customer experience | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

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

There’s Positivity in Patience – 5/28/24

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

The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting took a little while longer than normal, but all the paperwork was completed right the first time, and the customer walked away feeling comfortable with what they did and confident in the company.

The nurse dispenses meds to many patients every day, and she always puts the pills in a little cup for the patients to take; but one patient is much more receptive to taking the meds if they’re put in a spoon.  So, the nurse makes sure that, for that one patient, there’s a spoon available.  It takes a few extra seconds to get the spoon, but the patient is less hesitant to take the medication, and the encounter is much more pleasant.

The high school central office staff person is answering call after call. The questions are usually pretty simple, or she quickly identifies where to route the call.  Despite the many calls she gets, with each one, she slowly and pleasantly introduces herself, notes the area she’s located, and makes a warm greeting to the caller.

Each employee is being patient.  Each has a task to do, and they could spend less time doing it in the moment, but the experience would not be as good from the customer’s perspective.  The perception of the employee would not be as positive.  And the total time required to handle those encounters, could easily be longer if the employee was not so patient.

For example, maybe the financial services person would need a second meeting because the customer didn’t feel comfortable with how the Q&A was going.  Maybe the nurse would have a longer and more challenging conversation with the patient, trying to get her to take the meds out of a cup.  Maybe that caller into the central office gets transferred incorrectly, and it wastes a co-worker’s time because the central office staff person was trying to move the call along too quickly.

Rarely does patience hurt the customer experience in the short-term, and it will infrequently take up excessive company resources in the long-term.

Convey a little extra patience to create a little more positivity.

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The Goal – A Great Experience – 5/21/24

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

The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold

Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll lately, and this was my first chance to see them play this year.  The line moved smoothly and signs alerted us to the $10 parking charge, so we had the money ready when we reached the parking attendant.  “Good evening, and welcome to the Slapshots!” the man exclaimed as he took the money.  “Please follow the other attendants’ directions to your parking spot, and have a terrific night!”

The ticket window attendant offered a friendly “hello!” and offered to help us locate the best seats.  I asked about the $22 seat locations, and – showing me a color-coded map of the arena – she pointed out the best remaining seats for that price.  She asked if we were familiar with the ice box seating.  We weren’t, so she explained the expanded food and beverage service in those seats.  We agreed to the extra $5 to avoid missing any game action in the search for food. “Great,” she said, as she rang up the sale.  “Enjoy the game, and here’s some information on season ticket packages in case you’re interested.”

We entered the main concourse and immediately spotted the merchandise table and requested a couple team magazines.  “Is this your first Slapshots game?” the booth worker asked.  Since it was Mark’s first game, the employee pointed to the “Hockey 101” fact sheets on the table.  “You might find this useful if you’re new to the sport.  A lot of folks around here are, and they find this useful.” 

Mark followed the signs to our section, and an usher greeted us and showed us to our seats. The menus were on our seats, and we placed our dinner order with the server who appeared almost as soon as we sat down.  “What great seats!” Mark said, as the puck slammed into the window right in front of us!

It was an awesome game, and the food was great, better than expected for minor league hockey. At the second intermission, we walked the concourse to stretch our legs and grab a drink.  The Slapshots had taken the lead by the end of the second period, and the staff we talked with were excited about the game and thanked us for coming.

After an exciting ending to the final period to secure a 5-4 victory for the Slapshots, Mark and I headed to the exits.  “That was a ton of fun!” Mark exclaimed.  “I’m going to stop off at the information desk and find out about their season ticket packages.”

Whether it’s the people, the process, the service, or the facility – learn from these examples to move all aspects of the customer experience from good to great.

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Your Best Ability is… – 5/14/24

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

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 business world.

A pro football coach was discussing some of the injuries that players were dealing with, and he stated: Someone’s best ability is their availability.

I found this interesting, because usually when we talk about the best players, we’re talking about those with the best skills.  But really, the most impactful players are the ones that are on the field, the ones that are able to participate in 80%, 90%, 100% of their team’s plays.  Maybe there are more skilled players on the bench, but because they’re nursing injuries, they may miss weeks of games or may be limited to only a few plays for each game.

In customer service, availability is also huge.  It’s not just a matter of handling that question or the complaint.  It’s a matter of being available to communicate.  Availability is the opportunity to serve.  Availability gives us a better chance of being responsive.  Availability enables us to show our abilities, to show our skills and knowledge.

So how do you make yourself available?

Consider how you can be available via the phone or via e-mail a little bit more.  Consider how to spend less time in meetings to find more time for the customer.  Look at the administrative tasks that you perform, those reports you produce for management, and determine how to spend less time on these to free up more time for the customer.  Find activities you perform that do not affect the customer, and figure out which of these items you could stop doing, reduce time on, or defer to the lighter times of the day or week.

You have tremendous abilities in customer service, communication, and issue resolution.  To be even more impactful, find ways to make availability your BEST ability.

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