customer service standards | 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

RELATE to Your Customers – 2/28/23

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

One of the more interesting processes we go through with some clients is the development of Customer Service Standards.  One might think that the expectations that organizations have of their staff are pretty consistent when it comes to customer service and relationship-building.  However, the Standards are often unique because the organizations are unique.  Their Core Values are unique. Their purpose is unique.  And their customers are unique.

We helped one of our clients develop their expectations of staff, and the acronym RELATE lent itself nicely to the description of these expectations.  Here’s a quick summary:

  • Relate – Treat all courteously/fairly. Be inclusive, open to and appreciative of the diversity of the community and the customers. Be professional in representing the organization in appearance, interactions, and in showing respect for the privacy of others.
  • Educate – Understand the organization well enough to effectively serve others. Get to know the customers and their needs, educating them about the organization and their service experience.
  • Listen – Acknowledge others and those needs; be patient, communicate clearly, and listen so they feel valued and important, striving to address their need right the first time.
  • Act – Own the service experience, taking responsibility for being prompt/responsive to the needs and issues of others. Help others, and hold yourself accountable for your actions and on behalf of co-workers.
  • Team-up – Work with others in the organization to address collective goals and customer needs – guiding others to the right resource when needed. Understand your role, be involved and trustworthy, sharing information and ideas.
  • Enjoy – Be friendly and welcoming, proactively engaging others in a natural, enthusiastic, and attentive manner. Convey the energy, active nature, and positivity that we hope to see from our customers.

 
Relate, Educate, Listen, Act, Team-up, and Enjoy!  Where are you and your teammates strong in delivering these Standards, and where could you improve?

Do a little self-evaluation so you can better RELATE to your customers.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


The Resourceful Rep – 3/16/21

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

One of our clients is seeking to develop Customer Service Standards.  We’re working with them to identify those key expectations of staff that will enable the organization to deliver a consistent high-level customer experience.  One of the key attributes that this organization is seeking from its team members is resourcefulness. So, how can you become even more resourceful?

There are two primary keys to resourcefulness.  One is having the assets that you can bring to bear to address a given issue, need, or goal.  The other is having the creativity to formulate a plan or a response in using those assets.

List Your Assets

First, formulate your own list of assets.  An asset could be a subject matter expert in your company, a key contact in another division, or some other constituent or stakeholder or supervisor with a great deal of knowledge on specific topics or about specific customers.  An asset could be the knowledge base in your system.  An asset could be some past correspondence you had with a similar customer or about a similar situation.

As you can tell, the assets can generally be people, technology, or content that is categorized or organized in such a way that you can quickly find a related situation or customer type that you’ve supported in the past.  Create that list of assets so that you can more quickly meet the need of the customer.

Let Your Creativity Flow

Second, to creatively formulate the plan, you need to be able to think differently.  Let’s say that your customer cannot make their payment by the due date.  You start asking yourself: Who in my organization has expertise in dealing with situations like this and has resolved these types of issues previously?  What list of related FAQs exist?  What are some past e-mails or documents that I’ve utilized in similar situations that I can access to help this person as well?

Instead of just considering what you alone can do in this situation, expand your thought to consider who you can contact, what might be the standard answers, or what has proven successful with these types of customers or in similar situations.

To be resourceful, create that list of assets that you can bring to bear in customer situations. Then, take some of the burden off yourself by tapping into the people, technology, and communications that have helped you to succeed previously.

Use your assets and creativity to become the Resourceful Representative.

Signup for FREE Tips!    Contact Us    More Resources for You    Visit Our Home Page


Bet on Great Customer Service

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

A casino’s repeat business is purely dependent on whether the customer feels the exhilaration of the win…right?

Well the recent article Casinos Urged to Invest in Customer Service, Gaming Experience to Meet Multiple Challenges in 2012 says that it’s more than winning that drives loyalty and revenues.

The head of a casino consulting firm notes “Bare-bones state budgets, taxation, new casinos, social media and online gaming – these are all factors that will contribute to a challenging year for casinos.”

Essentially he says that if you’re a business with customers who are having financial struggles (like a sports team trying to keep season ticket holders), have competitors (like a hospital), are impacted by the proliferation of social media and alternative delivery changes for your service (like a college or university – or almost any business for that matter), then you might be having a tough time.

So if his premise applies to the situation of casinos, it probably also applies to the majority of other businesses today.

And what’s the proposed solution? Create a culture of customer service. The article notes that “The first step toward creating that culture is establishing service standards. The next step is training that helps employees meet those standards.”

So why is this suggested? This is where the author falls short…he doesn’t say why you need the culture of customer service, but I’ll fill that part in – it’s because the state of customer service is so poor today, that this is one area where you can differentiate yourself from competitors. It’s one place where Social Media doesn’t have a solid footing. It’s one place where you can build value when customers care more about the dollars they spend and with whom they spend.

Stop. Look at your competitors. Look at your customers. Look at your company.

Create a culture of customer service to build value with the customer and build a wall between your customers and your competitors.

Interested in assessing and improving your company’s customer service? Click here…