customer retention | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 49

“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

Customer Service is Not a Privilege or a Right

Posted on in World of Customer Service 2 Comments

Many companies just flat out do not care about customer service. Even if they say that they do, many are not doing what they need to do with their operations and employee training to make that focus a reality. They often view great customer service as a privilege that they deliver when it’s convenient to them or behooves them.  That’s a lousy corporate position to take; customer service is not a privilege; customer service should be delivered if any company wants to stay in business.

But customer service also is not a right. Many consumers feel that receiving great customer service is a right, but as long as consumers have the choice of going from “Company A” to “Company B,” great customer service will never be a right.

Even though we think great customer service should be delivered, no company should have to deliver great customer service. Any company can make the decision not to deliver great customer service and therefore can suffer the repercussions of that poor service. So if great customer service is not a privilege and it’s not a right, what is it?

For the consumer, it’s a choice.  It’s a choice they have to make that if they want great customer service, they have to go to the companies that deliver great customer service. In some cases, that might mean that they have to drive an extra mile. It might mean that they might have to pay a couple percent extra. It may mean that they might not get the exact item that they want. But if people want great customer service, they usually can find it if they’re willing to make the choices they need to make.

From the company’s perspective, great customer service is a commitment.  It’s a commitment from senior management to invest in a vision and to develop and execute a plan to be great. It’s a commitment on the part of the employees to learn what they need to learn, and to deliver beyond what the customers would expect.  And it’s a commitment to a business model that firmly believes that an organization’s success starts and stops with the customer.

Great customer service is not a privilege or a right. It is a choice by the consumer, and a commitment by the company.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/


Why the World of Customer Service Stinks

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

I hear so many comments about how the current state of customer service is poor and far below what it used to be, so I thought it was important to talk about some of the main reasons why customer service is so bad nowadays.

Here are my top 10 reasons in no particular order:

  1. Many people are not raised in such a way that they know how to communicate with courtesy and respect.
  2. Individuals are much more self-centered today than in the past, and in customer service, you need to be more other-centered.
  3. Even with all the MBAs that exist in the business leaders of today, too few of them truly understand the financial benefits of high levels of customer satisfaction and retention.
  4. Customer service still is not as sexy as sales and marketing.  It seems more exciting to ring the bell with a new sale than to keep a customer by serving them well.
  5. Customers’ expectations for turnaround time is much higher today, and that has caused organizations – which have not changed the reality of their turnaround times and responsiveness – to meet fewer expectations.
  6. Since there are so many different ways to deliver customer service and deliver products with the advent of the internet, IVR telephone systems, and other technologically-driven means, with variety comes complexity, and with complexity come quality concerns and with consistency in any business.
  7. Organizations care too much about short-term transaction-oriented costs and too little about long-term relationship-oriented value and profitability.
  8. Building World Class Customer Service organizations is something that’s rarely taught from a strategic perspective.
  9. There is an arrogance of thought that customer service is something very easy to do and only needs to be done by low-paid, less educated individuals.  In fact, delivering exceptional service can be very complex and yet very fun, and requires individuals who can quickly change their mindset, change their focus, and have a balance of technical knowledge, organizational knowledge, and customer focus.
  10. Most organizations, especially small businesses, are born from entrepreneurs who know how to sell, sell, sell or who love a product and want to deliver that product.  These leaders are either acquisition-focused or product-focused, but to sustain those businesses, they at some point have to mature as a business and transition towards customer service and relationship building.

Service may stink out there, but those of us who care about it will always have a tremendous niche and tremendous value in the business world.

Interested in improving your company’s customer service?  See more information at:  http://www.cssamerica.com/


Higher Education – How the Student Must be a Customer

Posted on in Education Please leave a comment

The world of higher education is a business.  Leaders may not like to view it that way, but with the tremendous revenue streams they receive, the scope of operations, and the vast size of the campuses, Education truly is an industry with major business and financial considerations.

Many professors have trouble viewing a student as a customer, and, likewise, many others in administrative positions have that same concern.  But if we look at where revenues come from, they come from current or past students to a great extent.  So it is vital to keep your students if you want to keep your revenue – that business impact of the student is what makes them a customer.

Just like many universities, colleges, and community colleges conduct research outside of their organizations, so do those same institutions need to focus on researching themselves.  There are ways to predict which students are most at-risk of dropping out or leaving.  There are ways to anticipate which students are having problems which are precursors to their exit.  There are ways to identify what is driving student retention and growth.

Institutions of higher learning need to take a view of customer service which is research-based, data-driven, internally-focused, and predictive in nature.  If these educational organizations want to succeed long-term, they need to have a student retention and growth strategy which acquires intelligence on the students and leverages its own research capabilities or the research services of outside experts to predict retention.

Educational institutions that understand this need will not have to spend so much energy and time to find high quality new students to replace those they lost.  They won’t have to make the efforts in the admissions process to attract more students and the tuition and other fees that come with them.

Instead, they will form the organizational structures and research processes that will lead them to systematically build relationships with students, identify their most at-risk students, and proactively and effectively take the action they need to retain those students.

Institutions of higher learning need to research inward to continue to effectively grow.