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

Find a Connection Point – Part 2: Situational Connection - 10/4/22


Last week we highlighted key topics to consider when you want to find Personal Connection Points with the customer.  Today, we’ll cover some key questions to ask to uncover information about today’s situation that you can use to establish a rapport with the customer.  This is Part 2 - Read more

Find a Connection Point – Part 1: Personal Connection - 9/27/22


Some people are born almost like a master at communication.  They know how to establish rapport with just about anybody, and they do so in a way that seems so natural and so real.  They can form relationships and be laughing with somebody they met two minutes ago like Read more

Be Proactive without being Pushy - 9/20/22


Delivering great customer service isn’t just about responding and reacting.  It’s also about being proactive.  Developing relationships involves reaching out first, not just extending our hand when somebody reaches out to us. But it’s all too clear that those of us who are in service roles prefer those roles to Read more

Be Kind to Yourself When the Customer Isn’t - 9/13/22


I was having a debrief call with one of my clients recently, and this was regarding a survey of employees who work events.  One of the survey questions asked employees for advice on how to improve the customer experience.  When the employees shared their input on the guest experience, Read more

Being the Emphatic Employee - 9/6/22


Empathy is the key quality of somebody who’s great at customer service.  We talk about it often - what it is, how to convey it, what it looks like, and how it makes the customer feel. But along with knowing how to be empathetic, we also need to know how Read more

The Good, the Really Good, and the Ugly of Customer Service - 8/30/22


Here are three helpful customer service stories.  They may not be from your specific industry, but it’s always good to learn from others. The Good… Paula submitted a ticket to the I.T. vendor.  Below the signature line in the reply she received was the following:  Please share your comments or needs Read more

A Great 2-Minute E-mail - 8/23/22


I know.  You probably get e-mails all the time from customers griping about some aspect of your organization or their experience.  You’ve got too much to do and too little time to do it.  I could not begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told by staff Read more

When They Want to Talk to Your Boss - 8/16/22


“I want to talk to your supervisor.” That’s their opening salvo.  Before you can hardly finish your greeting, the customer is asking for your boss.  This is done by a customer who has tried to get an issue resolved, and it hasn’t worked, so they want to go to somebody Read more

When Passive Voice is a Good Thing - 8/9/22


It’s all your fault, Mr. Customer! We may want to shout it from the rooftops, but other than venting and absolving ourselves of guilt, this wouldn’t help much in the grand scheme of things. We have a customer sitting in front of us or on the phone, and maybe they are Read more

They’re Stressed, So You Can… - 8/2/22


Wow!  That customer looks stressed!  Maybe it’s their body language or their expressions; they could be fidgety or talking really fast. In the past, when we offered guidance in these situations, we focused on how to navigate the conversation step-by-step - what points to cover and what points to avoid. But Read more

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.


Keeping the Sports Fan – 1 at a Time

Posted on in Sports Please leave a comment

It’s not all about wins and weather.  Organizations in the world of professional sports who truly understand the impact of the fan realize that there are many drivers of attendance and season ticket holder retention beyond how many wins a team has or how the weather is that day (for you baseball and football teams).

Marketing may bring you into a business as a new customer, but after that, the relationship and affinity for the organization often take over – if the business is smart.  It costs a lot of money to execute all those marketing and sales strategies, and the reason why organizations often talk in terms of ROI is that there’s usually a lot of upfront “I”  that you need to get the return on as quickly as possible.  You don’t get that return if the fan only attends 2 games, if the season ticket holder cancels after 1 year, if a losing record for a season means an automatic loss of the customer.

Sports organizations need to – at the start of the new fan relationship – ask why the customer is now a customer…and why they might leave.  Finding those retention drivers is vital to any organization wanting success; even though marketers often think in terms of demographics and client types when marketing to large groups, customer retention experts think of what would keep Joe v. Mary v. Marco v. Terry.

When you think retention, think 1-on-1, develop relationships 1-on-1, serve your clients 1-on-1.  Because if it’s all about wins and weather, then to the staff on the business side of the organization, you have zero control.  But if it’s about the relationship and the retention driver, the communications and the caring, the impact on their business or their personal lives, then you on the business side of the organization have some control.

Keep the sports fan by knowing what you can control in the relationship with that customer – one customer at a time.


Seek to Understand

Posted on in Business Advice Please leave a comment

One of the best tips I can give anyone new to the world of customer service is to “seek to understand.” When you think of the phrase “seek to understand,” you realize that it focuses on one person trying to understand something else or trying to learn about someone else.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about somebody taking a complaint personally. If you take the complaint personally, you’re more focused on how this impacts you rather than seeking to understand how it impacts the other person. When you think of poor customer service, you think of an employee getting into an argument with a customer when it should be easy to avoid the argument. But it is difficult to get into an argument with another person if you are truly seeking to understand. Because seeking to understand focuses on learning from the other and rarely involves the negative emotions of anger or hostility. 

When you think about poor customer service, you think about an employee who is impatient or seems rushed. But people who seek to understand are patient, they try to learn about the other person and their situation. When you think about poor customer service, you think about the employee talking on their cell phone or who is ignoring the customer because of some personal conversation with a co-worker. But employees who seek to understand welcome opportunities to help customers with needs or issues, and they seek to understand what the specifics of those issues and needs are and how to address them.

When you think about poor customer service, you think about employees who do not understand their processes and who don’t understand their products. Employees who seek to understand try to learn what the processes are like so they can work with the customers in the processes. They try to learn what their products are all about so that they can effectively convey that information to the customers.

If you want one great overriding thought to help guide you through your day in serving your customers, Seek to Understand.

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