customer satisfaction | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

The New Burger Experience - 7/16/24


Floyd loves a good hamburger. Any chance he gets to try a new spin on an old standby, he takes it. Recently, a burger joint opened near his house, and Floyd was very excited! It was owned by and named for a world-renowned chef, so it had to be Read more

Boost Customer Happiness - 7/9/24


There’s a cooking show that a friend of mine watches, and the premise is all about reverse engineering food.  They may take a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, analyze it, and determine the ingredients just by tasting it.  Then they figure out a recipe.  The cook will try to make Read more

Brainstorm to Better Yourself - 7/2/24


I’ve led enough sessions with clients on continuous improvement topics to have solid experience on how to lead ideation exercises, brainstorming to develop new ideas.  Oftentimes these sessions start with the right question; the first answers may not be the ultimate solution, but they can serve as a jumping Read more

The Power of the Pause - 6/25/24


When I’m facilitating a meeting, and it feels like it’s going off-track or the discussion is going a little longer than it should, I may say something like “let me pause the conversation so that…” or “let’s pause just for a minute and consider…” I don’t like the word STOP. Read more

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

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

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth – 2/13/24

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

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 to them.

It’s a good lesson for any business, any industry.  Whether you work in sports, local government, healthcare – if you’re going to have more than a 1-time transactional engagement with the customer, here are some lessons to learn from the education industry.

Our elementary and middle school clients make special efforts to get to know the students and their family situations.  What is happening to those students personally helps to understand how to deal with those students and their challenges, and identify what kind of a support system they need.

Our high school clients strive to uncover what students are trying to accomplish, and what that next step involves.  The high schools are trying to help the students grow while also preparing them for whatever that next place is in life.

Our Higher Ed clients engage the students to continue that development but also to help them plan for the future.  Not just that immediate next step, but getting them prepared to be productive members of society, and to set that long-term career track on the right path.

These educational clients understand the need to get to know their customers – their students – more individually. That requires of some that they really understand their personal situations, because that can inform how to engage them.  It also involves trying to understand the near-term goals, to see how to help them get to that very next step.  In other cases, it’s a matter of understanding their long-term goals or desires, so they can work on a plan to get from today to a future tomorrow.

When you’re thinking about relationship development with your clients, try to remember what impacted you in elementary school or middle school, your priorities and decisions to be made in high school, your goals and long-term vision in college or some other type of advanced training. Then, consider these lessons learned from the education industry.

Grow relationships by understanding your clients more personally, uncovering what they need, and helping to map out a plan for what they want for the future.

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Define Customer Service Success Differently – 2/6/24

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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 fame, fortune, awards, power, position.

I believe success can be defined in a lot of ways having nothing to do with any of those accomplishments.  Sometimes those outcomes shouldn’t be the definitions of success.  So, especially as it relates to customer service, let’s define Success differently.

Noted below are three quotes.  Let’s look at how they apply to our work in trying to become successful in customer service.

Effort measures success better than outcome.

When we’re engaged with the customer or dealing with a difficult situation at the office, we can control ourselves, our response, or approach to the conversation.  We cannot always control the environment; we can rarely control the other people involved.  But the environment and the others involved affect the outcome of the situation.  So, don’t get down on yourself if the outcome wasn’t what you were hoping for or the overall tone of the conversation did not strike the right chord.  Define success as having done your best.

The cost of success is exceeded only by the cost of failure.

There’s rarely a perfect solution to a complex situation.  But in the vast majority of the cases, doing something gives you a better chance of success than doing nothing.  Deciding to respond to the e-mail or the voicemail when you don’t have an answer, instead of not responding at all.  Taking action on behalf of the customer instead of hoping that – by ignoring them – they will go away.  In customer service, the cost of doing nothing is a higher likelihood of failure, of losing the customer, of engendering that negative word-of-mouth, of creating bigger issues for your co-workers down the road.

Don’t be irreplaceable.  If you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.

Too many people feel that knowledge is power.  They believe in hoarding information or their experience or their expertise so that only they can use it.  This is not only a sign of somebody who’s not a team player, but it can actually be a deterrence to career development.  If we don’t share with others and try to build up and support our teammates, why would leadership want to move us up knowing that they would have a void they cannot fill?

Don’t define success purely based on the outcome.  Define customer service success by your efforts, your willingness to take action on behalf of the customer, and your willingness to impart your knowledge and wisdom to others.

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Share the Why to Value the Customer – 7/25/23

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We encourage our clients to explain “The Why behind the What” to the customer.  Usually we suggest that staff explain Why so that the customer understands the reason for a change or can buy-in to a particular solution.

However, explaining the Why is also effective when you’re doing some very routine things for the customer.  When you explain Why you’re doing the task, the customer understands the benefit to them.  It makes them feel valued.  It often makes them feel important.

I’ll walk you through this document, so you’re clear on the main takeaways and are comfortable with the next steps.

To keep you informed, I’ll send you an e-mail on Friday with an update.

To protect the carpet and floors in your home, I’ll be wearing covers on my shoes.

I’ll share a copy of the contract using an encrypted document to protect your privacy.

I’m providing you this 1-page map of the event site so you can quickly get to the activities of most interest.

I’ll give you my cell phone number so you can easily get in touch with me if you have any questions or if other needs arise.

If you just take the action noted in the 6 statements above, then:  You share a document, you send them an e-mail, you wear shoe covers, you send the contract, you give them a 1-pager, you give them a phone number.

However, if you explain Why and focus on the benefit to the customer, then: They feel comfortable with next steps, they’re kept informed, their carpet and floors are protected, you’ve protected their privacy, they save time getting to the activities of most interest to them, and they can easily get in touch with you as needs arise.

Even when you’re doing the routine, try to describe it to the customer.  State what you’re doing, but also share Why to help them feel important and valued, to ensure they understand the benefits of what you do for them.

Share the WHY to Value the Customer.

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