education | Customer Service Solutions, Inc. - Page 3

The Proven Value in What You Do - 4/9/24


Forbes wrote an article last year based on a compilation of the results of research on customer service and the customer experience; it was titled:  100 Customer Experience Stats For 2023. In reading the article, you’ll note that many of these key research findings are about you – the value Read more

A Tale of Two Texts - 4/2/24


Having to get allergy shots once a week is never fun, and for Janet, it became an even bigger frustration. She had the shots typically scheduled on Tuesday around 10:30 in the morning, figuring she would avoid the morning rush as well as the lunch rush by going mid-morning.  However, Read more

The Secret Sauce for Great Customer Service - 3/26/24


I was working with the League Office for a major American sport several years back, and one of the executives asked me to describe our Secret Sauce that helped our clients improve the fan experience and customer retention.  I gave him a sense of what makes us unique and Read more

The Miracle of an Apology - 3/19/24


Unfortunate but true story… The manager basically lost his mind.  He terminated his employee on the spot.  She had told the customer that there was going to be a delay in the shipment.  The employee called up the customer ahead of time to let the customer know what was about Read more

It’s Not About the 5-Minute Wait - 3/12/24


Robert went into his supervisor’s office to update her on a situation at the payment desk.  Robert said that a customer was about fourth or fifth in line, waiting to be served, and the customer was complaining loudly about the wait.  He was there to make a property tax Read more

Lessons from the Greats - 3/5/24


I was recently facilitating a workshop on the customer experience, and I made the point that it’s usually beneficial to look at your personal life for great experiences; identify what really resonates with you in a positive way in order to uncover ideas to improve your own customer service. So, Read more

The Empathy Roadmap - 2/27/24


For some people, empathy comes naturally.  There’s an innate desire to learn about the other person and to sincerely convey that sense of interest and caring.  But for many of us, sometimes it helps to have a communication plan.  It helps to know what to do in order to Read more

“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

Simplify the Vocabulary – 9/9/14 TOW

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


In our constant quest to find new ways to describe boring or irritating processes and services in a way that makes them sound exciting, we develop creative names: No Child Left Behind, Affordable Care Act, Permanent Seat Licenses, etc.

However, the problem is that our customers find out that this is typically not something to embrace, and the name becomes a joke or a punch line.

When we want to sound sophisticated, we use high-brow language: Six Sigma, OnBoarding, Rubric.

However, the problem is that our customers and employees have little-to-no idea what we’re discussing.

And sometimes, when we want to be specific, we risk using terms that mean different things based on the industry: Achievement, Bonding, Delegation, Enrollment, Gatekeeper, Grandfathered, Network, Rehab, Service Area, and Waiting Period.

Does Bonding relate to a mother and child, a company doing business in town, or teeth? Is a Delegation addressing something in healthcare or at the United Nations? Is the Gatekeeper a function in healthcare, a secretary who won’t let you see the boss, or – literally – a gate keeper?

When we use terms, we can’t assume that the customers know the terms. We can’t assume that if it’s used in our industry that the customer knows what “Enrollment” means in healthcare because their only exposure to “Enrollment” was at their child’s school.

The words matter, and we need to make sure the words are simple enough to be understood without requiring a detailed glossary to explain everything.

Go to your company’s website. Look at the patient or fan or employee or customer flyers and handbooks that you distribute. Give access to the website and these documents to people who know nothing about your business; ask them to read the information and interpret what it’s saying.

Make sure the words you use are clear enough to be understood. Simplify the Vocabulary.

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Physician Clinics, Processes, and Patient Satisfaction…oh my!

Posted on in Business Advice, Healthcare Please leave a comment

A recent study noted in American Medical News evaluated multiple aspects of a patient’s experience in a physician’s practice and determined that the three most important aspects of the experience all related to the doctor. The doctor’s knowledge, time spent with the patient, and access to the patient’s medical records were of greatest importance to patients.

However, there are a few points that might not be so obvious. Six of the next seven most important attributes all dealt with process – ease of billing, efficient billing process, time spent in the waiting room, etc. We believe that the 3 drivers of customer satisfaction in any industry are Employee Attitudes/Skills/Knowledge, Service Processes, and the Product/Service itself. So this process impact is not surprising, but it’s important. Key Conclusion: Make it easy and efficient for the customer to do business with you.

But another point in the article is typically as important. Other studies have shown that 40% of customer dissatisfaction is because their expectations weren’t met. This article notes how many patients compare their experience at a clinic to their experience in other industries. So it’s time for physician clinics like most other businesses to look outside themselves to learn. If the Ritz-Carlton makes you feel special, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If a NASCAR pit crew can change four tires and fill a gas tank in 12 seconds, what can a physician clinic learn from them? If Amazon.com can enable a 1-click purchase, what can the clinic learn from them?

It’s not just for healthcare organizations like clinics; this “looking outside yourself” benchmarking approach should be undertaken by local governments, the business operations staff for sports teams, community colleges and other education industry organizations, and retailers alike.

Key Conclusion: Customers come in with expectations about your business based on experiences with other businesses. So look at other businesses to identify improvement opportunities in your own.

Make it easy for the customer to do business with you…and to enjoy the experience, too!

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at http://themesh.tv/stepping-up-service/


Life as a Call Center Rep

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

It’s great; it stinks. That sums it up.

For someone who likes to talk with others, who enjoys answering questions, educating others, and solving problems, it’s a very rewarding job. For someone who likes a different challenge every minute, it can fulfill that desire.

But for many call center representatives, there is the difficulty in trying to meet the numbers – have a low handle time, get the post-call work done quickly, take short restroom breaks – it can be frustrating.

Like with any business, frustration often results from competing priorities. You are in a customer service role to serve. You are there to help others. You are there to help guide, to respond, to defuse, to educate. But at the same time, you are there to get the work done quickly. To address the need as fast as possible without involving anyone else if at all possible. You are there to interact with as many customers as you can in your limited time during the day.

According to a Chicago Sun-Times for the article on what life can be like as a call center customer service representative, “The reps at [her] call center were expected to field calls, take down information, check files, fill out forms, flag down faxes, write notes about each conversation and more, at times viewing four computer screens at once. Three seconds after they hung up, a new call would come in. A big call board would flash with multi-colored lights indicating whether new calls were being picked up in less than 30 seconds, and if they weren’t, there’d be trouble.”

For any organization wanting to succeed in employee retention, customer retention, operational excellence, and long-term growth, there needs to be a balance. There need to be measurements of and incentives for satisfaction, loyalty, retention, repeat purchases, and new business generated from current customers just like there are measurements and incentives relating to productivity, error rates, and throughput time.

Find a balance of what you measure and reward for the sake of your people, your customers, and your business success.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/