customer satisfaction survey | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

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

Find the Hidden Compliment - 7/26/22


The fact is, they ARE complaining:  The room is too cold.  The wait is too long.  They wish the parking spaces were bigger.  The new app doesn’t have a mapping function.  They cannot pay with their phone.  The website is unclear. In these types of complaints, the ones that are Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse – 1/11/22

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

We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer!

And when we review their questions and start to see the direction they’re heading with the topics, we invariably pause the conversation and ask them to take a step back.  Overall:  What is the goal of the research?  What are they hoping to learn?  How will they act on the results?

Even for their drafted questions, we ask them to take a step back and think about each question:

  • What do you expect to learn from the responses?
  • If the customers say they want “A,” are they going to expect that we act on their response?
  • If the responses say “this doesn’t work,” what are we going to do with that information?
  • How are we going to use the response for prioritizing some operations improvement, helping with strategic planning, or enhancing the customer experience?
  • What’s the goal of asking that question?

 
When clients start with their questions in-hand, we make inquiries like those above.  Essentially, we are trying to get the client to reverse their thinking.  Instead of starting with their questions, we want to them to (1) Start with the Goal, then (2) Go back to how they would Act on the Results, then (3) Go back to the Data they Need, and finally (4) Determine how to Word the Question.

If they work through this process correctly, it will result in a question worded to get actionable data to achieve the goal.  If they start with the question, it may result in an unusable set of answers.

Develop surveys in reverse.  Start with your goal and gradually work your way back to the question.

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It Matters How They Heard About You – 8/10/21

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In the 1,000+ surveys that CSS has conducted over the past 20 years, it’s interesting to read how our clients’ customers heard about them.  This question is typically asked of first-time customers, and it’s especially helpful for those customers because you don’t typically have a lot of information on them, so it’s hard to categorize them, align them with your customer personas, or get a feel for what they expect.

So, it’s great when those first-time customers will answer that question, because how they heard about you matters.  It gives you a strong sense of what they expect.

It tells you what method of communication (website, an advertisement, word-of-mouth, etc.) made an impression in the customer’s mind – a positive enough impression for them to contact your business.

It also helps you to understand what expectation the customer has of the experience they’re about to have with your business.  If it’s a website referral, your site has certain expectations it’s setting about the products you have or what the customer is about to experience.  If it’s a word-of-mouth referral, they have expectations based on a friend who actually experienced your business.  If it’s an ad, it’s an expectation based on the product or event or characteristic that you promoted and what expectation your ad set.

To take this analysis a step further, ask the customer “What about the – ad, friend’s referral, website – brought you in today?”  This will encourage them to tell you more specifically what they expect.  And the more precisely you know the customer’s expectations, the more precisely you can meet and exceed them.

Ask the customer where they heard of your business; ask what brought them to your business.  Then exceed that expectation.

Uncover your first-time customers’ expectations.

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Let Your Goal Determine Your Question – 2/2/21

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In the early 2000s, when the economy hit the skids, companies realized that they couldn’t take their customers for granted.  They needed to ramp up customer service.  They needed to listen to the Voice of the Customer.

During the Great Recession in the 2008-10 timeframe, much of the “new marketing strategies” that developed were really a repackaging of customer relationship development and client retention and growth initiatives.

Fast forward to today, and largely due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the economy is taking a hit again.  Companies are trying to determine how to change their customer experience, but they – again – are having to retain the customers they have as they hope to navigate through these waters and be positioned for continued success down the road.

One consistent response to these economic downturns is that companies have refocused on the importance of listening to the customer.

When you listen to the Voice of the Customer, oftentimes that voice is being shared in response to your questions.  These might be questions when you’re dealing with a customer issue, but let’s think a little bit more strategically – consider the customer voice you hear through your research.  You may have questions that you typically ask in a customer survey or in a focus group, but try to avoid the typical.  Instead, let your goal determine your question.

For example, if an organizational goal is to retain customers, ask why they became a customer in the first place, what keeps them with your business, why they would consider leaving.

If your goal is growth with existing customers, ask them about their needs.  If those needs are not being met by your company, ask them how those needs are being addressed.  Inquire about their awareness of your other products and services.

If you want to differentiate your business by having an exceptional customer experience, ask customers how your experience compares to others.  Ask how they would define a “great customer experience.”  Ask them to give you an example of an organization or a situation that provided an exceptional experience.

In times like these, most organizations are holding on to customers as tight as they can, and most discerning customers realize that fact.

When you’re considering tapping into the Voice of the Customer to learn how to strengthen that relationship, discuss organizational goals before you ever discuss what research questions to ask customers.

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