attitude | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

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

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

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 not as much personal as they are about process or product or technology or payments, there are often hidden compliments within the complaint.

There are two clear ways we can view these complaints based on a point in time.  In-the-moment, we have to focus on the issue and the resolution.  For the future, we can find that hidden gem of information, and oftentimes that gem is a compliment.

Why look for compliments?  First, compliments are positive, and it’s usually better for our mindset and mental health to make sure we have at least some semblance of a balance in customer service – where those positives don’t allow themselves to be overrun by all negatives.

Second, compliments tell us what customers like.  Frequently, the best way to improve is to Strengthen Our Strengths as opposed to purely fixing our organizational faults.

The room is too cold? The wait is too long? The parking spaces need to be bigger?  The view through the positive lens suggests that customers want to conduct their business in this building. They appreciate the opportunity to engage us face-to-face.  They’re willing to come to us, to reach out to us.  That method of engagement is not a barrier to our relationship with them.

The app doesn’t have a mapping function? They can’t pay with their phone? The website’s unclear?  Let’s put these complaints in a positive light.  They like that we provide an app!  They like the ability to do customer service in a self-service manner.  They want to pay for our services.  They are willing to move toward the latest technology.

When we’re dealing with that complaint, we need to be in-the-moment and focus on the issue.

But when it’s not in that moment of truth, look for opportunities to continuously improve by finding the hidden compliment in the complaint.

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Don’t Assume Their Motivation – 6/28/22

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

The company was instituting new human resources policies aimed at holding employees accountable for being late to work.  Employee lateness had been rising, and management wanted to make sure they reinforced the need for people to be on time.

At a meeting to roll out the new policies, a leader stood up in front of his staff and said:  The new policy states that if you’re late to work once, you will get a verbal warning.  If you are late to work a second time, you’ll get a written warning.  If you’re late to work 3 times, you have to take a day off without pay.  And for every other day that you’re late, you have to take an additional day off without pay.

One of the young employees raised their hand, and said:  Just to clarify, I only need to be late for work 3 times, and I get to have a day off?  And every other time I’m late, I get another day off?

The leader looked quizzically at the employee, and said:  Yes…uh, that’s correct.

The employee said to himself:  Cool!

One person’s punishment may be another person’s motivation.  One person’s carrot may be another person’s deterrent.

We cannot assume that everybody is wired the same way, with the same things that get them excited, or make them apathetic, or inhibit their behaviors.  Whether we’re talking about people who report to us, peers that we’re trying to influence to change their decision or behavior, or customers who we are trying to get on board and do their part in a process or their part to accomplish a task, we can’t assume everybody’s motivators are the same.

Seek out the other individual’s goal or their preferences or their desires, and let that guide the approach we take to motivating.

Don’t assume their motivation.

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It’s Not Always About the Outcome – 6/21/22

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

We want the satisfied customer.  We want the issue resolved.  We want to be able to fix the error or save the client.  We want to feel good coming out of a conversation, or feel like we have accomplished something special.  We want the “win win.”

But all those great feelings and those accomplishments relate to outcomes.  And all too often, we do not control the outcome.

I did the best I could.

Sometimes we have to give ourselves some grace.  We have to realize that we’re not in control of the customer, our policy, our product, our facility, and oftentimes our process or the attitudes of our co-workers.

But there’s nobody in more control of us, than us.

So, if we do the best we could at preparing for the situation through training and practice and reading and learning and listening to others, we can feel good about that.  If we do the best we could in trying to understand the customer, we can feel good about that.  

If we think of potential solutions and we engage the customer and others to try to figure those out, if we tap into what our systems and our policies and our procedures have to offer, we can feel good about that.

The ultimate outcome or the feelings of others are things that we cannot control.

So, if we want to feel good personally regardless of the outcome, we need to do the best we can.  We can feel good about the effort and the actions, and not feel bad because we couldn’t create the perfect outcome.

Do the best you can to prepare and to engage and to try to help.  And instead of feeling bad about the outcome, try to feel a little bit better about the effort you put in preparing for that moment and putting that preparation into practice.

Feel good that you did the best you could.

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