confidence | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“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

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

Trust-building in the Moment – 6/13/23

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

The customer is often the ultimate supplier of the information we need to help them.  So, we want customers to be open with us, to share their feelings, goals, issues, perceptions.

Building trust is a long-term enterprise, but many of us don’t have much time with the customer.  However, we still need the customers to be open enough to share with us so that we can be most effective in helping them.  Here are some keys to building trust in those short but important moments of truth…

Speak to what they’ve said.  The most important action is listening – asking the questions to get the information we need.  Most of the keys below are about what we say or what we convey, but it all starts with what we hear.

Speak with intent.  We need to be intentional about what we say.  Tossing in unclear words or commitments, having a tone that lacks confidence, making promises or sharing stories that don’t relate to what the customer conveyed can cause the customer to lose our main point.  It can cause them to think they haven’t been heard; they can lose confidence and trust.

Note what you can do by illustrating what you have done.  For customers to have faith that we can help, tell them what we can do, but it strengthens the story to tell them what we have done with others.  If we can illustrate a potential resolution that will be done for them by noting similar action taken for somebody else, it helps to build their trust and confidence.

Be open to engender openness.  If we want them to be open, we need to be open.  It’s hard to get somebody to share if they don’t feel like we’re willing to do likewise.  So, if you have questions that you need answered on their behalf, tell them that you need to investigate.  If you’re not 100% certain of the best option, tell them, and also let them know what you’re going to do to close that confidence gap.

Do what you said you will do.  Finally, so many of us judge trust based on whether or not the person did what they said they’d do.  This requires three things.  First, be clear with them on what we promised. This may include sending them follow-up messages to reinforce what we have verbally stated.  Second – obviously – do what we said we would do.  Third, tell them what we did.  Action is only as strong as the customer’s recognition that the action we promised actually occurred.

Tap into these 5 keys to build trust in that moment of truth.

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Show Your Confidence – 9/7/21

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“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”

To do something great, you need to have confidence in yourself.  That confidence often comes from positive experience, preparation, understanding what has happened and could happen, and having the knowledge and resources and training to address it when it does happen.

If you want to do a great job in your role in service or in delivering a customer experience or dealing with the irate customer, remember your positive experiences, prepare, understand what happened and why and that it could happen again.  Know your resources, and train with others so that you can address even the greatest of undertakings.

“With self-confidence fulfilled, you’ll find that folk have confidence in you.”

While having confidence is important, when we’re working with customers, it’s also exceptionally important to show your confidence.  People don’t always take what you say or the information you provide at face value. Oftentimes, they judge the quality of the information and the credibility of the person providing the information based on how that information is delivered.

If you want the customer to accept what you say, have faith in what you decide, and trust the direction you provide, it needs to be delivered with confidence.

Confidence is often conveyed by presenting something with a focus on the other person.  It’s conveyed with clarity of thought and well-articulated words.  It’s often conveyed with brief statements as opposed to lengthy and rambling narratives.  And it’s conveyed with your nodding of the head or with your strong yet conversational tone.

Set yourself up for customer service success.  Invest in yourself so that you are confident in the work you do.  Then present yourself in such a way that the customer shares your confidence.

Show your confidence.

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Optimism – A Force for Good in Customer Service – 2/16/21

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

Will 2021 be a better year than 2020?  I have absolutely no idea.  Maybe it would be nice to see into the future and know for certain, but I can’t and I don’t.  But as I wade further and further into this year, I can hope that the water warms, or I can fear that a big wave is going to knock me over.  I can choose optimism or pessimism.

Optimism is about hope – it’s about faith or belief or confidence in the possibility of a positive outcome.

Colin Powell once said that perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.  In other words, positivity can create momentum, can create power – people are attracted to it and will go with you if that optimism can become a sincere all-the-time thing.

If we want our co-workers and customers to follow our lead, it benefits us to enlist the power of optimism.  If we want pleasant, positive, Yes-oriented interactions, it benefits us to be pleasant, hopeful, and optimistic.

Sometimes it’s easiest to define a word or explain a concept by contrasting it, so let’s consider some examples.  Kahlil Gibran said:  The optimist sees the rose and not the thorns, the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose. Here are a couple other quotes…

  • A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.
  • A pessimist thinks there’s nothing so bad it can’t get worse; an optimist thinks there’s nothing so good it can’t get better.
  • An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity.

 
Now let’s refocus on the good – the optimistic viewpoint – hoping and believing that things will turn out well and imparting that hope and confidence to others:

  • Yogi Berra used to say it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. At the end of sporting events where my team is losing, my wife likes to say:  It’s not over yet.  They can come back!
  • Robert Browning encourages us not to look down, but rather to look up. Don’t focus on the difficulty you’re in as much as the direction you want to go.
  • Walt Whitman said the strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.

 
If times are difficult, remember that today’s circumstances don’t dictate tomorrow’s outcomes.  If times are good, know that they can get even better.

Often our perspectives and our outlooks affect others, and if we want to draw people in and get them to have confidence in us, our decisions, our direction – we can use optimism to be that draw.

Use optimism as a force for good in your service of others.

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