business retention | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 7

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“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

Why Train to Retain in BRE…

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

The University of Tennessee has created a course called “Business Retention and Expansion in Tennessee.” While that’s not the most creative course name (kind of like my company, Customer Service Solutions, Inc. isn’t the most creative name…), it clearly indicates what this course addresses – retention and growth of your existing businesses. The course touts statistics such as “79 percent of all new jobs in the state in 2009 resulted from the expansion of existing business and industry.” That stat could apply to most any business – most of your revenue comes from existing clients.

So economic development organizations should have strategies, research, and training to be intentional about that business retention and job growth. Unfortunately, many communities make assumptions about retention such as:

· “We have no control over whether businesses stay or leave, whether they expand here or elsewhere.”

· “Nobody would leave our community.”

· “If there was an issue, the business leader would call me.”

· “I know everybody and everything going on in the community; so I’ll know if there’s something that’s an issue to a local business.”

These are all assumptions – assumptions that can get a community in trouble. And these assumptions apply to anybody who is managing accounts just like BRE representatives manage relationships with multiple local employers.

You have to believe you can make an impact. You have to understand that businesses might leave. You have to be proactive and not assume that businesses are going to contact you in time to help them. And you cannot assume you know all that’s going on in your local businesses.

Local economic development agencies need training and guidance in how to build relationships with local employers, how to proactively reach out to them, how to respond when needs and issues arise, and how to grow their jobs base.

Don’t make assumptions about retention and growth. Get the training, research, and strategy development you need to succeed.

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/


The Single Biggest Key to Retention and Expansion

Posted on in Business Advice, Government, Sports Please leave a comment

You’re the customer. Do you feel that I care about you?

That’s it…that’s the key to retention. Making that person feel that you care about them. There are many ways to do this, but I’m going to go beyond the obvious discussion of eye contact, body language, tone of voice, and the words you use.

This is about strategy. This is about understanding that when the customer makes the decision to go to a competitor, they’re usually driving down the road, they’re doing a search on Google, they’re reaching for the yellow pages (yes, some people still do that), or they’re at their kitchen table. In other words, when they make that decision to leave, they’re often not in front of you.

So this strategy is about relationship building. As an example, I always like to discuss economic development organizations who are trying to keep local employers through their Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) programs. They’re great examples because these organizations have little direct control over the decisions of the local businesses, and those businesses aren’t going into the “BRE Store” 3 times a week, so the BRE professionals must know how to establish relationships with local businesses by going to the local businesses. They must meet with them, or send surveys, or send information of value, or send “marketing/sales/retention-focused” materials, or e-mail and call the business leaders.

This all needs to be part of a 12-month Touch Point Plan – a strategy you efficiently and systematically design and execute each year. Anybody in any business that depends on retention and growth with existing businesses needs a 12-month Touch Point Plan. You have to develop a plan to proactively “Touch” your clients even when they’re not in front of you. You have to take control over keeping the relationship going, keeping yourself top-of-mind, conveying you care.

We’ve taught many executives in professional basketball and professional soccer how to create these plans because their account representatives are having to manage hundreds of relationships and the resulting millions of dollars in lifetime revenue. Likewise, BRE representatives are maintaining relationships with businesses that employ thousands of staff, invest millions of dollars, and provide a significant tax and fee base for the local economy.

How do you create a plan? Well first determine 3 key types of touches:

· Pull – Information you request of them through surveys.

· Value Push – Information you provide that is simply valuable to the recipient and would address their retention drivers.

· Growth Push – Information you provide that would help them to grow their relationship with your organization.

Then build 3-4 of each touch type into a 12-month Touch Point Plan.

The key to retention is simple to identify, but the plan to retain must be created and executed in a strategic manner. So what’s your plan?

Interested in more information about Touch Point Planning? Go to: http://www.cssamerica.com/csstpp.htm

Listen to our latest episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/

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/


Business Retention & Expansion – The Process That Drives Your Top Line

Posted on in Business Advice, Government Please leave a comment

In news articles that come out on a daily basis, business retention and expansion successes are touted. Oftentimes, these articles announce an expansion of a plant, consolidating functions from other locations to the local facility, or moving into a larger local facility.

But for all these good things to happen, they don’t simply occur on their own. Most local municipalities today have (or fund) an economic development organization to help drive these successes. Many of these EDOs have a dedicated Business Retention and Expansion program. We work with several BRE organizations and have identified some of what makes for a great BRE program. Review these keys, and apply them to your business:

· BRE organizations need to be great at quick issue resolution. Can you efficiently link your customers with somebody who can resolve them, or how quickly can you resolve issues yourself?

· The best of BRE Programs view their role as relationship-building. They define and execute 12 month Touch Point Plans to continually pull/push information to local business to learn about them, understand their retention drivers, and look for growth and partnering opportunities.

· BRE organizations need a focus on efficiency. Just like most account representatives in business today, BRE representatives have too many clients to truly know all deeply and personally. They have to prioritize communications, touches, and retention efforts for maximum staff time efficiency and maximum retention and growth of jobs

Learn from the Business Retention and Expansion leaders, and use these keys to continually develop client relationships and grow your community and your business.

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/