co-worker | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

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

The Miracle of an Apology – 3/19/24

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

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 to (or not about to happen), and to see what the customer wanted to do.  The only options were to wait for the late shipment or to cancel the order.

The manager was livid.  His employee had put the sale at risk by telling the customer about the impending delay and letting the customer know they could cancel.

The next day, the manager called the employee, was contrite, apologized profusely, and asked the employee to come back to work.

This employee was one of the best in the office.  She was being proactive with the customer.  She had the customer’s best interests at heart, and she was trying to provide good customer service.

The manager was so focused on the potential lost transaction that he didn’t recognize everything that his team member was doing, and why she was doing it.  He was so focused on that potential lost transaction, that he didn’t consider the magnitude of the loss of one of his best employees, the potential loss of her clients, the loss of trust and credibility with those employees who remained.

Fortunately for the manager, the apology worked.  It was basically a miracle that he could be so knee-jerk in the reaction one day, and the next day have the employee accept the apology and say she would return to work.

There are mistakes, and then there are MISTAKES.  And many of these mistakes are with our team members, our co-workers – not just with our clients.  Often, the best way to address the mistakes is to quickly and sincerely apologize.

To apologize is to humble one’s self.  The humility of an apology can sometimes work miracles.

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Define Customer Service Success Differently – 2/6/24

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

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 fame, fortune, awards, power, position.

I believe success can be defined in a lot of ways having nothing to do with any of those accomplishments.  Sometimes those outcomes shouldn’t be the definitions of success.  So, especially as it relates to customer service, let’s define Success differently.

Noted below are three quotes.  Let’s look at how they apply to our work in trying to become successful in customer service.

Effort measures success better than outcome.

When we’re engaged with the customer or dealing with a difficult situation at the office, we can control ourselves, our response, or approach to the conversation.  We cannot always control the environment; we can rarely control the other people involved.  But the environment and the others involved affect the outcome of the situation.  So, don’t get down on yourself if the outcome wasn’t what you were hoping for or the overall tone of the conversation did not strike the right chord.  Define success as having done your best.

The cost of success is exceeded only by the cost of failure.

There’s rarely a perfect solution to a complex situation.  But in the vast majority of the cases, doing something gives you a better chance of success than doing nothing.  Deciding to respond to the e-mail or the voicemail when you don’t have an answer, instead of not responding at all.  Taking action on behalf of the customer instead of hoping that – by ignoring them – they will go away.  In customer service, the cost of doing nothing is a higher likelihood of failure, of losing the customer, of engendering that negative word-of-mouth, of creating bigger issues for your co-workers down the road.

Don’t be irreplaceable.  If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

Too many people feel that knowledge is power.  They believe in hoarding information or their experience or their expertise so that only they can use it.  This is not only a sign of somebody who’s not a team player, but it can actually be a deterrence to career development.  If we don’t share with others and try to build up and support our teammates, why would leadership want to move us up knowing that they would have a void they cannot fill?

Don’t define success purely based on the outcome.  Define customer service success by your efforts, your willingness to take action on behalf of the customer, and your willingness to impart your knowledge and wisdom to others.

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Lift It Up – 9/12/23

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

I worked with a great client for several years who was in a leadership role in the education industry, and she was the executive champion for a culture-strengthening initiative.  We were the outside firm helping to develop the overall strategy and facilitate the teams addressing the various aspects of the culture.

She often used the phrase Lift It Up.  If there was an important topic, concern, or goal that needed to be known more broadly throughout the organization or brought to the attention of leadership, she would say that we needed to Lift It Up.  If there was a best practice being utilized in one school which could benefit many other schools, she’d say that we needed to Lift It Up.

What it Means to Lift It Up

When you’re making the effort to lift something up, you’re making something a priority.  You’re making an issue or a concern or goal or an opportunity known.  Lifting something up is a positive thing; it’s like you’re recognizing the thing or the people that made that thing work, or that needs to work better.

How to Lift

So, let’s address this from a customer service perspective in a very tangible way, particularly lifting up positives.

Who can you lift up?  You can lift up the co-worker who does something above and beyond.  You can lift up your boss when they’re exhibiting the behaviors of exceptional leadership.  Lift up your customer for bringing something to your attention, doing their part in the process, or being kind and respectful, despite the circumstances.

What can you lift up?  You can lift up best practices of the facility or on a website.  You can note some change that made life easier on staff or on those that you serve.  You lift up examples of documents or posters that remind people of the organizational values or customer service standards.  You can lift up that information received from customers, sharing how that’s helpful.

To whom can you lift it up?  Lift it up to leaders so that they’re aware of excellence on the part of your co-workers or best practices that could be used in other areas of the organization.  Lift it up to your co-workers so that they feel appreciated.  And lift it up to customers for the same reason.

To infuse positivity and best practices in your organization, Lift It Up.

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