customer service | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 9

“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

Improve Co-worker Rapport to Improve the Customer Experience – 4/4/23

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

The movers were packing up the house.  It was a stressful time for Janine.  She was having to move her aging parents to a new city in a new State to help care for them.  The parents were leaving behind friends and a community where they’d lived for most of their lives.  Janine and her sister were doing all of the planning, working through all the logistics, and spending all the time and the efforts and the lack of sleep to make the move happen.

As she was working with the moving company, packing up the house, it would have been easy for Janine to let the burden of the situation overtake her.  But in the moment, there was something that made the packing and the moving experience more pleasant.

Even when she wasn’t talking to the moving team, she was noticing them.  They were talking with each other.  They used respectful tones.  There was smiling and occasional laughter.  They were productive and moved efficiently, but there was still a professionalism and a politeness with how they interacted with each other.

In short, the employees got along with each other.

For Janine, the overall environment in the home was noticeably more upbeat, more energetic, more positive, and more collaborative.  The atmosphere and the experience were much better because the moving team had a rapport with each other.

For organizations that care about the customer, oftentimes they focus the customer experience on their engagement with that individual.  But when more than one employee is involved in a conference call, at an in-person meeting, some kind of video conference, how the staff engage each other also has an effect on the feel of the experience.

Convey the pleasantness, politeness, productivity, and professionalism with your co-workers that we’re all expected to convey with our customers.

Improve Co-worker Rapport to Improve the Customer Experience.

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G.A.B. – The Survey Guiding Principles – 3/28/23

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You’re excited!  The company has okayed your conducting a survey, and you immediately think of a half dozen questions you want to ask every customer.  You document your questions, get input from others, and all of a sudden you have a Word document with 36 questions instead of 6.  Now, what do you do?

Some clients engage us before they get into the particulars of the survey instrument.  Other clients come to us after they’ve already created that 36 question survey.  In either case, before you dive into the details of the survey questions, here are 3 Guiding Principles that could govern your decision-making about the overall design of the survey:

Goal-driven – Make sure that the questions are addressing your overall goals for the research.  The goals should drive what information you seek, which should drive the structure of the survey and the wording of the questions – it shouldn’t be the other way around.  Create the survey instrument around your goals, and when you have that draft put together, make sure each question aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish.

Actionable – For each question, give consideration to what would be done with the information.  Could you act upon the results?  What will the metrics potentially tell you? Are you evaluating attributes against each other, against historical data, against national benchmarks?  And how are you going to act differently based on ratings?  For the open-ended questions, are you going to utilize the common themes to improve operations, change strategies, reward and recognize others?  If the question is not actionable, why would you even ask?

Balanced – Ensure that there is a relatively even mix of questions seeking positives as well as questions seeking opportunities for improvement.  This is something that few of our clients consider.  Some clients are primarily looking for constructive feedback – and the tone of the survey can get the customer thinking too negatively and elicit too many negative stories.  Others are looking just for positives to use to market themselves internally or make themselves look good.  Instead, the survey should be balanced.  Research should help you to identify what is not working well while also helping understand where you can strengthen your strengths.

Let the goals of the survey drive the focus of the questions.  Ensure that the questions are structured to be actionable.  Create an overall balance of identifying what could be better as well as knowing what already is providing a great customer experience.

Design your survey to align to the G.A.B. Guiding Principles.

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Build Your Shield – 3/21/23

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When the customer complains or the boss gets upset, when the negativity gets too personal or you get that unprofessional e-mail from the angry client – those are the times when we can feel hurt.  Those are the times when we in customer service roles can feel that physical or emotional or spiritual gut punch.

But there are ways we can build an inner strength to deal with some of this outer negativity.  There are ways we can build our own capabilities to deal with criticism.

Be Self-motivated. Don’t rely on others to motivate you or affect your self-perception.  The more you get your motivation and drive from the inside, the less the feelings and perceptions of others will affect you.

Accept Responsibility for Your Actions. If you accept responsibility for the issues you caused, you can more readily understand the other person’s point of view in those situations.  And when somebody comes after you with accusations that are not your doing, it helps you more objectively receive those comments, knowing they’re not really speaking the truth about you.

Be Proud of What You’ve Accomplished. Know the good that you have done, and keep that good top-of-mind even if a bad tone is coming your way.

Be Tolerant and Respectful of Others. You don’t have to love the other person, you don’t have to agree with their position.  But if your concern is conveying respect and being tolerant of the other individual, it helps you to focus more on treating them as a human (imperfect like we all are) rather than getting immersed in their negativity.

Have Integrity. Do the right thing, even when it’s not the easy thing.  Take solace in knowing that what you’re doing is fair, honest, and true, and you’ll never regret how you addressed the situation.

We can prepare for the difficult moments by building our own shield day-after-day.  This is not a shield to separate us from the complaints or the complainers.  It is something that we can nurture inside of us to strengthen our ability to handle criticism in the moment.

To Build Your Shield, self-motivate, accept responsibility, take pride in your accomplishments, be respectful, and have integrity.

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