wait excessively – particularly if they’re waiting to address a problem you caused.

· Deliver customer service that conveys you care about the customer, their time, and their need or issue.

Being the bottom rated in customer satisfaction is an honor no business wants. To receive more positive recognition, these companies need to learn these key lessons.

Which of these lessons can you apply to your business…or yourself?

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/


Does Airline Customer Service Stink?

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

If you read about the recent results in the American Customer Satisfaction Index about airlines, you might not be that surprised. Customer satisfaction dropped for the industry with Southwest Airlines continuing to be the highest rated.

I’ve done some flying over the past couple weeks, and the customer service itself doesn’t seem worse to me, but it doesn’t seem better. As former Carolina Panthers football coach John Fox frequently said, “it is what it is.”

The big question is “Why is it allowed to be what it is – simply mediocre?” It was the TSA representative who literally did not say one word to the 30+ passengers for whom I watched her check their tickets against their I.D.’s. It was the flight attendant that wouldn’t reciprocate a smile as I walked by him. It was the congestion of passengers delaying boarding in a poorly designed gate entryway. It was the interminable wait for the “valet” checked luggage in the hot and crowded jetway after the flight.

On the flipside, I had a great experience with another TSA agent who warmly greeted and still productively processed passengers through the checking of their ticket. There was a flight attendant that went out of her way to ensure a family with small children felt comfortable. There was the self check-in kiosk where an employee gave some support in getting started in what turned out to be a 90-second process with no wait.

The problem is not that there isn’t great customer service in the airline industry. The problem is that it’s not consistently given. It’s too often dependent on which employee you get, on what airline you take, on…luck.

The obvious and correct conclusion, therefore, is that delivering great customer service is not a high priority. If it was, then there would be the intent and the execution to make it happen – consistently.

Make great customer service a priority in your business. Have an intent to make it a part of every aspect of your organization, and then ensure it’s being executed consistently.

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/