customer satisfaction | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“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 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

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

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

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

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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