customer experience | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 2

“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

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

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

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 productivity and potential cost benefits to organizations of having a given encounter managed by computer rather than a person.

But there is an inherent set of problems that come along with AI, especially from the customer’s perspective.

What AI Customer Service Did Poorly

A relative was having cable issues recently, and trying to get customer service via the company app. Troubleshooting didn’t work; chatbot could not specifically answer the question.  The system kept moving to broad categories because it didn’t understand the specifics of the situation.  My relative’s issue didn’t fit into a box, so the technology didn’t know how to handle it.  The customer got frustrated and ended up having to call.

In the CBS story, customer service representatives noted that many customers are upset and just want to vent – that was the best way for the customer to settle down.  Unfortunately, virtual assistants and chatbots have a hard time giving empathy because, after all, they’re computers. They don’t have feelings and cannot truly sympathize with the customer.  Customers want sincere empathy, and they understand they’re not getting it when they’re talking to a computer.

What You Do Better than the Virtual Assistant

I’m not sharing this to suggest that the chatbots and the virtual assistants are going away.  They can provide value, and not just to the company, but also to the customer.  And some customers prefer to use this process for customer service.

This Tip is being shared so that those who serve customers can understand what differentiates us from those virtual service offerings.

We differentiate ourselves from virtual customer service with our interest and willingness to find out the specific details of the customer situation.  It is our willingness to find out about potential alternatives, and converse with the customer about the pros and the cons, what would work best for them.  It is the ability and desire to be empathetic and understanding, to truly convey how much we value the customer.  We differentiate ourselves from those chatbots by the ability to more often deliver first contact resolution, to avoid the multiple handoffs.

We don’t need to fear these alternative technologies.  We need to understand what we provide beyond what they provide.  We need to utilize them as tools, as useful inputs for what we offer to our customers.

Understand what you can and do provide beyond these technology supports, and make sure you’re engaging with customers to highlight your proactive nature, your inquisitiveness about the specifics of the situation, your empathy, and your ability to truly help the customer the first time.

Be Better than AI Customer Service.

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

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

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 of Truth, there is a high likelihood of the customer’s perceptions being affected based on how you handle the situation.

This is a Moment of Truth because of the topic, or the situation itself.  The Topic could be the complaint, the question about an order or an account, an encounter with a new customer, or engagement with somebody who’s upset.  The Situation could be a stressful emergency room visit, an encounter with a government agency, a wait time at the restaurant, or the arrival of the tech at the house 60 minutes after the scheduled time.

During these Moments of Truth, the employees have some control over the interaction. While it’s up to the customer to create their perception about the organization or the employee, this is where the employee needs to understand the critical nature of the topic, the critical nature of the situation.

Recognize the Critical Nature

The best employees in customer service recognize the critical nature of these situations and become agile. They have the ability to pivot – to flex their attitudes and actions in the moment.

The best can stop all other activities and focus on that individual.  They can downshift, pulling their emotions back to keep the situation calm.  They understand the frustration with wait times, and proactively communicate with the customer to decrease the perception of the wait and reduce the angst and anger.  Staff have empathy for the customer and convey understanding of the situation back to that customer.  The best staff have patience, speak with a specific intent for how to best communicate with that particular individual, and work through these situations with and for the customer.  They recognize and pivot.

Identify the critical Topics and Situations that you encounter.  Get in-tune with these situations, recognize when these critical moments are happening, and adjust your behaviors and words to deliver a great experience.

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Sharpen Your Service Delivery – 1/9/24

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

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 nature, excitement attracts others, usually involves others.

Now let’s define “dull.”  It means that something doesn’t keep interest.  It’s not sharp.  It brings to the mind images of yawns, of boredom, of sleep.  Something that’s dull makes the mind wander.

Are you attracted to something that keeps your interest…or are you attracted to things that don’t?  Do you prefer interactions that engage you…or those that make your mind wander?  Are you more interested in something that has energy…or something that doesn’t?  Do you prefer something with a positive nature…or something that lacks positivity?

For your service to be effective, functionally it needs to fix the problem, respond quickly, and provide accurate and helpful information.  But for your service to be a relationship-builder, it needs to keep the customer’s interest, to engage the customer, to convey energy, and to be put forth in a positive nature.

As a customer service professional, think not only of what you deliver, also consider how your service is received from the customer’s perspective.  Work to keep the customer engaged, to make the interaction interesting, to convey your energy, and to be a positive part of their day.

Identify aspects of your interactions (your way of speaking with or writing to others) and your service processes that are “dull,” and seek to serve in a more engaging manner.

Sharpen your service delivery by keeping customers engaged and interested…in a positive way.

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