complaint | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 8

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

Emotions Take Energy – 3/1/16 TOW

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


Are you ever been exhausted at the end of a day? How about the end of a conversation with a co-worker? Are you worn out by a tough talk with a difficult customer? Maybe the effort you put into the day, the stubbornness of a co-worker, or the attitude of the customer just wore you down. Or – just maybe – your own emotions that bubbled up are what wore you down.

Ever wonder why pro golfers are noted as being so steady, so calm? Some of that is because it helps them to focus on the immediate task at hand – the next putt, the next drive, visualizing the next shot. They can’t have the quality of what they’re about to do negatively impacted by what they just did (even if it was a good shot). But they also are walking and swinging for 4 hours straight, and they need to have strong energy of body and mind on the 18th hole just like they did on the 1st hole.

Emotions take energy.

When we teach classes on how to defuse the upset customer or co-worker, we talk about letting the other person vent – let them blow off steam. Once they’re given time to vocalize their concerns, many naturally settle down. Why? Because they’re tired – they just expended a lot of energy through their emotional outpouring.

So there are two lessons to learn here – First, realize that when you expend emotions when engaging others, it’s going to take some of your energy. Emotions are wonderful things when channeled for good, so ensure that you’re saving that emotional energy for times when you want to celebrate and do for others or pat yourself on the back. Try not to let yourself get so emotionally involved in things that don’t deserve your energy. Focus on the task, the details, the next steps – convey you care without carrying emotions into everything you do.

Second, use the knowledge of the emotions-energy link during tough customer and co-worker conversations. Realize that allowing the other to vent helps to wear out the other and bring their emotions down. Conserve your energy as they expend theirs; then you can work from a lower key and more objective position to start resolving issues.

On those low energy days and during those tough talks, remember that Emotions Take Energy.

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With Customer Complaints, Forewarned is Forearmed – 2/16/16 TOW

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


Sound ominous?

It’s not meant to be ominous as much as this old saying is a cautionary tale to multitudes of people in life, especially those of us in customer service.

This saying implies that if we know something is going to happen, then we should be prepared. So how do we get “Forewarned” about customer complaints?

Think about the early warning signs of a complaint. Is the website down? Are callers holding a long time (or longer than normal) before they get to you? Is your company’s call volume up? Is the facility having issues (too cold, too hot, smells)? Has this customer complained before? If the customer’s in front of you, does their body language or facial expression denote they’re about to detonate?

There are ways to become aware that the conflict is imminent.

But what does it mean to be “prepared?” After all, awareness does not equate to preparedness. How do we get “Forearmed” in our customer service world?

Know the Company – Clearly understand policies and procedures for serving customers, service recovery processes, and authority you have to fix a problem or compensate a customer.

Know the Customer – Access client information on their past purchases, service calls, and complaints. Know what causes the issues, how they reacted, how your company responded, and how issues were best rectified.

Know Yourself – Know the right questions to ask; be aware of what triggers your emotions in these tough situations, and bring in your best attitude of patience, empathy, and responsiveness, as well as your mindset as a solution-provider.

We can’t anticipate every customer complaint, but if we can increase our awareness of the triggers of complaints and improve our preparations for the encounters, we can handle them more effectively and more quickly.

Forewarned is Forearmed.

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Stop the (Negative) Chatter – 1/12/16 TOW

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A friend recently shared her negative customer experience with me. While waiting in line at a grocery store, employees complained loudly between the checkout registers about their frustrations with how slow the system was at the time. Not only were they upset with the registers, but they were sharing it with every customer within earshot.

At the same time, ironically enough, her husband was waiting in an interminable line at his physician clinic. The check-in line was moving at snail’s pace, and when he finally made it to the front, he understood the reason for the delay – the new computer system was down, and they were working off manual schedules, documenting all clinical and billing information on hardcopy. Behind the frustrated registration clerk were her co-workers loudly proclaiming their anger with the computer system, the IT people who are charged with keeping the system running, the people who decided to install this system, and any other employee they could think of blaming.

These technology issues were obviously frustrating for the employees, and anyone who’s seen the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) or just sat while the computer’s hourglass rotates on the screen FOREVER understands the frustration.

But the point here is that the technology experiences were not good for the customer either. Negativity loudly spewed out of the employees in front of the customers, and the whole atmosphere suffered the collateral damage. Instead of the employee issues engendering empathy from customers, the employees complaining made these two customers not want to return.

Here’s a question to consider: What customer wants to spend their money to be in an environment of negativity?

The next time some internal issue happens, try to keep the negative chatter to a minimum when in front of the customer.

Don’t let your frustration be the reason the customer never returns.

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