appreciation | 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

You Mostly Get What You Give – 11/23/21

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

It is Thanksgiving week in the United States, so let’s talk “Thanks.

There’s a saying that You Get What You Give.  And while the goal of giving thanks should not be “To receive things,” getting something positive in return is often a nice byproduct of being appreciative of others.

It’s amazing that when I thank someone for some action they’ve taken, even if it is just “doing their job,” how many times they will pause and smile…or say Thanks…or say It’s my pleasure.  Sometimes they’ll expand and say why they enjoy doing what they’re doing.  And it makes me feel good when they stop for a moment and feel appreciation, and I can see they’re pleased to hear the thanks.

In this current world of ZOOM meetings, there are times when the meeting facilitator is seeking affirmation that people understood what she said or agree with the point…but there’s dead silence.  So, if I feel their uneasiness, I will give them the thumbs up.  I’ll make sure I verbalize that their plan sounds good.  I used to silently agree without stating it, but I’ve found that there are few mind readers in the world.  If I agree, I need to verbalize that support and appreciation.  They, in turn, get the affirmation they deserve.

There have been many instances with CSS, since we are a management consulting firm, where we were brought in by a client or business partner for a project.  I try to be as appreciative as I can for them trusting me and our organization to serve them or service their client on their behalf.  Likewise, when CSS brings in mystery shoppers, research partners, or subcontractors to do some work on behalf of CSS, I’m appreciative of those folks.  I know they’ve got lives and jobs and other responsibilities and priorities, so for them to carve out some time to do work for my clients – even if CSS is paying them – their effort and interest is much appreciated.

Through all this giving of thanks and appreciation, I’ve noticed that the tone of conversations becomes much more positive.  The dialogue is much more pleasant.  The relationships seem to grow more naturally and easily, and the collaboration seems to flow more smoothly.

So, you don’t always Get What You Give, but if giving includes a lot of thanks and appreciation for others, you have a great chance to get more positive and productive days.

Give to give, and watch what you’ll receive.

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A Lesson in Gratitude – 11/24/20

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Mr. Robinson went to the hardware store with his teenaged son, Steve.  Steve was starting his first woodworking project – building a small coffee table – and needed supplies.  As they walked the aisles, Mr. Robinson and Steve couldn’t find the exact type of wood they wanted, so Mr. Robinson suggested that Steve ask an employee for help.  Steve found an employee walking by, asked for help, and got what he needed.

After the employee walked away, Mr. Robinson told Steve:  You did a good job talking with that gentleman.  Next time, though, thank the employee.

Steve:  Why should I thank the employee for doing his job?

The dad’s temperature started to rise.  It rose because this was his son talking, and why Steve was basically stating a truth, Mr. Robinson felt Steve was missing the bigger picture.

Mr. Robinson:  You thank them because they helped you, because we didn’t waste the next 30 minutes walking up and down every aisle, looking at every bin.  You thank them because – whether they were being paid or not – you show appreciation for others.

This was a teachable moment in the dad’s eyes.  You appreciate others.  Gratitude is not a light switch you just turn on when you’re an employee getting paid to answer a customer’s question, and otherwise turn it off.  Gratitude is an all-the-time thing, whether you’re an employee or a customer.

Mr. Robinson:  People have choices – whether to serve you or not, whether to do it with a good attitude or not, whether to listen to you and ask questions…or not.  You have a choice, too.  And I want you to see the importance of choosing to tell other people thanks.

Let’s make gratitude an all-the-time thing.

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Who Loves Ya, Baby? – 2/25/20

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Telly Savalas played Kojak – a hard-nosed detective who solved crimes while eating a lollipop.  He was a tough guy with a tough attitude but a soft side.  He used to say:  Who loves ya, baby?

So, who loves their customer?

If you want to see somebody who loves their customer, walk into a vet with your pet. Oh Bosco! I’m so happy to see you!  How have you been lately!  It’s like the dog is the receptionist’s long-lost friend or the doctor’s favorite cousin.

Congratulations, Zappos Zealot!  You’re one step closer to getting your holiday shopping done! We’ve received your order and are busy picking your gifts from our shelves as we speak. So jingle your bells, and roast your chestnuts, ‘cause we’ve got you covered this holiday season!  With Love, The Zappos Customer Loyalty Team.  Zappos must love that customer who they just sent that e-mail to…

Thank you for coming in today! Is there anything else I can get for you? Oh!  You want some potting soil for those plants you’re buying?  We have some good fresh bags in the back; let me call somebody to bring one up for you. Less than a minute later, a gentleman walks up with the bag, and the customer checks out with a dozen plants, fresh soil, and some helpful advice on how to get things growing quickly. Nice experience at Myers Greenhouse.

These are all experiences that I’ve had, and you may have had similar experiences where companies seem to love their customers.

It’s the organization that is sincerely excited to see the customer, even if the customer is a puppy.  It’s the business that is not just sharing an update on an order, but they’re sending an e-mail that’s shows their excitement to serve and conveys the enthusiasm of what you’ll do with their merchandise.  And it’s an employee that freely gives advice and goes an extra step to quickly give the customer a little something extra.

So, who loves ya, baby? These organizations and their employees seemingly love their customers.  Why don’t we take a few tips from them with our enthusiasm, respect, advice, guidance, and appreciation.

Let your customers know who loves them.

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