appreciate | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

“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

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

When Employees Fight Over a Customer – 2/4/20

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

There’s nothing like the feeling of comfort I get from a warm greeting at a business establishment.  A feeling of “you are my most important customer” and “I cannot wait to serve you” brings a tear to the eye of a customer service consultant.  But that’s not the only thing that can bring a tear to my eye.

Walking into a fast food restaurant, I stood back from the cashiers to determine what I wanted.  After deciding, I walked to the counter and the two cashiers, both of which were available.  This is how the conversation started:

  • Cashier #1:  “Can I help…oh, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #2:  “No, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #1:  “No, she’ll take your order.”
  • Cashier #2:  “No…well, okay.  What would you like?”

 

This dialogue would have been very flattering had they substituted “I” for “she,” but the conversation made it obvious that, even though neither was doing anything, they’d prefer continuing to do nothing rather than help me buy their product.

Sometimes we complain about how many companies and many employees are more task-focused than customer-focused.  But this company was more focused on inaction than action.  While we desperately hope this experience is a rarity in your business, there are things to learn from the interaction that can help any business succeed.

First, hire people with not only the attitude of wanting to help others but also the energy to act on those impulses.  Next, come up with a mantra that promotes productivity.  One restaurant tells its staff to remember during slow times that “if you’re leaning (against the wall) you should be cleaning.”  Finally, create a proactive work environment.  The more reactive a culture is, the more likely they are to be passive when there’s not a fire to fight.  Proactive cultures promote the seeking of action and progress.

Work to create an atmosphere of “I’ll take your order.”

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LOTS of Opportunities to Appreciate Customers – 1/28/20

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They give us their money, and we give them merchandise. We say “Thank you!”  That is the old-time stereotypical opportunity for a company to thank their customers.  But there are opportunities all day long for us to convey appreciation to our customers.

Beyond the actual transaction, there are so many situations where we can say thank you to the customer.  And we want to do that often, because without customers, we have no business.  We understand that in the vast majority of the cases, the customer could go elsewhere.  They want to feel valued and appreciated, so we want to find ways to convey that appreciation.

Whether you’re dealing with a request, a complaint, or just the customer’s involvement in some activity, you have an opportunity to appreciate the customer.

Convey appreciation to customers or co-workers for their requestThanks for your request.  Thanks for asking!

Convey appreciation for telling you a complaintThanks for bringing that to our attention.  I appreciate your telling us about this issue.

Convey appreciation for their participationIt’s great that you’ve been a part of this.  I appreciate your time and your engagement in the process.

It is not hard to say thanks, but it is often one of the most forgotten aspects of communication with customers.  They are not a box in our process flow; a customer is an individual that wants to feel valued and appreciated.  So we want to make sure that we are not only appreciating them, but we are telling them so.

There are many opportunities to appreciate the customer throughout the day.  Identify them, and act on them so the customer feels how much you value them and their business.

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Encourage the Customer – 12/17/19

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Everybody sing with me:  Feelings, whoa whoa whoa, feelings…

Excellent old song, and be thankful that I’m just writing the words and not singing to you.  While not all of us are comfortable with discussing feelings, feelings are an important part of the customer experience.

No, you can’t make someone feel a certain way, but there are things you can do or say that help to engender certain kinds of feelings.  That’s why we talk about conveying appreciation for the customer, so they will hopefully feel valued and important.

You also want customers to feel comfortable with your business and confident in their experience with you.  You want them feeling positively about the relationship.  Much of their perceptions about you and your organization, much of their decision-making about whether to stick with your company is about their feelings.

To build their comfort and confidence, consider encouraging your customers (as well as your co-workers).  Encourage them for what they’ve doneYou’ve made great progress. OR I’m impressed with what you’ve done.

Encourage them for what they will doThanks for moving this forward. OR Thanks for taking leadership on this item.

Encourage them for who they areI appreciate your great attitude and energy. OR I appreciate you bringing so many productive ideas to us!

To engender positive feelings, encourage the customer.

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